Navy chief: COVID-19 outbreak may delay frigate delivery
MANILA, Philippines — Navy chief Vice Adm. Giovanni Carlo Bacordo said Sunday he sees a possible delay in the delivery of the BRP Jose Rizal (FF-150) missile-capable frigate from South Korea due to coronavirus threat.
“This is not official yet, but we expect that there will be some delays in the delivery of BRP Jose Rizal,” he told reporters.
One of the reasons why he expects a potential delay was due to travel restrictions caused by the pandemic.
“How can the Technical Inspection and Acceptance Committee (TIAC) go to South Korea when all the incoming visitors are required to undergo a 14-day quarantine before they can conduct business?” he said.
“If you are a TIAC member and will go there for three days, you have to be in quarantine for two weeks. How can you do that?” he said.
The Navy earlier announced that they were expecting the ship to be brought to the Philippines by the end of April.
The training for the use of weapons and sensors for the ship’s crew would now take place in the Philippines after the ship’s delivery because the manufacturers from other countries could no longer come to South Korea, Bacordo said.
“Part of the contract says they are supposed to conduct trainings for the ship’s crew. But they can no longer send their personnel to South Korea, so it was decided that after the ship’s delivery, they will come here to conduct the trainings,” he said.
The Philippine government signed a deal with Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) for the construction of two frigates for P16 billion in 2016.
The second ship, the BRP Antonio Luna (FF-151), is slated for a September 2020 delivery.
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