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11/06/2013: BRP Ramon Alcaraz Successfully Testfires Weapons System

11 June 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The BRP Ramon Alcaraz, the newest asset of the Philippine Navy, successfully test-fired its main weapons system off the coast of Florida this afternoon, the Philippine Embassy said.

“We have successfully test-fired our Oto Melara gun with a high degree of accuracy,” the Embassy quoted Capt. Ernesto Baldovino, the commanding officer of the Alcaraz as saying. “This weapons system is very reliable.”

In his report to Capt. Elson Aguilar, Defense and Naval Attache at the Embassy, Captain Baldovino reported that the Alcaraz’s Italian-made Oto Melara, a rapid-fire cannon that can shoot as many as 80 76-mm rounds per minute, fired 15 rounds—three to calibrate the canon and 12 directed at floating targets two to three miles away.

“Captain Baldovino was more than satisfied with how the Oto Melara performed,” Captain Aguilar said, adding that the canon did not misfire during the test-firing that was conducted from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

According to Captain Aguilar, the test-firing of the Oto Melara took place in the Atlantic Ocean, three and a half hours after leaving Mayport, Florida, where it arrived early Tuesday to load ammunition.

Captain Aguilar said the Alcaraz is now proceeding to the Panama Canal, its next stop in its almost two-month journey to the Philippines.

The Alcaraz left Charleston, South Carolina, on Monday, more than a year after it was acquired from the US Coast Guard. Aside from Mayport and Panama, the Alcaraz will also stop in San Diego, Honolulu and Guam enroute to Manila. ###