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BRP Ramon Alcaraz to undergo extensive checkup, repair

After the rousing welcome it got at Subic on Tuesday, the BRP Ramon Alcaraz – the Philippine Navy's newest acquisition – will now undergo a two-month checkup and repair before it is commissioned and given its first assignment.

The ship will be brought to Batangas where it will be dry-docked and examined, radio dzBB's Tuesday Niu reported early Wednesday.

At the dry dock, workers are to remove and replace broken piping systems, gaskets, bearings, and hydraulics of the ship, which will later on be painted gray, the report said.

By October, the vessel should be ready for commissioning and assigning, likely to an area where it can best protect the Philippines' exclusive economic zone.

A separate report on state-run Philippines News Agency said the new frigate will be fitted with additional weapons.

"The additional armaments which will be fitted to the BRP Ramon Alcaraz is part of our enhancement program," the PNA quoted Navy flag-officer-in-charge Vice Admiral Jose Luis Alano as saying.

PNA cited sources who said the additional weapons may include two Mark 38 Model 2 25mm "Bushmasters" auto-cannons, which would be mounted on the ship's port and starboard.

The BRP Ramon Alcaraz's present armament includes a quick-firing 76mm Oto Melara main gun, with a range of 20 nautical miles. — LBG, GMA News