WATCH: PH Navy’s 1st brand new frigate on its way home from Korea
MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine Navy’s first brand new multi-role frigate, which would be christened BRP Jose Rizal (HHI), is on its way home to the Philippines.
The ship left South Korean shipbuilder’s Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) shipyard in Ulsan on Monday (May 19) and was expected to arrive at the Subic port in Zambales on May 23, the Philippine Navy said in a statement.
The ship’s crew will be on quarantine prior to technical inspection of the vessel and a low-key acceptance ceremony, the Navy statement said.
The ship is also bringing home medical supplies donated by HHI and Hanwha Systems. These included 20,000 masks, 180 barrels of disinfectant solution, 2,000 bottles of hand sanitizers and 300 packs of disinfectant wipes.
The BRP Jose Rizal is being skippered on its way to the Philippines by Hong Join Lee, a retired captain in the Korean navy who is now working in HHI. The ships is carrying 65 Philippine Navy men and 27 Korean crewmen.
The warship’s delivery was set in late April yet but it was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prior to delivery, the Jose Rizal went on a series of sea trials off the South Korean coast. The Philippine Navy said the vessel had passed the tests.
The 107.5-meter long frigate has a maximum designed speed of 25 knots and a cruising speed of 15 knots and a range of 4,500 nautical miles.
Inquirer.net obtained a two-minute drone video showing the ship leaving Korean waters as sailors manned its rails.
The Philippine government signed a deal with HHI for the construction of two frigates worth P16 billion in 2016.
The other ship built by HHI, the BRP Antonio Luna (FF-151), is set for delivery by September or October.
Controversy marred the selection of the combat management systems (CMS) for the two frigates in 2017. It remained to be seen whether the CMS is compatible with Link 16, one of the requirements set in the contract.
The Link 16 is a military network used by North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and allied forces to swap data in real time.
Edited by TSB
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