MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines is set to acquire one of the decommissioned Pohang-class corvettes of the Republic of Korea Navy, likely to be delivered within the year, to boost the country’s capability to patrol its vast waters.
“We have sent a letter to the government of South Korea expressing our intent to acquire one Pohang-class corvette. We are hoping to receive the vessel within the year,” said Arsenio Andolong, chief of the Department of National Defense Public Affairs Office.
The Pohang-class corvettes are patrol gunboat ships. Andolong said the type and configuration of the ship that the Philippines will acquire have yet to be determined.
“It will definitely enhance our capability to patrol our waters and perform counter terrorism missions,” Andolong said.
The Philippines will pay a token fee of $100 for the vessel, but it will have to shoulder the refurbishing of the decommisioned vessel. It’s an arrangement similar to the country’s acquisition of 3 former US Coast Guard ships. The refurbishing cost is not yet known.
“The transfer will be in the form of a donation. However, we will pay a token fee of $100,” Andolong said.
South Korea had offered to donate the vessel to the Philippine Navy in 2014 and its arrival had been highly anticipated.
China back then protested the offer.
South Korean companies won big-ticket projects in the Philippine’s bid to modernize its military.
Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) provided the Philippine Air Force’s soon-to-be-completed squadron of brand new 12 FA-50 fighter jets while Hyundai won the contract to build 2 brand new frigates for the Philippine Navy.
Both projects cost about P18 billion each. – Rappler.com