Philippines strongly considering South Korea’s new corvette offer

HHI's HDF-2500 frigate design, which is the basis of the PN's Jose Rizal-class frigates, and could be used also as basis for the PN's future corvettes. Photo c/o Wikimedia Commons.

The Philippines’ Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana confirmed that the country would probably order two (2) brand new corvettes worth Php28 bilion (US$538 million) from South Korea.

Sec. Lorenzana mentioned that an offer made by South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) was among those approved by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte in a command conference last May 2019, and negotiations are ongoing between the shipbuilder and the Department of National Defense (DND).

Also being negotiated is a financing option with the South Korean government, which would allow the DND to pay the corvettes in installments of up to more than 8 to 10 years.

According to Sec. Lorenzana, it was recommended by the Philippine Navy (PN) to acquire the corvettes from HHI since the shipbuilder is already building two new light frigates for the PN, which are expected for delivery starting early or mid 2020. This would allow commonality and compatibility in terms of equipment, logistics, training and maintenance.

Prior to this decision, HHI was competing with offers from French, German, Israeli, Indian, and Turkish shipbuilders.

Filipino defense page MaxDefense Philippines previously mentioned that the new corvettes are part of the Horizon 2 phase of the PN’s modernization program covering years 2019 to 2023, and are expected to be better equipped and armed than the upcoming Jose Rizal-class frigates. MaxDefense pointed out that compared to the Jose Rizal-class frigates, the new corvettes are expected to have a more powerfu AESA 3D air/surface surveillance radar, towed array sonar, and will come with a vertical launching system (VLS) and close-in weapon system (CIWS) already in place. It would also have a more anti-ship missiles, and will feature improvements learned from the construction of the Jose Rizal-class.

The ships are expected to be ordered within the year, and could be delivered to the Philippine Navy by 2023.

[1] Philippine Daily Inquirer 
[2] GMA News
[3] MaxDefense Philippines

Philippines strongly considering South Korea’s new corvette offer Philippines strongly considering South Korea’s new corvette offer Reviewed by Asia Pacific Defense Journal on August 24, 2019 Rating: 5

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