The second multi-dimensional and missile-armed frigate of the Philippine Navy (PN) was formally launched at the Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) shipyard in Bangeojinsunhwan-doro, Ulsan, South Korea.
Named after one of the Filipino revolutionary generals who fought and died during the Philippine-American War, BRP Antonio Luna (FF-151) completes the two-unit Frigate Acquisition Project of the PN.
The first ship, BRP Jose Rizal (FF-150), was launched last May and currently undergoing harbor trials and could be completed by the first quarter of 2020, said Navy public affairs office chief, Lt. Commander Maria Christina Roxas.
The delivery of BRP Jose Rizal is at the earliest April or May 2020 and BRP Antonio Luna in September or October 2020.
Philippine officials who witnessed the event were headed by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, together with Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief-of-Staff, Gen. Noel Clement, and Navy Flag -Officer- In Command (FOIC), Vice Adm. Robert Empedrad.
They were joined by former FOIC, retired Vice Adm. Ferdinand Golez; Commander of Naval Sea Systems Command, Rear Adm. Rommel Jason Galang; Naval Inspector General, Commodore Sean Anthony Villa; Philippine Fleet deputy Commander, Commodore Wilfredo Burgonio Jr.; and Offshore Combat Force commander, Captain Karl Decapia.
Also in attendance was the Korean representative from Minister of Defense Acquisition Wang Jung-Hong from the Defense Acquisition Program Administration, Republic of Korea (ROK).
Both ships are capable of engaging in the four dimensions of modern warfare, namely: Anti-Air Warfare (AAW), Anti-Surface Warfare (ASUW), Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) and Electronic Warfare (EW), and are fully equipped with Surface-to-Surface Missiles (SSM), Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM), and Torpedoes.
The primary gun is 76mm Super Rapid Gun while the secondary platform is a 30mm gun. It is also equipped with chaff dispensers and decoys as a defense against incoming missiles.
Roxas said the acquisition of these missile frigates will strengthen the Navy’s capability to safeguard our maritime nation and territorial limits.
The 2 missile-capable frigates are tangible manifestations and benchmarks of the PN’s vision of becoming a strong and credible naval force by 2020. (PNA)
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