BRP Cebu (PS-28)

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BRP Cebu (PS-28)
BRP Cebu (PS-28)
United States
Name: PCE-881
Builder: Albina Engine and Machine Works, Portland, Oregon
Laid down: 21 August 1943
Launched: 10 November 1943
Commissioned: 31 July 1944
Fate: transferred to the Philippine Navy, July 1948
Name: Cebu
Namesake: Cebu
Acquired: 2 July 1948
Commissioned: 2 July 1948

RPS Cebu (PS-28) 1965-1966

BRP Cebu (PS-28), June 1980
Status: in active service, as of 2018
General characteristics
Class & type: PCE-842-class patrol craft (in U.S. Navy service)
Class & type: Miguel Malvar-class corvette (in Philippine Navy service)
Displacement: 914 Tons (Full Load)
Length: 184.5 ft (56.2 m)
Beam: 33 ft (10 m)
Draft: 9.75 ft (2.97 m)
Installed power: 2,200 hp (1,600 kW)
  • Main: 2 × GM 12-278A diesel engines
  • Auxiliary: 2 × GM 6-71 diesel engines with 100KW gen and 1 × GM 3-268A diesel engine with 60KW gen
Speed: 16 knots (30 km/h; 18 mph) (maximum),
Range: 6,600 nmi (12,200 km; 7,600 mi) at 11 knots (20 km/h; 13 mph)
Complement: 85
Sensors and
processing systems:
Raytheon AN/SPS-64(V)11 Surface Search / Navigation Radar[1]

BRP Cebu (PS-28) is a Miguel Malvar-class corvette of the Philippine Navy. She was originally built as USS PCE-881, a PCE-842-class patrol craft for the United States Navy during World War II and patrolled the Alaskan coast during that war. She was decommissioned from the U.S. Navy and transferred to the Philippine Navy in July 1948 and renamed RPS Cebu (E-28) after the Philippine province of the same name. The ship is in active service, as of 2018. Along with other World War II-era ships of the Philippine Navy, Cebu is considered as one of the oldest active fighting ships in the world today.[2]


Commissioned in the US Navy as USS PCE-881 in 1944, and patrolled the coast of Alaska during World War II. The ship was decommissioned after World War II.

She was then transferred and commissioned into the Philippine Naval Patrol and was renamed RPS Cebu (E-28) in July 1948. She was carried on to the Philippine Navy in 1950, and between 1965-1966 she was renamed as RPS Cebu (PS-28) using a new classification system. Again in June 1980 she was renamed BRP Cebu (PS-28) using a new localized prefix.[3]

In 1992 the Iloilo underwent major overhaul, weapons and radar systems refit, and upgrade of communications gear.[4]

Cebu won the Philippine Navy "Ship of the Year" award for the year 2009.[5]

She is currently assigned with the Patrol Force of the Philippine Fleet,[6] under the jurisdiction of Naval Forces Western Mindanao.

Notable Operations

File:PCE 881 Crew and JPM Alaska.jpg
Part of the crew of USS PCE 881, which patrolled the coast of Alaska during World War II.

After the ship's construction and the crew's training was completed in Portland Oregon, it patrolled the coast of Alaska from the Aleutian Islands to the Bering Strait during World War II. The ship’s commanding officer was Lieutenant Commander W.W. Adams. [7]

Between 19 to 22 March 1958, then RPS Cebu participated in the first bilateral exercise between the Philippine and US Navies dubbed Exercise "Bulwark One". It took part on the 3rd phase of the exercise off the waters of Corregidor and Caballo Islands.[8]

As of 23 June 2008, she and her onboard medical team participated in the search and rescue of the MV Princess of the Stars of Sulpicio Lines, which capsized off the coast of San Fernando, Romblon at the height of Typhoon Fengshen on 22 June 2008.[9]

BRP Cebu and BRP Pangasinan (PS-31) have alternately secured the Southern Sulu Sea where the Baduria Well is located. She also provides security for the West Aquarius Oil Rig.[10]

