Fact checks on militaries

FACT CHECK: USS Philippine Sea in service with US Navy, not PH


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FACT CHECK: USS Philippine Sea in service with US Navy, not PH
Ships commissioned into the Philippine Navy use the prefix BRP or ‘Barko ng Republika ng Pilipinas’

Claim: The USS Philippine Sea is a commissioned ship of the Philippine Navy.

Rating: FALSE

Why we fact-checked this: The YouTube video bearing the claim was posted on June 24 by a channel with 1.05 million subscribers. As of writing, it has 535,468 views, 7,800 likes, and 2,638 comments.

The video discusses a study on China’s simulation tests for its Fire Dragon 480 tactical ballistic missile, which is reportedly capable of destroying US Ticonderoga-class cruisers. The narrator then says: “Samantala, kung ito naman ay itatama sa mga malalaking barko kagaya ng USS Philippine Sea, anim na missiles lang din ang kailangang itira ng China upang tuluyang masira ang warship na pagmamay-ari ng Pilipinas.”

(Meanwhile, if these missiles are ever targeted towards ships like the USS Philippine Sea, China would only need to fire six missiles to totally destroy the warship owned by the Philippines.)

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The bottom line: The USS Philippine Sea (CG 58) is a Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser on active commission with the US Navy, not the Philippine Navy.

The vessel is named after the World War II Battle of the Philippine Sea between American and Japanese naval forces in June 1944.

Ships commissioned into the Philippine Navy bear the prefix “BRP” or “Barko ng Republika ng Pilipinas.” The “USS” or “United States Ship” prefix is used for commissioned ships of the US Navy.

The video references reports on a study by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) claiming that China’s Fire Dragon 480 missile can sink a US Ticonderoga-class cruiser patrolling the Red Sea. A June 21 article from The EurAsian Times mentions the USS Philippine Sea as the type of ship targeted in the PLA’s simulation drills. The article does not mention any Philippine ship being involved in the Chinese missile simulation.


US Ticonderoga-class cruisers: The USS Philippine Sea was part of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group deployed to patrol the Middle East. As of June 17, the USS Philippine Sea is homeported at the Naval Station Norfolk.

The guided-missile cruisers are the US Navy’s longest-serving class of warships. To keep them in service, the US Navy undertook a massive program to modernize its fleet of cruisers, but soaring costs have prompted plans to retire all the remaining cruisers in the next five years.

Tensions with China: By falsely mentioning the USS Philippine Sea as a Philippine commissioned vessel in the context of China’s missile simulation study, the video alludes to ongoing tensions and Beijing’s growing aggression in the South China Sea.

Several countries, including the US, have expressed support for the Philippines’ sovereign claims following the 2016 arbitral ruling rejecting China’s sweeping claims over the South China Sea.

Rappler has already published several fact-checks about China and the South China Sea issues:

– Kyle Marcelino/Rappler.com

Kyle Marcelino is a graduate of Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program. This fact check was reviewed by a member of Rappler’s research team and a senior editor. Learn more about Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program here.

Keep us aware of suspicious Facebook pages, groups, accounts, websites, articles, or photos in your network by contacting us at factcheck@rappler.com. You may also report dubious claims to the #FactsFirstPH tipline by messaging Rappler on Facebook or Newsbreak via Twitter direct message. You may also report through our Viber fact check chatbot. Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time.

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