Chinese Navy ship showed 'hostile intent' in February incident with BRP Conrado Yap -WESCOM

Chinese Navy ship showed 'hostile intent' in February incident with BRP Conrado Yap -WESCOM

Western Command in Palawan confirmed that a Chinese ship had aimed its gun control director—a computer that calculates firing solutions—at a Philippine Navy anti-submarine corvette BRP Conrado Yap (PS39) in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) in February. 

WESCOM issued the statement after the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said that Philippines had sent China two diplomatic protests, one of which includes the incident concerning BRP Conrado Yap.

Vice Admiral Rene Medina, commander of WesCom and of Joint Task Force West (JTFW) said that the ship sailed out of Puerto Princesa City on February 15 to conduct Territorial Defense Operations and sovereignty patrol at Malampaya Natural Gas to Power Project (MNGPP) and in the Kalayaan Island Group in the West Philippine Sea.
BRP Conrado Yap (PS- 39), a former South Korean Navy ship, is the Philippine Navy's newest and most powerful ship.
(photo credit to Philstar)

On February 17, the Conrado Yap detected a radar contact of a gray-colored vessel while sailing to Rizal Reef Detachment. Gray hulls usually denote military ships.
Medina said PS39 issued a radio challenge to the gray ship, which he said responded that "the Chinese government has indisputable sovereignty over the South China Sea, its islands and its adjacent waters."
He said the BRP Conrado Yap again challenged the vessel, which then "repeated its response and maintained her course and speed."

"From there, PS39 was able to visually observe that the gun control director, an equipment that gives information in obtaining a fire control solution, of said PLAN vessel was directed towards PS39," Medina said, citing the incident report.
Medina explains that the gun control director can be used to designate and track targets and prepare main guns to fire.
"The PS39 has no electronic countermeasures and cannot readily say the intent but...that was our assessment. Why would move you the gun director towards the target? So there was really an intent," Medina said.
"While PS39 does not have the Electronic Support Measures (ESM) to confirm that PLAN gun control director was directed towards her, visual identification confirms this hostile intent," he also said.

Such actions of the Chinese navy vessel is described as hostile and a clear encroachment on the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and its sovereignty.
The PN’s ship continued to challenge the PLAN ship with a bow number 514 diplomatically and that both vessels continued sailing after the incident.

"The Western Command, as the AFP's primary unit in the West Philippine Sea, will continue to perform its duty and will never be intimidated nor let our guards down in protecting the sovereignty and integrity of the Philippines and will support any future capability upgrade of our ships patrolling our Philippine Waters," Vice Admiral Rene Medina added. 

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Report from Philstar

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