PH Navy’s first missile-capable frigate to start sea trials
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Navy has announced that its first missile-capable frigate, the future BRP Jose Rizal (FF-150), will start its sea trials in South Korea.
The series of tests will be conducted by the crew of Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) from November 23 to 27 around Ulsan, Busan and Mokpo, said Lcdr. Ma. Christina Roxas, acting director of the Naval public affairs office.
Representatives from Lloyd Registry will witness the activity to ensure that the ship’s construction has met the required standards, she said.
For the Navy, the event means it is now “inching closer to its dream of acquiring highly capable warships.”
To recall, the Philippine government signed a deal with HHI for the construction of two frigates for P16 billion in 2016. The project started to attract public interest in late 2017 due to disagreements over the systems to be installed in the warships.
The first of two Jose Rizal-class frigates built by HHI is now in the last phase of construction. It is expected to join the Philippine Navy in April or May next year.
The second ship, the future BRP Antonio Luna (FF-151), is slated for a September 2020 delivery.
The brand new warships are regarded as the “benchmark of Philippine Navy’s transformation journey,” past controversies surrounding the project notwithstanding.
The upcoming assets will be the Navy’s most advanced warships. The BRP Conrado Yap (PS-39), a hand-me-down Pohang-class corvette from South Korea, is currently being touted as the Navy’s “most powerful” warship in the fleet.
The Navy is looking to acquire two brand new corvettes, two Pohang-class frigates, six offshore patrol vessels, eight fast attack interdiction craft with missiles and two landing docks in the next few years to further bolster the security of the archipelago.
Edited by KGA
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