The Philippine Navy has announced the arrival of its first missile-capable warship today in Subic, Zambales. She will be known as BRP Jose Rizal (FF150) when commissioned to Navy service. This is after its five day voyage from Ulsan, South Korea.
The Philippine Navy also gave highlights of future FF-150’s very first interactions with other Navy assets.
“Upon reaching the Philippine waters early morning of May 21, FF150 exchanged signals and communications through radio with BRP Quezon (PS70) that is currently deployed in Mavulis Island, Batanes,” the Navy said.
“On early morning of May 22, the Naval Forces Northern Luzon welcomed FF150 by rendering a meeting procedure with its first patrol boat division composed of three patrol boats at the vicinity of Bolinao, Pangasinan,” it added.
In the afternoon of May 22, BRP Andres Bonifacio (PS17) with one Augusta Westland (AW) 109 helicopter and C-90 Fixed Wing Aircraft conducted a meeting procedure with FF150 along the vicinity of Sta. Cruz, Zambales.
BRP Andres Bonifacio then escorted future BRP Jose Rizal to its designated anchorage area.
“Earlier today, frigate Jose Rizal was accorded the traditional passing honors with PS17 and three multipurpose assault crafts (MPACs). The momentous event was captured during the fly-by of two naval helicopters – the anti-submarine helicopter, AW159 and AW109,” the Navy added.
Navy’s Offshore Combat Force commander Commodore Karl Decapia presided the arrival of FF150. He said that the arrival of FF-150 signals the realization of a modern navy that is capable of imposing the Navy’s territorial defense mandate.
Commodore Decapia thanked Philippine government leadership for standing behind Philippine Navy modernization in pursuit of a credible and modern navy.
“We are one with the Filipino people in expressing our profound gratitude in bringing pride and honor to the Philippine Navy and the AFP,” Philippine Fleet commander Rear Adm. Loumer Bernabe said in a statement. “Our countrymen expect nothing less than the selfless and honorable service that we in the Fleet have sworn to uphold and protect. I enjoin everyone to sustain the momentum that you have gained and continue to aspire for competence and excellence.”
The Navy said the frigate’s sailing crew will undergo two-week quarantine in adherence to the strict health protocols being implemented by the Philippine government to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Technical Inspection and Acceptance of the frigate will start after the quarantine period.
The Navy noted that arrival and commissioning ceremony is scheduled to be conducted on June 19 coinciding with the birth anniversary of Dr. Jose Rizal, the ships namesake.