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PG Jose Andrada Class

In September 1989 the Philippine placed the first of a number of orders for a fast patrol boat with Halter Marine Equitable (later known as Trinity-Equitable) in the United States. The first contract, totaling $9.4 million USD was for 4 vessels. The first of these ships, delivered on 20 August 1990, was christened the BRP Jose Andrada (PG-370). The ships are also known colloquially as the "Halter Class" in reference to the initial manufacturer. The other 3 ships, the BRP Enrique Jurado (PG-371), BRP Alfredo Peckson (PG-372), and the BRP Simeon Castro (PG-374) were commissioned in June 1991. An additional ship was ordered in April 1990 and 3 more in August 1990, all from Equitable. The Andrada Class ships were also originally designated as Fast Patrol Craft, indicated by a DF prefix in the Philippine Navy hull numbering system, but were at some point between 1990 and 1995 reclassified as Patrol Gunboats, indicated by the PG prefix.

The Philippines order another 11 vessels in the class in March 1993, with the understanding that Equitable would build the first 4 in the United States, provide an additional 4 knock-down kits to be assembled at a then undetermined Philippine shipyard, and provide assistance in the completion of the last 3 ships at that shipyard. By 1994 no shipyard had been selected in the Philippines. By 1995 the Marine Division of the Atlantic, Gulf & Pacific Company (AG&P) had been selected as the domestic shipyard in the Philippines. It is unclear how many ships of this contract they eventually fabricated either from kits or with assistance from Equitable. It is known that PG-379 and PG-380 were launched in April 1995, and that the Philippine Navy's goal around this time was to eventually have a total of 35 vessels of this class. In the end funding constraints led to the abandonment of this plan. The Philippine Navy acquired a total of 22 ships in the class between 1990 and 1999, with some ships eventually being producted by AG&P in Manila.

The initial design of the vessels called for a 77-foot overall length. It is suggested that starting with the Rafael Pargas the design was lengthened to the more common 78-foot overall length, but sources classified the entire class as being of the 78-foot length before 1995 when the Pargas was reportedly commissioned.

The initial design also called for a provision to be made for the installation of a 40mm Bofors cannon forward of the pilothouse on the bow and an 81mm breach-loading mortar aft in place of the .50 caliber machine guns intially fitted in these positions. Later this requirement was ammended and many later vessels featured an open mount fitted with the 25mm Bushmaster auto-cannon (the mount used was same as the US Navy's Mk 38 Mod 0). The mount is unstabilized and manually operated. The Philippine Navy investigated installing stabilized mounts to improve accuracy, but decided against doing so after reviewing the average engagement ranges encountered by ships of this class, often under 500 meters. Additional .50 caliber and 7.62mm machine guns were also fitted. Armored visors for the pilot house windows was also added.

The Jose Andrada class ships were initially intended to operate in flotillas of 7 attached to a larger patrol craft. With the final number of ships being less than originally planned this was terminated. Ships of the class were subsequently deployed attached to Task Forces incorporating larger patrol vessels, as well as in small groups with other ships of the class operating against pirates, smugglers, and poachers, as well as various rebel organizations. Ships of the class also particiapted in the annual Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) exercises with the United States Navy.

Maintenance has been conducted on a number of the vessels in order to keep them in operation. Juan Magluyan spent time in dry dock at Colorado Shipyard in Cebu during 2005, while the Filipino Flojo spent time in dry dock there during 2006.




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