The Philippine Navy’s (PN) first missile-capable frigate, BRP Jose Rizal (FF-150), will start its journey to the Philippines next week.
“The ship will set sail from South Korea on May 18 and arrive in Subic Bay on May 23, where it will first undergo technical inspection and acceptance,” said PN chief Vice Admiral Giovanni Carlo Bacordo in an interview with a radio station on Friday (May 15).
BRP Jose Rizal was supposed to be delivered in late April but it was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Its sister ship, BRP Antonio Luna (FF-151), is set for delivery before yearend.
The Philippine government signed a deal with Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) for the construction of two frigates in 2016. Controversy marred the selection of the combat management systems (CMS) for the two frigates in 2017. It remains to be seen whether or not the CMS is compatible with Link 16, one of the requirements set in the contract.
Although some issues floating around since the inspection by TIAC (Technical Inspection and Acceptance Committee) the delivery will be done in the Philippines. The CMS installed in the ship was Hanwha’s Naval Sheild Baseline 2 which is not compatible with link 16 yet, compatibility with link 16 is specified by PN for the ship for future installation, Hanwha is still working on it amir COVID-19 hardnesses.
According to the local press of the Philippines, the BRP Jose Rizal will be brought home by 60 Philippine Navy and 40 Korean crewmen.