South Korean firm bags PHL frigate upgrade deal

A South Korean defense manufacturer has won the contract for the Philippine Navy’s Del Pilar Class Frigate Upgrade Project to beef up the ship’s electronic capabilities and patrolling operations, the Department of National Defense said on Friday.

Based on the Notice of Award posted on DND’s official website, the project will be awarded to Hanwha Systems Co., Ltd.

“This is to inform you that the proposal of Hanwha Systems Co., Ltd. for the Del Pilar Class Frigate Upgrade Acquisition Project of the Philippine Navy, with a corresponding contract price of one billion three hundred four million two hundred thousand pesos (PHP1,304,200,000) is hereby accepted,” DND Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said in the NOA addressed company representative Kim Baeknyun.

The project has an approved budget of PHP1.5 billion which will be sourced from the Armed Forces of the Philippine Modernization Trust Fund.

The upgrade seeks to enhance the ships’ combat management systems, electronic support and sonar capability to make it capable of operating with incoming and more modern naval assets like the two Jose Rizal-class missile frigates being completed by Hyundai Heavy Industries in South Korea.

The Del Pilar-class ships are three former US Coast Guard Hamilton-class cutters and converted into frigates and then offshore patrol vessels.

These vessels are the BRP Gregorio Del Pilar (PS-15), BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PS-16) and the BRP Andres Bonifacio (PS-17).

These ships have a gross tonnage of 3,250 tons, a length of 378 feet, beam of 43 feet, and draft of 15 feet while its propulsion systems consist of two diesel engines and two gas turbine engines, giving it a top speed of 29 knots.

These vessels have a cruising range of 14,000 miles and have a sea and loiter time of 45 days and armed with a 76mm Oto Melara automatic cannon, 25mm and 20mm light cannons and .50 caliber machineguns. PNA.GOV.PH