The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) new 83.6-meter Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) built by French shipbuilder OCEA is reportedly arriving tomorrow April 7. The OPV, which will be commissioned as Barko Republika ng Pilipinas (BRP) Gabriela Silang, officially left France December 30. PCG reported that she docked at the Malta Freeport to conduct ferry missions to Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in the Middle East who may need immediate extrication. Considered as the largest and most advanced aluminum hull OPV in the world to date. BRP Gabriela Silang is designed to meet its mandate which highlights the responsibility to perform maritime search and rescue in service to the nation
On September 9, 2014, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) through the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the French Shipbuilder OCEA entered an agreement to supply the latter with four 24 m FPB-72 Patrol Boats and one 82 m OPV-270 Offshore Patrol Vessel provided by a loan granted by the French Government. The vessel is equipped with a mission management system (MMS) to conduct maritime surveillance, law enforcement, situation awareness and exchange of information with other units and general coastal patrol of territorial waters. It is also capable of responding to marine environmental pollution such as oil spills and has a room that can treat persons rescued from the sea.
BRP Gabriela Silang, an 83.6-meter Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV), can accommodate 64 crew onboard and carry approximately 500 people at a time . The OPV is more than capable to perform beyond its contractual specification of 20 knots of speed, and an endurance that will take up to 22 days long. It has a range of 8,000 nautical miles at 15 knots and an endurance of up to five weeks of operation. The OPV hull is structured to accommodate a 5-ton helicopter and two onboard 9-meter Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats with speed of 40 knots. Its main engine is a hybrid engine of diesel-electric type, which is the first vessel under PCG to utilize diesel-electric engine.
The OPV 70 is the latest of several ships built by OCEA, which specializes in aluminium-hulled ships. OCEA notes the positive attributes of aluminium in shipbuilding, including aluminium’s high strength-to-weight ratio and its resistance to rust and corrosion as compared to steel.Specialized in the design, building and support of aluminium vessels up to 85 meters, OCEA S.A. has rapidly expanded since its establishment. From the very beginning, OCEA S.A. created an internal design capacity and focused on the management of the maritime territory and operations inside the Exclusive Economic Zone area.