PS Miguel Malvar Class

The Philippines recieved the first of the Miguel Malvar class patrol corvettes (identified by the PS prefix in the Philippine Navy hull numbering system) from the United States in July 1948. These included the RPS Cebu (PS-28), RPS Negros Occidental (PS-29), RPS Pangasinan (PS-31), and RPS Iloilo (PS-32). Around the same time a fifth boat, RPS Leyte (PS-30) was also acquired. All the vessels were former US Navy Patrol Craft Escort-842 (PCE-842) class ships.

Following the fall of South Vietnam in 1975 the Philippine Navy recieved 3 more vessels of this class and similar classes. The RPS Sultan Kudarat (PS-22) was a PCE-842 class vessel (ex-RVNS Dong Da II, ex-USS Crestview). The RPS Miguel Malvar (PS-19, ex-RVNS Ngoc Hoi, ex-USS Brattleboro) and RPS Datu Marikudo (PS-23, ex-RVNS Van Kiep II, ex-USS Amherst) were technically members of the Patrol Craft Escort, Rescue-848 class (PCER-848), though the 2 classes were essentially identical. The PCER-848 class ships had longer forecastles, originally housing enlarged infirmaries. The RPS Magat Salamat (PS-20, ex-RVNS Chi Lang II, ex-USS Gayety) was an Admirable class minesweeper, another class essentially identical in cosntruction. In Philippine service all of these ships were incorporated into a single class.

The ships all being of virtual identical type still had variations in basic equipment based on their previous roles. The group of ships recieved in 1948 all had a single 76.2mm/3" DP gun mounted on the bow along with 3 dual 40mm cannon mounts aft of the superstructure. They also featured a single quadruple 20mm cannon mount. The former South Vietnamese ships had the same main gun, but only 2 single 40mm cannon mounts and more 20mm cannons in 4 dual mounts. The Magat Salamat also featured this weapons configuration. By the 1980s the Anti-Submarine Warfare equipment in the PCE/PCER types had been deleted. With the exception of the Magat Salamat, all the ships had a 15 knot top speed. The Magat Salamat had a top speed of 14 knots.

In 1979 the Leyte was put out of commission due to grounding and was never returned to active service. One of the results of the overthrow of the Marcos Regime in the Philippine ins the 1980s was the shift from the English "Republic of Philippine Ship" prefix, to the Tagalog "Bapor Ng Republika Ng Philipinas Or" (BRP). The remaining ships in the Miguel Malvar class recieved this nomenclature and remained classified as patrol corvettes.

Between 1990 and 1992 the Miguel Malvar, Sultan Kudarat, Pangasinan, and Iloilo all underwent overhauls. Included in the program was an armament refit and upgraded communications gear. The revised armament on the modernized boats retained the main gun, but removed the 40mm cannon. Secondary armament consisted of 3 single 20mm cannon mounts and 4 .50 caliber machine guns. The 40mm cannon were eventually turned over to the Philippine Marine Corps for conversion into anti-aircraft weapons. An SPS-64(V)11 navigational radar was also added to the ships. The Datu Marikudo and Cebu were similarly upgraded between 1992 and 1993.

As of 1994 the Negros Occidental was planned to be discarded by 1995, as was the Magat Salamat. Despite these plans the Magat Salamat was still in service almost a decade later. The fate of the Negros Occidental was not clear as of 2009. In 2003 the Magat Salamat was dispatched to collect Philippine fishermen who had been rescued by the US Navy. In 2004 the Magat Salamat took part in a naval exercise with the Royal Malaysian Navy. The Magat Salamat was still reported to be in service as of 2009, when it participated in another rescue of civilians off Minis Point in the Pilas Group of Islands, who were stranded when the boat they were in developed mechanical trouble. Most of the other ships in the class also remained in service into 2009.

Join the mailing list