Technical details

There are slight difference between the BRP Pangasinan as compared to some of her sister ships in the Philippine Navy, since her previous configuration was as a patrol craft escort (PCE), while the others are configured as rescue patrol craft escort (PCER) and minesweepers (Admirable class) ships.[1]


Originally the ship was armed with one Mk.26 3"/50 caliber dual purpose gun, three twin Mk.1 Bofors 40 mm guns, four Mk.10 20 mm Oerlikon guns, 1 Hedgehog depth charge projector, four depth charge projectiles (K-guns) and two depth charge tracks.[11] This configuration applies before its overhaul in the early 1990s.

During its overhaul and refit in 1992,[4] the Philippine Navy removed her old anti-submarine weapons and systems, and made some changes in the armament set-up. Some sources claim the loss of its three Bofors 40mm cannons during the 1990-1991 overhaul and refit period,[1] but photos [1] at of 2009 show the Bofors guns still present, although in singles instead of twins. Final armaments fitted to the ship are one Mk.26 3"/50-caliber gun (fore), three single Bofors 40 mm cannons (aft), four Mk.10 Oerlikon 20 mm cannons (2 each on bridge wings), and four M2 Browning 12.7 mm/50 caliber machine guns (2 besides main bridge, 2 aft near the ship's end). This made the ship lighter and ideal for surface patrols, but losing her limited anti-submarine warfare capability.[1]


Also during the refit the ship's SPS-21D surface search radar[4] and RCA SPN-18 navigation radar[4] was replaced by a Raytheon AN/SPS-64(V)11 surface search and navigation radar system.[1] Later modifications included the installation of long range and satellite communications systems, and GPS system standard to all Philippine Navy ships.


The ship is powered by two GM 12-278A diesel engines, with a combined rating of around 2,200 bhp (1,600 kW) driving two propellers. The main engines can propel the 914 tons (full load) ship to a maximum speed of around 16 knots (30 km/h).[12]

Notable Popular Culture

  • BRP Cebu was the ship escorting a fictional Philippine Navy Whidbey Island-class LSD BRP Cagayan de Oro during a mission to reclaim the Mischief Reef from the Chinese in the 1997 novel Dragon Strike - The Millennium War by Humphrey Hawksley and Simon Holberton. In the said novel, the mission failed as Chinese Su-27s sank the Cagayan de Oro, and Chinese forces repulsed the attacks of the Philippine Marines to retake the reef. This resulted to the total withdrawal of the Philippines from the South China Sea war against China.[13]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 PS Miguel Malvar Class
  2. Manokski's Armed Forces of the Philippines Order of Battle. Philippine Navy.
  3. Philippine Navy Information Manual 1995 - Adoption of Pilipino Translation of "Bapor ng Republika ng Pilipinas"
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Saunders, Stephen: Jane's Fighting Ships 107th Edition 2004-2005. Jane's Information Group Ltd, 2004.
  5. "Navy pays tribute to the Ideals of Excellence". Philippine Navy Naval Public Affairs Office. 2009. Retrieved 2011-11-23.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Philippine Fleet Official Website. Commissioned ships and crafts.
  7. Adams, W.W. "USS PCE 881 Thanksgiving Menu". November 1944.
  8. De Leon, Bernardo Jr. "Coast Defense Exercise Ends", Manila Times. 21 March 1958.
  9. Ferry Capsized in Romblon Stormy Sea: 929 Dead, Missing.
  10. "NFWM secures Oil Rig in Southern Sulu Seas". Philippine Navy - Naval Forces Western Mindanao. 2010. Retrieved 2011-11-23.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. NavSource Online: Patrol Craft Escort Photo Archive. PCE-881.
  12. DLSU N-ROTC Office. Naming and Code Designation of PN Vessels.
  13. Hawksley, Humphrey; Holberton, Simon (1997). Dragon Strike - The Millennium War ISBN 0-330-35036-6

External links