PH Navy’s brand new frigate to arrive May 23

JC Gotinga

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PH Navy’s brand new frigate to arrive May 23
The BRP Jose Rizal will be the most powerful, first ever missile-capable warship in the Philippine Fleet

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Navy’s first brand new frigate will arrive in the Philippines on May 23, Vice Admiral Giovanni Carlo Bacordo, the navy’s Flag Officer-in-Command, said on Friday, May 15.

The BRP Jose Rizal will pull out of its manufacturer’s shipyard in Ulsan, South Korea, on Monday, May 18, and sail to the Philippines. It is expected to dock in Subic Bay the following Saturday, for the official acceptance and a technical inspection by the Navy.

Equipped with missiles, torpedoes, and other weapon systems, the 107-meter long vessel is capable of anti-surface, anti-air, anti-submarine, and electronic warfare. It has a maximum speed of 25 knots, and can stay out at sea for up to 30 days straight.

“This will be our biggest and first brand new fighting ship,” Bacordo said in an interview on DZRH radio. “This is the first time that we will have this kind of vessel in our Philippine Navy.” 

Worth P8 billion, the BRP Jose Rizal will be the most powerful and lethal of the Navy’s warships. It is the first of so far two warships of its class in the Philippine Fleet. The second frigate, the BRP Antonio Luna, is expected to be delivered to the Philippines in September.

Both frigates are manufactured by Hyundai Heavy Industries in South Korea.

The arrival of the frigates will upgrade the Navy’s defense capabilities, and will mark a milestone in the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ modernization program.

Until the BRP Jose Rizal arrives and is commissioned, the Navy’s most capable warship is the corvette BRP Conrado Yap, an updated and refurbished hand-me-down from the South Korean navy.

The Philippines lags behind other naval countries in the Asia Pacific region. It faces a maritime security threat from China, which has virtually moved into the West Philippine Sea through its reclaimed islands and fleets of coast guards, maritime militias, and even occasional warships.

The Navy is racing to build a credible defense posture to provide a deterrent against China’s expansionism, and to fend off pirates and extremists along the Philippines’ southern maritime borders.

The BRP Jose Rizal’s arrival coincides with the Navy’s 122nd anniversary on May 20, and marks a year since it was first placed on the water on May 23, 2019. –

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JC Gotinga

JC Gotinga often reports about the West Philippine Sea, the communist insurgency, and terrorism as he covers national defense and security for Rappler. He enjoys telling stories about his hometown, Pasig City. JC has worked with Al Jazeera, CNN Philippines, News5, and CBN Asia.