The Philippines Navy is set to carry out major upgrades on its Del Pilar-class lead ship, BRP Gregorio Del Pilar (FF-15).

Under the works, a wide range of modifications will be made to the communications, weapons and fire-control systems installed on the frigate.

The vessel will also undergo major repair works for the damages caused on the ship after it ran aground at the Hasa-Hasa (Half-Moon) Shoal on 29 August this year.

Philippines Navy spokesperson commander Jonathan Zata was quoted by Philippine News agency as saying: “Del Pilar is still undergoing bottom hull repairs and will be undocked as soon as repairs have been completed.

“Del Pilar is still undergoing bottom hull repairs and will be undocked as soon as repairs have been completed.”

“Propellers and related underwater appendages will be shipped to the US for repairs. While awaiting the completion of those repairs, she will undergo communications and weapon and fire control upgrades in order to optimise her downtime period.”

Zata previously said that the US will offer assistance to the Philippines Navy in carrying out the repair work on the damaged ship.

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The frigate is expected to be deployed back in operation once the imported parts for the upgrade arrive in the Philippines, added Zata.

BRP Gregorio Del Pilar is one of the three Hamilton-class cutters procured by the navy from the US Coast Guard (USCG) and converted into frigates to serve Philippines.

With a gross tonnage of 3,250t, the 378ft-long Del Pilar-class vessel has a beam of 43ft and draft of 15ft.