Philippines signs up order for 6 new 94-meter offshore patrol vessels from South Korean shipbuilder


CGI of the new 2,400-ton OPV for the Philippine Navy from Hyundai Heavy Industries. Photo c/o Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering.

The Philippines Department of National Defense (DND) has signed a contract with Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) for the construction and delivery of six new offshore patrol vessels for the Philippine Navy (PN).

The contract signing, worth KRW744.9 billion (PHP30 billion / US$580 million) was held on 27 June 2022 in Manila, with Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and HHI Vice Chairman and Chief Operating Officer of Naval & Special Ship Business Unit Nam Sang-hoon, and in the presence of South Korean ambassador to the Philippines Kim In-cheol, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Gen. Andres Centino, PN Acting Flag Officer in Command Rear Admiral Caesar Valencia, and Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering (KSOE, parent company of HHI) President Ka Sang-hoon.

The acquisition of new offshore patrol vessels was among the priority projects of the Philippine Navy's modernization under its Horizon 2 phase, covering the years 2018 to 2022.

Based on the photo released by KSOE, the design was based on their HDP-1500 Neo OPV, but was enlarged to meet PN requirements.

The ship is said to have a displacement of 2,400 tons, a length of 94.4 meters, a width of 14.3 meters, a maximum speed of 22 knots, and a cruising speed of 15 knots, and a maximum range of 5,500 nautical miles.

The increase in size and performance is significant on the new ship design compared to the original HDP-1500 Neo OPV design which has a displacement of 1,700 tons, a length of 81 meters, a width of 13.1 meters, and a maximum speed of 21 knots.

It also appears to be armed with a 76mm main gun, a remote controlled weapon station carrying a 30mm secondary gun, and two MBDA Simbad-RC missile launchers for the MBDA Mistral short range surface-to-air missiles.

According to the DND, the contract includes technology transfer particularly on Human Engineering Operators and Training, Technical Publications, and Manual, as well as Design Ownership that allows the license manufacture of the OPV's design for exclusive use of the Philippine Government.

No dates were provided on the target delivery dates to the Philippine Navy although it was expected by defense analysts to have the first ship delivered by 2024.

The Offshore Patrol Vessel project of the Philippine Navy was originally earmarked for awarding to Australian shipbuilder Austal, but delays on the project increased the price of Austal's proposal. This prompted for the re-negotiation of the project with other shipbuilders including Turkey's ASFAT, Dutch shipbuilder Damen Group, and other shipbuilders from Thailand and India.

[1] Philippines Department of National Defense
[2] FN News Korea
[3] Philippine Defense Resource

Philippines signs up order for 6 new 94-meter offshore patrol vessels from South Korean shipbuilder Philippines signs up order for 6 new 94-meter offshore patrol vessels from South Korean shipbuilder Reviewed by Asia Pacific Defense Journal on June 28, 2022 Rating: 5

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