S. Korea shipbuilder cuts steel for PH Navy’s 2nd guided-missile frigate
South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries has held a steel cutting ceremony for the Philippine Navy’s second guided-missile frigate (P160) on Monday.
A ceremony was held at the Shin Hwa Tech in Pohang City, South Korea, the Philippine Navy said in a news release on Wednesday.
The Navy delegation was led by Capt. Sergio Bartolome. The HHI project manager and staff, as well as representatives from Lloyds Shipping Center and Shin Hwa were also present at the ceremony.
The keel-laying of the first frigate (P159) will be held on October 16. It is expected to be delivered in 2020, while the second would be in 2021.
The purchase for the P18-billion controversial frigates was put on the spotlight after then Navy chief Vice Admiral Ronald Mercado was sacked for allegedly delaying the project.
Mercado reportedly insisted on the use of a specific brand of combat management systems (CMS), the Tacticos Thales, which passed the Navy’s technical specifications and standards for the frigates.
Lorenzana dismissed Mercado for his supposed “insubordination.” The selected supplier for CMS for the frigate was Hanwha Systems, which Mercado opposed because it was supposedly not the original choice of the Navy.
The contract for the two frigates was awarded to Hyundai Heavy Industries in October 2016. /kga
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