USS Cyclone PC-1 led a short life in service with the United States Navy - since passed on to the navy of the Philippines where she continues as BRP Mariano Alvarez.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited:
Credit: Image from the United States Department of Defense imagery database.
USS Cyclone (PC-1) was developed as a coastal patrol craft for supporting general close-to-shore work and supporting special forces missions. Though a promising design when commissioned in August of 1993 and completed with an inherently broad set of capabilities, the vessel found itself too large for true special ops service and, at the same time, too small for true "deep water" naval service. This led to her decommissioning as soon as February 2000 and being passed on to the United States Coast Guard service (2000-2004) prior to her service in the Philippine Navy for counter-terrorism work (2004-Present).
The Cyclone possessed good inherent speed, maneuverability and firepower that was seemingly unmatched for a ship of this type when it came online. She served as the lead ship of the Cyclone-class and was further used as an important test-bed of sorts prior to the introduction of the remaining class vessels.
Installed power became 4 x Paxman marine diesels driving 4 x shafts under stern through 14,400 horsepower, allowing for maximum speeds reaching 35 knots. Her typical crew complement was 36 personnel made up largely of enlisted personnel (24), four officers and up to eight special forces operatives. Sensor capabilities revolved around the then-powerful Sperry "Vision" 2100M integrated combat and navigation system. Armament consisted of 1 x Mk 96 cannon, 1 x Mk 38 25mm Bushmaster chain gun, several 40mm Automatic Grenade Launchers (AGLs) and 12.7mm Heavy Machine Guns (HMGs) installed on pintle mounts. At least 6 x FIM-92 "Stinger" man-portable, shoulder-fired, short-range surface-to-air missile systems were packed away - ready to be called on.
The profile of the USS Cyclone was dominated by the forward superstructure with two other structures seen at midship and aft. A series of catwalks connected the three vital operating areas. The primary gun system was mounted in a position on the bow ("A" position) and a communications/sensor mast lay atop the main superstructure. The stern section held special forces rubber raiding crafts as needed.
The USS Cyclone was ordered on August 1st, 1990 and laid down on June 22nd 1991. She was launched on February 1st, 1992 and officially commissioned on August 7th, 1993.
She currently (2016) serves the Philippine Navy as BRP Mariano Alvarez (PS-38).
Ship Class [ Cyclone-class ] Ships-in-Class [ 14 ] : USS Cyclone (PC-1); USS Tempest (PC-2); USS Hurricane (PC-3); USS Monsoon (PC-4); USS Typhoon (PC-5); USS Sirocco (PC-6); USS Squall (PC-7); USS Zephyr (PC-8); USS Chinook (PC-9); USS Firebolt (PC-10); USS Whirlwind (PC-11); USS Thunderbolt (PC-12); USS Shaml (PC-13); USS Tornado (PC-14)
Philippines (as BRP Mariano Alvarec PS-38); United States (transferred)
- Blue Water Operations
- Fleet Support
- Specialized / Utility
- Special Forces Support
175 ft (53.34 m)
Width / Beam:
25 ft (7.62 m)
Height / Draught:
7.5 ft (2.29 m)
4 x Paxman marine diesel engines developing 14,400 horsepower to 4 x Shafts.
35 kts (40 mph)
2,298 nm (2,645 miles; 4,257 km)
1 x 25mm Mk 96 cannon with integrated 1 x 40mm Automatic Grenade Launcher (AGL).
1 x 25mm Mk 38 Bushmaster chaingun
4 x 40mm Mk 19 grenade launchers OR 12.7mm machine guns
6 x FIM-92 "Stinger" man-portable, shoulder-fired short-range Surface-to-Air Missiles (SAMs) (as carried).
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