Spanish firm Expal Systems S.A. was named the winning supplier for the ammunition of the Oto Melara 76mm Rapid Gun arming the two Jose Rizal-class missile frigates now undergoing construction by South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries.
“This is to inform you that the proposal of Expal Systems S.A .for the Frigate Acquisition Project Lot 2C Sublot-1 (76mm Ammunition) of the Philippine Navy, with a corresponding contract price in the amount of PHP63,389,708 is hereby accepted,” Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said in the Notice of Award posted at the Department of National Defense website.
The project has an approved budget of PHP77,536,964. Aside from Expal Systems S.A., another firm, the Joint Venture of Elbit Systems Land and C41, Ltd. and IMI Systems Ltd, participated.
Earlier, the PN said the Oto Melara 76mm Rapid Gun was selected for the Jose Rizal-class frigates due to its high rate of fire and its ability to shoot down air targets like missiles.
“It (the gun) is capable of intercepting air targets to include missiles using special munitions,” Navy spokesperson Captain Jonathan Zata quoting Offshore Combat Force head, Commodore Caesar Bernard Valencia, said.
Also, the Rapid Gun has a faster rate of fire, around 120 rounds per minute, compared to the current 76mm guns in the PN inventory which is only 80 rounds per minute. These slower firing 76mm guns are fitted to the three Del Pilar-class offshore patrol vessels and three Jacinto-class patrol vessels.
And having the Super Rapid Gun fitted to BRP Jose Rizal (FF-150) and the BRP Antonio Luna (FF-151) is ideal as PN personnel are already trained in the maintenance of 76mm guns and compatible with the current munition inventory.
“[And the Super Rapid Gun is] within Approved Budget Contract for the [frigates’ weapons systems],” Zata said. PNA