The Philippine Navy is in the process of acquiring a Hamilton Class US Coastguard cutter, navy chief Rear Admiral Alexander Pama has said.

Navy spokesman Captain Giovanni Carlo Bacordo said the details of the acquisition, including the price, were still under discussion.

“I think it’s in the finishing stages. We expect this to be in country maybe by first semester of 2011,” he stated.

The 380ft-long Hamilton Class cutter will boost the Philippine Navy’s capability to patrol in high seas and on search and rescue operations during disasters.

The navy’s current largest surface combatant ship is the 308ft-long destroyer escort BRP Rajah Humabon, according to GMANews.TV.