BRP Conrado Yap boosts PHL anti-submarine capability

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The arrival of the BRP Conrado Yap is a big boost to the Philippine Navy’s (PN) anti-submarine warfare capability that was activated with the arrival of two AgustaWestland (now Leonardo) 159 anti-submarine helicopters last May, an official said.

“The ship is (a) welcome addition to the Navy as it boosts our anti-submarine capability, which was initially being provided by the two AgustaWestland AW-159s (that arrived last May),” Philippine Fleet commander, Rear Adm. Giovanni Bacordo, said in an interview with reporters on Monday.

He was referring to the Conrado Yap that was formerly the South Korean “Pohang”-class corvette “Chungju”.

Pohang-class corvettes, especially those designated as Flight II, are optimized for anti-submarine warfare missions.

Aside from boosting the PN’s anti-submarine capabilities, Bacordo said the arrival of the Conrado Yap also enhances the navy’s abilities to neutralize surface and air threats.

For these missions, the ship is armed with two 76mm Oto Melara automatic guns, two Oto Breda 40mm light cannons, depth-charge racks, and two triple torpedo tubes and surveillance systems, such as radar and sonar.

The Conrado Yap was formally turned over and commissioned to the PN during short ceremonies at the Jinhae Naval Base in Changwon City, South Korea last August 5.

The corvette and her escort, the BRP Davao del Sur (LD-602), departed the South Korean facility last August 12 for their voyage home, which ended early morning of August 18.

The Conrado Yap is manned by 100 naval personnel, headed by Capt. Marco Buena.

The ship measures 88.3 meters long, with a beam of 10 meters and a draft of 2.9 meters, with displacement at 1,216 tons full load. It is rated for a crew of 118 personnel and can sustain operational presence for 20 days.

Its combined diesel or gas (CODOG) propulsion configuration of motor transport unit (MTU) diesel engines and LM2500 gas turbine with controllable pitch propellers (CPP) enable the ship to move at a maximum speed up to 32 knots to a distance of 4,000 nautical miles. PNA