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Sunday, May 19, 2019

Upgraded Jacinto-class patrol vessels PS-35 and PS-36 to re-enter Philippine Navy service soon

The Philippine Navy's Jacinto-class Patrol Vessel (JCPV) Upgrade Phase 3 Combat Systems Alignment project has been going on for years, with both Phases 3A and 3B had their contracts awarded to their respective winning proponents as early as early 2016.

But after a very long delay that can attributed to all sides of the project, it looks like we're getting some light at the end of the tunnel. Not full, but somehow very much needed to boost the current state of the Philippine Navy.

MaxDefense got confirmation that at least two of the three Jacinto-class patrol vessels, namely the BRP Emilio Jacinto (PS-35) and BRP Apolinario Mabini (PS-36) will both be entering service with the Philippine Navy soon, with PS-36 even be reaccepted into service as part of the Philippine Navy's 121st Founding Anniversary celebrations this May 2019.

The BRP Emilio Jacinto as of 18 May 2019. Photo provided by and credited to MaxDefense community member Garry Borromeo during the HQPN Open House. Credits belong to him.

Note: for further information regarding the ships and the projects, you may refer to these older blog entries which previously discussed the JCPV Phase 3A and 3B projects:

BRP Apolinario Mabini (PS-36):

The BRP Apolinario Mabini (PS-36) had its upgrade under the Phase 3A project, with the United Kingdom's Ultra Electronics said to be officially completing the upgrade works on the ship as of last week.

Apparently Ultra Electronics passed the Harbour Acceptance Test (HAT) and Sea Acceptance Tests (SAT) conducted by the Philippine Navy's Project Management Team (PMT) and Technical Inspection and Acceptance Committee (TIAC), which is a prerequisite for the TIAC to accept the completed product in preparation for official hand-over to the Philippine Navy's end-user.

MaxDefense was able to view an actual video from the gunnery tests, wherein the new Ultra Electronics Fire Control System controlling the MSI Defence DS25 25mm gun system at the ship's fantail to fire multiple rounds at more than 1400 meters distance, with a 100% hit rate.

The PS-36 now has a new Fire Control System suite from Ultra Electronics, a new Kelvin Hughes Sharpeye X-band surface-search radar system to replace the existing Sperry Marine Bridge Master E radar installed in 2005. It also has a new Electro-Optical / Infra-Red (EO/IR) targeting camera system, most likely the Ultra Electronics Series 1700. This replaced the existing system from Radamec.

The Ultra Electronics Series 1700 EO/IR camera, which is most likely the one used by Ultra Electronics for the JCPV Upgrade Phase 3B project. Photo taken from Ultra Electronic's brochures.

It also has a newly repaired Oto Melara 76mm/62cal Compact naval gun with a new Philippine Navy-supplied gun barrel from Oto Melara, as well as a newly refurbished MSI DS25 25mm naval gun system, with now both working more efficiently and perform better than before.

Gun barrel from an Oto Melara 76/62 Compact naval gun. Photo taken from RAN Armements Depot website.

Based on sources' information, the BRP Apolinario Mabini could be part of the actual celebrations of the Philippine Navy anniversary, one of the reasons why the PN wanted it to be delivered early this month.

BRP Emilio Jacinto (PS-35):

The lead ship of the Jacinto-class Patrol Vessel had a separate upgrade package under the JCPV Upgrade Phase 3B Combat Systems Alignment project, which was awarded to Propmech Corporation - Saab AB Joint Venture.

Being a JV with Saab, it was expected that Saab would be supplying most of the electronic and combat systems-related scope of works.

The ship is now equipped with a new X-band surface search radar system from Italy's GEM Elettronica, as well as a new Saab EOS-500 electro-optical/infra-red (EO/IR) camera system to replace the ageing existing system from Radamec.

The Saab EOS-500 EO/IR camera system, which was used on the BRP Emilio Jacinto (PS-35). Photo taken from Saab's website.

The newly repaired Oto Melara gun aboard the BRP Emilio Jacinto (PS-35). The new Saab EOS-500 EO/IR camera and radar antenna for the GEM Elettronica X-bad SSR can be seen from this angle. Photo shared to MaxDefense by community member Garry Borromeo. Credits belong to him.

The ship is also now equipped with Saab's 9LV system to allow control of the weapon systems. But this is the interesting part. Originally it was believed that Saab will only provide their standard 9LV Fire Control System, which is the most appropriate product in their line-up based on the technical specifications of the project.

But MaxDefense sources confirmed that Saab instead went overboard, and installed a compact version of the 9LV Combat Management System (CMS) similar to those used by the Visby-class corvettes of the Swedish Navy.

The Saab 9LV Compact Combat Management System, which is said to be installed on the BRP Emilio Jacinto (PS-35). Photo taken from Saab's website.

This means the BRP Emilio Jacinto is actually the first ship of the Philippine Navy to be equipped with a proper Combat Management System, which will actually allow Philippine Navy personnel to train on the ship on CMS operations while incoming ships with CMS like the Jose Rizal-class are still under construction.

