The ceremonial steel cutting for the two missile-armed frigates, which is under contract with South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), is expected to take place 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,” Navy spokesperson, Capt. Lued Lincuna, said Thursday.
Steel cutting signals the official start of a vessel’s construction.
The two frigates are capable of engaging air, surface and sub-surface threats. Including their weapons system and munitions, the vessels have a budget of PHP18 billion.
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 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, 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