Philippine Coast Guard’s new aluminum OPV arrives home
Gabriela Silang (OPV-8301), Philippine Coast Guard’s new aluminum hull offshore patrol vessel (OPV), arrived at the Manila Bay Anchorage Area on April 7.
The newbuild was welcomed by Airbus helicopter 1452, fixed wing aircraft, PCG Islander 251, multi-role response vessels BRP Tubbataha and BRP Malabrigo from Japan, fast patrol boat BRP Kalanggaman from France, and Metal Shark high speed response boats in the vicinity waters of Manila Bay.
Gabriela Silang, which was built by OCEA in France, was initially scheduled to arrive in the Philippines on February 10, 2020. However, the vessel was rerouted to the Middle East to perform its first-ever mission – to repatriate overseas Filipino workers in case hostilities erupt in the region. The ship was on standby in Malta, ready to evacuate Filipino nationals in Libya if necessary.
OPV-8301 has a range of 8,000 nautical miles at 15 knots and an endurance of up to five-week non-stop operations. Being the largest vessel of the PCG, Gabriela Silang can ferry up to 500 persons.
Described as “the world’s largest aluminum OPV” by French shipbuilder OCEA, BRP Gabriela Silang will carry out all maritime security and safety missions under the responsibility of the coast guard in the waters of the Philippine archipelago.
In addition, amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Gabriela Silang will be utilized as a transport ship for frontline health workers, medicines, personal protective equipment, and other medical supplies to regional hospitals across the country, according to PCG.