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PS Rizal Class

In June 1965 the Philippine Navy recieved the first of 2 Auk Class minesweepers from the United States. The ship was commissioned around that time as the RPS Rizal (PS-69, ex-USS Murelet). A second ship, the RPS Quezon (PS-70, ex-USS Vigilance) was delivered in 1967. The Philippine Navy classified the ships as a patrol corvette (PS under the Philippine Navy hull numbering system) and the ships in Philippine service lacked any special purpose mine clearing gear.

The Rizal Class ships were generally similar to the Miguel Malvar Class patrol corvettes also in service at the time. The Rizal had a similar though slightly lighter displacement at 890 tons, and featured a main armament of 2 3"/50 guns identical to the single gun of the type fitted to the Malvar Class. The Rizal Class featured a heavier secondary armament, however, including 2 3-tube Mk 32 torpedo launchers, 40mm and 20mm cannon, an anti-submarine mortar system, and depth charge launchers and racks. Their maximum speed of 18 knots was also faster than that of the Miguel Malvar Class. A small helicopter deck without hangar was eventually fitted to the Rizal, in place of the aft 3"/50 gun. The Rizal further differed from the the Quezon in not having bulwarks amidships as on the latter vessel.

One of 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.

By the mid-1990s both ships were showing their age and their powerplants had become unreliable. Both ships were decommissioned in 1994. However, an inability to secure replacements and a need for additional ships led to the restoration of both vessels at Cavite Shipyard during 1995. During the restoration the weapons configuration for both ships was changed. 2 of the 4 20mm cannons were removed, as was all of the anti-submarine weaponry including the torpedo launchers. The main 3"/50 guns were retained (1 on the Rizal and 2 on the Quezon). The Rizal's refit was completed in January 1996 and the Quezon finished restoration in April 1996. Both ships were subsequently returned to active duty. During the restoration process the Rizal was renumbered as PS-74.




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