MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Navy’s first missile-ready warship arrived on Saturday, May 23, in Subic, Zambales.
It traveled 5 days from its manufacturer’s shipyard in Ulsan, South Korea.
The Navy said the BRP Jose Rizal (FF150) “is capable of fighting the 4 dimensions of warfare.”
The warship is equipped with missiles, torpedoes, and other weapon systems. Its 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.
The Philippines bought it for P8 billion and is said to be the most powerful and lethal of the Navy’s warships.
The Navy only has 2 warships so far in its fleet. The second frigate, the BRP Antonio Luna, is expected to be delivered to the Philippines in September.
Both are manufactured by Hyundai Heavy Industries in South Korea.
The warship’s technical inspection and acceptance will be done when the lockdown is lifted. An arrival and commissioning ceremony is initially set for June 19, the birth anniversary of the ship’s namesake Dr Jose Rizal.
“While at anchor, the sailing crew will undergo a two-week quarantine in adherence with the strict health protocols being implemented by the Philippine government to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said the Navy.
Philippines is behind other naval countries in the Asia-Pacific, but it faces one of the more imminent maritime threats in the region, as China continues to build structures on the disputed West Philippine Sea.
– With a report from JC Gotinga/Rappler.com
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