MANILA — Discussions are ongoing to determine what equipment and major systems are to be installed in two of the country’s first-ever missile-capable frigates, Philippine Navy (PN) flag-officer-in-command Vice Admiral Ronald Joseph Mercado said.
“The frigate project is now on the planning stage. Discussions are ongoing to agree on equipment and major systems to be installed. After this, construction will start,” Mercado said in a text message to the Philippine News Agency (PNA) Friday when asked for updates on the Armed Forces’ modernization program.
Asked if this stage includes selection of weapons, propulsion and sensor systems for the two frigates, Mercado replied, “This stage involves everything about the ship.”
The Navy chief, however, did not give specifics on when the discussions would conclude.
Mercado headed the technical working group that came up with the specifications of the country’s first-ever missile-capable frigates.
Meanwhile, Department of National Defense (DND) spokesperson Arsenio Andolong said the implementation of the country’s frigate acquisition project has already begun and is proceeding as scheduled.
“Construction will commence in accordance with the timetable,” he added.
On Oct. 24, 2016, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana formally inked the contract for the frigate acquisition program, together with officials of South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI).
The signing ceremony took place at the Navy headquarters in Naval Station Andrada, Roxas Blvd., Manila.
The project involves the construction and delivery of two missile-firing frigates to the Navy.
The Notice of Award was approved, issued and was duly conformed by HHI on Sept. 13, 2016 with the amount of USD336.91 million or PHP15.74 billion.
The project is worth PHP16 billion with another PHP2 billion allocated for the acquisition of assorted weapon systems and munitions.