Navy's first missile armed frigate launched in South Korea
The Philippine Navy's (PN) first missile armed frigate was formally launched in a ceremony in South Korea on Thursday.
Capt. Jonathan Zata, Philippine Navy spokesman said the first of the two units of multi-mission capable frigate of the Philippine Navy was launched or transferred to the water for the first time during a ceremony at Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) shipyard in Ulsan.
"The 351 by 46-feet frigate will be delivered to the Philippines by latter part of 2020 and will be christened BRP Jose Rizal once it enters service with the Philippine Navy," he said.
"The two frigates will be the first-ever warships of the Philippine Navy that are capable of conducting Anti-Air Warfare, Anti-Surface Warfare, Anti-Submarine Warfare and Electronic Warfare operations," he noted.
"These ships are fully equipped with surface-to-air and surface-to-surface missiles, torpedoes, launchers and weapon systems for four-dimensional warfare," he added.
Zata said the ceremony was also witnessed by Navy Chief Vice Adm. Robert Empedrad along with AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Benjamin Madrigal Jr. and Defense Undersecretary for Finance and Materiel Raymundo
"They were accompanied by the Philippine Fleet Commander Rear Adm. Giovanni Carlo Bacordo, the deputy chief of staff for Logistics Major Gen. Pio Diñoso III and Technical Inspection and Acceptance Committee Chairman Commo. Alberto Carlos," he said.
Zata said the ceremony also includes keel laying which marked the start of the construction of the second frigate for the Philippine Navy.
"The ceremony marked the keel laying or the formal start of construction of the second frigate (BRP Antonio Luna) which is expected to be acquired in the first quarter of 2021," he said.
Zata said "the construction of two brand new 2,600-ton frigates was made possible by the Frigate Acquisition Project (FAP) for the PN with an approved budget of approximately 16 billion pesos sourced from the AFP Modernization Act Trust Fund."
"It is a big-ticket modernization program that will enable the PN to be at par with modern warships of other countries," he said.
"The activity was a tangible indication that the PN’s desire of acquiring state-of-the-art and highly capable warships is soon within reach," he stated.
"It further provides leverage for the Navy’s bid of becoming stronger and more credible force that the Philippines as a maritime nation can be proud of," he added. Robina Asido/DMS