Tomas Batillo Class (Ex-South Korean Navy PKM 200) Gunboats
Date Updated: Tuesday March 15, 2005


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Service History

Built by the Korea Tacoma Shipyard, these units are appropriately named after Philippine servicemen who served with distinction during the Korean War.  The first 5 units were acquired by the Philippine Navy from South Korea in 1995 and were refurbished at the Sangley Point Naval shipyard.  These five units were commissioned into PN service a year later on May 22, 1996.  PG-116, BRP Nicolas Mahusay (Gold Cross, Infantry, Philippine Army, posthumous, awarded for gallantry in action during the Korean War) was commissioned much later on July 2, 1998.

Among the more modern units of the Philippine Navy, these gunboats together with the newly commissioned Cyclone Class (BRP General Mariano Alvarez) provide much of the punch for a task group designated to defend the Malampaya Natural gas platforms northwest of Palawan.    PG-116 was originally designated as a spares source by the PN and was slated to be picked apart to provide spares for the rest of the fleet.  This plan has since been changed and a request for proposal has been issued by the PN for a full overhaul of two units including the replacement of existing MTU diesel engines with GM or Caterpillar diesel engines. 

Hull numbers and names of the units are as follows:

PG 110 – BRP Tomas Batillo
PG 111 – BRP Boni Serrano
PG 112 – BRP Bienvenido Salting
PG 114 – BRP Salvador Abcede
PG 115 – BRP Ramon Aguirre and
PG 116 – BRP Nicolas Mahusay

The Philippines is currently negotiating with South Korea on the purchase of more of these boats as they are replaced in SK service by newer units.  Two more units of the class are said to be on the way and will be delivered to the PN by the end of 2004.

Note:  Note how the hull numbers skipped?  The PN, like all navies is superstitious and does not like to tempt fate by giving a ship an unlucky number.

Technical details:

Currently also in service with the South Korean Navy, these boats displace 143 tons full load. The maximum speed of 38 knots is made possible by two MTU 16V538 TB90 diesel engines generating a combined output of 10,000 HP driving two propellers.  Best sustained speed is 32 knots.  Range at 32 knots sustained speed is 500 miles.  At a slower speed of 20 knots it can travel for 1000 miles and on a maximum load of 15 tons of fuel. 

Armament of the class is varied.  PG 116 is armed with one 20 mm Vulcan cannon in a powered, manned mount forward, two 20 mm guns on the bridge wings, two .50 cal guns aft of the forecastle and one 40 mm Mk3 Bofors at the stern.  PG112 has one twin-30 mm Emerlec mounting forward, two 50 cal guns forward of the forecastle, two 20 mm  guns on the bridge wings, two 50 cal guns aft of the forecastle and one 40 mm Bofors Mk3 gun at the stern and two 50 cal on the stern.  As far as is know, the later armament fit is more common.  The original South Korean units were equipped with a manual optical fire control atop the bridge and it is assumed that this was transferred as well.  PG114 has a 40mm main gun forward in place of the Emerlec.  Secondary armament is the same as the others for PG114.

Published sources indicate that the boats carry a Raytheon 1645 navigation and surface search radar though in PN service this would most likely be versions of the Raytheon SPS64. 

It takes a crew of about 5 officers and 26 enlisted personnel to effectively run these boats.

Palawan guardian.  The photo below, taken recently (2004), shows BRP Bienvenido Salting anchored off the Lagen Island, an off-shoot of Palawan Island. Note the heavy gun armament together with the extra drums of diesel fuel.  Thanks to Alf for the photo.

Emerlec Twin 30mm.  Close up of the Emerlec twin 30mm guns.  Note that this gunboat does not have the .50 cal right behind the
Emerlec mount.  The mount itself is airconditioned but is not stabilized though the gun sight in the mount is stabilized enabling somewhat accurate shots while on the move.