Like the other ships of the class, the PS-35 also got its Oto Melara 76mm/62cal Compact naval gun repaired and had its barrel replaced, while also rehabilitating its MSI Defence DS25 25mm naval gun system.

The ship conducted its HAT and SAT recently, although there could be some delays on the ship's acceptance due to some issues that MaxDefense would prefer not to discuss for OPSEC reasons. But the ship is expected to be returned to service with the Philippine Navy by June 2019.

In fact, the ship was actually among those displayed by the Philippine Navy during the headquarters Open House event on 18 May 2019 wherein visitors were allowed to visit the PN headquarters including the asset displays which includes PS-35. The photo below was from the said event.

The PS-35 has a newly repaired Oto Melara 76mm gun (right) as part of the Phase 3B Combat Systems Alignment upgrade. Photo taken by and credited to MaxDefense community member Garry Borromeo. Credits belong to him.

The MSI Defence DS25 25mm naval gun system aboard the BRP Emilio Jacinto (PS-35). All 3 ships had their guns repaired and realigned, with this specific unit said to have hit targets accurately during tests. Photo shared to MaxDefense by community member Garry Borromeo. Credits belong to him.

How's BRP Artemio Ricarte (PS-37)?

While two ships of the class are being prepared for return to service with the Philippine Fleet, another sistership will remain in the dockyard for several months more.

BRP Artemio Ricarte (PS-37) is scheduled for more rehabilitation work, including a re-powering job that will replace its existing Pielstick diesel engines, and other works on its mechanical and electrical systems as part of the JCPV Phase 2 Upgrade works.

MaxDefense was informed that has also received the same upgrade as the BRP Apolinario Mabini, since both ships were covered by the JCPV Phase 3A Combat Systems Alignment project. The only difference is that works are still ongoing.

At best, MaxDefense expects this ship to be back in service hopefully by early 2020.

x  x  x

The Philippine Navy is currently having a shortage of naval assets that they could use not just to patrol the country's territorial waters, exclusive economic zones (EEZ) and territorial interests, despite the Philippine Navy appearing to deny it.

The re-entry of two assets into the fleet means a good relief the Philippine Navy and country as it allows more coverage of areas to be patrolled, as well as for use in other engagements like joint exercises with allies and partners, goodwill visits and exposures, and allow maintenance time for other assets.

MaxDefense hopes to see a ready-to-sail BRP Apolinario Mabini in the coming few days, while also wishing to the success in returning the BRP Emilio Jacinto as early as possible.

Photo shared to MaxDefense by community member Garry Borromeo. Credits belong to him.


Jacinto-class Patrol Vessel (JCPV) Combat Systems Alignment Upgrade Phase 3A and 3B

* End User: Philippine Navy (Offshore Combat Force)


         Phase 3A: 2 ships
         Phase 3B: 1 ship

* Modernization Phase:
 Horizon 1 Phase of RAFPMP

* Project ABC:

         Phase 3A: Php630,637,163.60
         Phase 3B: Php224,000,000.00

Acquisition Mode
        Phase 3A: Public Bidding 
        Phase 3B: Negotiated Procurement

* SARO Release: 
        Phase 3A: SARO-BMB-D-16-0017282 dated 25 May 2016 (partial)
        Phase 3B: TBA

* Winning Proponent:
        Phase 3A: Ultra Electronics Ltd. (United KIngdom)
        Phase 3B: Propmech Corporation (Philippines) - Saab AB (Sweden) Joint Venture

Product for Delivery: 

       Phase 3A: Ultra Electronics FCS, X-Band 2D SSR, Ultra Series 1700 EO/IR
       Phase 3B: Saab 9LV CMS, GEM Elettronica X-band 2D SSR, Saab EOS-500 EO/IR

* Contract Price:
       Phase 3A: Php498,001,906.33
       Phase 3B: Php224,000,000.00

* First post by MaxDefense: 15 January 2015 


  1. Are these ships even equipped with missiles(surface-to-air, anti-ship)?

    1. There were plans in the past to mount a lightweight ASM system like Sea Skua, but it never followed through. Also, you really can't mount bigger ASMs like Harpoons and Exocets onto these ships due to top-to-weight problems.

  2. Lesson must be learned. NO MORE KIMCHI FOR OUR Armed Forces. Not only they look down on us Filipinos in disgust, they are manipulating and trying trying to use dirty means just to sell their products to us. They have great experience in this thanks to their chaebol corruptions. And the best part they think they can get away with this. If you can avoid such embarrasing disaster do it. For the love of my country and its Afp.

  3. Quite impressive! Thank you for providing these insights!

  4. These boats should carry drones to spot over the horizon targets, relay it so the Strales guided ammo can be used.

  5. So the alternative is to buy from a country that will become the first Eurabian territory in a few years. "Hello Saab, I want to buy spare parts"....."Sorry, we don't sell to infidels" LOL


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