SUBIC, Philippines – The Philippines is adding a second major warship to its fleet to challenge China's massive territorial claims that Filipino officials say intrude in their country's potentially oil-rich seas.
President Benigno Aquino III led military and other officials Tuesday in receiving the 3,250-ton former U.S. Coast Guard cutter in ceremonies complete with a brass band and 21-cannon fire at the Subic Bay freeport.
The ship has been renamed as Philippine navy frigate BRP Ramon Alcaraz.
A part of the former U.S. naval base northwest of Manila will soon be turned into a Philippine military hub to shift its assets closer to the disputed islands in the South China Sea.
A 3,390-ton cutter also from the U.S. Coast Guard became the Philippine navy's biggest warship in 2011.