|Arthur Dominic Villasanta |||Oct 30, 2016 11:15 AM EDT|
(Photo : HHI) Philippine Navy frigate to be built by South Korea (illustration).
The Philippine Navy has contracted the world's largest shipbuilder to build its first ever missile armed warships whose mission will be to deny China access to its territorial waters.
The Philippine government recently a $311 million deal with Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), the world's largest shipbuilding company, to build two "Incheon-class frigates". This deal is the most expensive defense acquisition undertaken by the Philippine Navy.
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The first of the frigates will be delivered by 2020.
The deal was initiated by the previous Philippine president, Benigno Simeon Aquino III (an implacable foe of Chinese hegemonism) with the aim of establishing a "minimum credible defense" in the face of Chinese aggression in the South China Sea.
Aquino's successor, Rodrigo Duterte, has proven himself a stooge of Beijing and isn't expected to sign any more military deals that will anger his Chinese masters.
"The acquisition of the two brand new and modern Frigates serves as a 'big step' in realizing a once a dream of a world class and well equipped Philippine Navy, capable and credible in protecting its people, and the sovereignty of the land and the interest of its national territory," said Navy Public Affairs Office director Captain Lued Lincuna.
"Most importantly, this marks the entry of the PN (Philippine Navy) into its quest to be a strong and credible navy by year 2020."
The frigates, which can be armed with missiles, torpedoes, guns and electronic sensors controlled by the latest combat management system, are capable of conducting Anti-Air Warfare, Anti-Surface Warfare, Anti-Submarine Warfare and Electronic Warfare.
The Incheon-class frigates, which also arm the Republic of Korea Navy, are designed for multi-role operations such as coast patrol, anti-submarine warfare and transport support.
The frigates to be built for the Philippine Navy have an overall length of 107 meters; a standard displacement of 2,600 metric tons and an operational survivability up to Sea State 5.
The warship will feature a combined diesel and diesel (CODAD) propulsion system, and feature a maximum speed of 46 km/h. It has a standard range of 8,300 kilometers (4,500 nautical miles) at 28 km/h.
HHI said the Philippine frigates will be "heavily armed with missiles, torpedo, guns and sensors", and that they will be capable of anti-air, anti-surface, anti-submarine and electronic warfare.
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