New Jose Rizal-class frigate arrives in Philippines, for commissioning on June 2020

The frigate Jose Rizal. Photo c/o PN.

South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) delivered the first Jose Rizal-class frigate for the Philippine Navy (PN), with the ship departing HHI’s shipyard in Ulsan, South Korea on 18 May 2020, and arriving in Subic Port in the Philippines on 23 May 2020.

The ship, the Jose Rizal (FF-150), is expected to be the first guided-missile frigate of the PN.

HHI claims that the delivery took place 4 months earlier than scheduled, despite COVID-19 pandemic affecting the schedule. Further training of PN personnel under supervision by Korean technicians will continue in the Philippines, as part of the agreed arrangements between the PN and HHI.

According to the PN, the Jose Rizal was met at sea by air and naval assets of the PN, and escorted to Subic Bay where the ship is currently anchored while the crew of 61 PN officers and sailors, and more than 30 Korean technicians are undergoing quarantine as part of COVID-19 safety procedures.

The ship will then undergo technical and acceptance inspection by the PN, and is tentatively scheduled for commissioning with the PN’s Offshore Combat Force on 19 June 2020, which is the 159th birth anniversary of its name sake, Philippine national hero Dr. Jose Rizal.

Its sistership, the Antonio Luna, is scheduled for delivery before the end of the year. But there could be potential delays due to COVID-19 restrictions.

It was reported that HHI requested the delivery of the frigate to proceed despite not meeting the requirement of having the ship’s combat management system to be compatible with the Tactical Data Link-16. According to reports, the US Joint Interoperability Test Command (JITC) is yet to conduct conformity test with the Hanwha Systems Naval Shield Intergrated Combat Management System by 2021 after delays. 

The South Korean Ministry of National Defense (MND) has stepped up to provide guarantee to the Philippine Department of National Defense (DND) and PN that Link-16 compatibility is being pursued and will happen at a later date.

The Jose Rizal-class frigates are 107.5 meters long, and is powered by 4 diesel engines in Combined Diesel and Diesel (CODAD) configuration, attaining a maximum speed of over 25 knots, and a maximum range of 4,500 nautical miles at cruising speed.

It is armed with an Oto Melara 76mm Super Rapid gun, a 30mm gun on an Aselsan SMASH mount, two twin LIG Nex1 SSM-700K C-Star anti-ship missiles, two twin Simbad-RC launchers for MBDA Mistral short range air defense missiles, and two triple torpedo tubes. The ship has space for an 8-cell vertical launching system (VLS) which will be procured and installed separately.

[1] Philippine Fleet, Philippine Navy
[2] MaxDefense Philippines – Philippine Defense Resource
[3] Philippine Daily Inquirer

New Jose Rizal-class frigate arrives in Philippines, for commissioning on June 2020 New Jose Rizal-class frigate arrives in Philippines, for commissioning on June 2020 Reviewed by Asia Pacific Defense Journal on May 25, 2020 Rating: 5

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