PH Navy’s 1st missile-capable warship enters active service
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Navy’s first missile-capable frigate will be officially christened and put in active service as BRP Jose Rizal (FF150) on the national hero’s birthday on June 19.
According to Navy public affairs office acting director Lt. Cmdr. Maria Christina Roxas, the brand new ship arrived in Subic Bay, Zambales, on Saturday, after a five-day voyage from Ulsan, South Korea, where the vessel was built.
The vessel reached Philippine waters on May 21, exchanging signals with BRP Quezon (PS70) stationed in Mavulis Island, and was met the next day by three Navy patrol boats off Bolinao, Pangasinan.
Roxas said patrol ship BRP Andres Bonifacio escorted the Navy’s newest sea asset to the designated anchorage area as soon as the ship reached the vicinity of Sta. Cruz, Zambales.
“Frigate Jose Rizal was accorded the traditional passing honors with PS17 and three multipurpose assault crafts,” the Navy PAO (Public Affairs office) acting director said as soon as the vessel reached Subic Bay on Saturday. “The momentous event was captured during the fly-by of two naval helicopters, the AgustaWestland antisubmarine helicopters AW159 and AW109.”
Offshore combat force commander Commodore Karl Decapia said the frigate was “capable of fighting the four dimensions of warfare,” referring to antiair, antisurface, antisubmarine, and electronic warfare.
Roxas said the crew of BRP Jose Rizal would undergo a two-week quarantine period as part of government-imposed health protocols to stop the spread of the new coronavirus disease before technical inspection and acceptance of the vessel is conducted.
Malacañang on Sunday said the soon-to-be christened BRP Jose Rizal was a “breakthrough” in the transformation of the Philippine Navy as a “strong and credible maritime force.”
“The arrival of the country’s most advanced warship, delivered during this administration, is a testament to the President’s commitment to modernize our armed forces,” said presidential spokesperson Harry Roque in a statement on Sunday.
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