MANILA, Philippines – The frigates acquisition project of the Philippine Navy took a significant step forward with the approval of design drawings for the two multibillion-peso warships the military is acquiring.
Ousted Philippine Navy chief Vice Admiral Ronald Mercado was earlier accused of delaying the project. He opposed a decision by South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) on the combat management system of the frigates.
The Technical Inspection and Acceptance Committee (TIAC) approved the Critical Design Review (CDR) of the frigates project on March 23, according to a recent Philippine Navy press release.
The TIAC, led by Commodore Alberto Carlos, accepted 71 design drawings submitted by HHI.
"The TIAC acceptance marks a significant step forward and a major milestone for the said project," the Navy said.
HHI will follow the drawings when it builds the ships.
"The next significant milestone will now be the ceremonial steel cutting which will likely be held on April 30, 2018 at HHI Complex, Ulsan, South Korea to be attended by a delegation from [the] Department of National Defense or the Philippine Navy to mark this important milestone," the Navy said.
The two frigates are expected to be delivered in 2020.
The Philippines is not interested in buying more frigates after the delivery of two 107-meter-long vessels from South Korea. The small archipelagic country will instead acquire smaller vessels, said Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana. – Rappler.com