The arrival of the two missile-armed frigates, to be built by Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), is expected to greatly boost the Philippine Navy’s (PN) capability to protect its territorial waters.
“The two warships (upon delivery) will certainly enhance the capability of the PN to guard the Philippine maritime territory and its exclusive economic zone,” Navy spokesperson, Capt. Lued Lincuna, said Tuesday.
The two frigates, which are designed to be capable of engaging surface, subsurface, and air threats, and electronic warfare, are worth PHP18 billion including their weapons system and munitions.
They are expected to be delivered in 2020 and 2021. Earlier, Lincuna said that steel-cutting for the two ships is expected to start on April 30.
“The next significant milestone will now be the ceremonial steel cutting, which will likely be held on April 30 at the HHI Complex in Ulsan, South Korea, to be attended by a delegation from DND/PN (Department of National Defense/Philippine Navy) to mark this important milestone,” he said.
Steel cutting signals the official start of a vessel’s construction.
Earlier, a committee under the DND approved the Critical Design Review (CDR) of the Frigate Acquisition Project (FAP).
Lincuna said the Technical Inspection and Acceptance Committee (TIAC), headed by Commodore Alberto Carlos, approved the CDR of the project last March 23.
The CDR, handed to the TIAC last January, will serve as the shipbuilder’s “bible” while constructing the frigates.
Lincuna said the TIAC’s acceptance of the CDR marks a significant step forward and a milestone for the project, which consists of the approval of 71 critical detailed design drawings as submitted by HHI. These drawings shall be the basis of HHI to proceed with the project.
It can be recalled that on Oct. 24, 2016, the contract agreement for the FAP was signed by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana – as head of the procuring entity, and Kisun Chung, HHI owner and vice president.
The contract is for the construction of two new 2,600-ton frigates that are missile-capable and equipped with sensors and systems for modern naval warfare. PNA