BRP Conrado Yap (PS-39), the former South Korean “Pohang”-class corvette “Chungju”, is the most heavily-armed and powerful surface combatant of the Philippine Navy (PN) to date, an official said on Monday.
Philippine Fleet commander, Rear Admiral Giovanni Bacordo, said the ship is armed with two 76mm Oto Melara automatic guns, two Oto Breda 40mm light cannons, and two triple torpedo tubes, making it capable of dealing with surface, sub-surface and air threats.
Bacordo added that the BRP Conrado Yap will boost the PN’s anti-submarine capabilities, which were activated by the arrival of the two AgustaWestland (now Leonardo) AW-159 anti-submarine helicopters last May.
He said the ship will be installed with additional systems before being deployed for patrol missions to allow it to communicate with other PN vessels.
The corvette and its escort, the BRP Davao Del Sur (LD-602), arrived in Manila South Harbor early Sunday morning. Both left Jinhae Naval Base in Changwon City, South Korea last August 12.
The BRP Davao Del Sur participated in Russian Navy Day activities off Vladivostok, Russia before arriving in South Korea early this month to pick up the BRP Conrado Yap, which is manned by 100 naval personnel headed by Captain Marco Buena. It was formally turned over to the PN last August 5.
The ship measures 88.3 meters long, with a beam of 10 meters and draft of 2.9 meters with displacement at 1,216 tons full load and is rated for a crew of 118 personnel and can sustain operational presence for 20 days.
BRP Conrado Yap’s combined diesel or gas propulsion configuration of motor transport unit diesel engines and LM2500 gas turbine with controllable pitch propellers enable the ship to move to a maximum speed up to 32 knots to a distance of 4,000 nautical miles.
Meanwhile, the country’s first purposely built missile-frigate, the BRP Jose Rizal (FF-150), is expected to be delivered by April 2020. Its sister-ship, the BRP Antonio Luna, was promised to be delivered to the Philippines by September of the same year by HHI. PNA