Korean shipbuilder to launch Philippines’ first missile-capable frigate on May 23

By: /INQ.net May 21,2019 - 08:53 AM

Keel-laying ceremony for BRP Jose Rizal in 2018./ PHILIPPINE NAVY

SEOUL, South Korea — Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) is set to launch the first of two missile-capable frigates of the Philippine Navy on Thursday, May 23.

Navy public affairs chief Capt. Jonathan Zata said the launch will be held at the HHI shipyard in Ulsan, South Korea.

During a ship launch, a prestigious event by tradition, the vessel will hit the water for the first time and will be floated out of the yard.

BRP Jose Rizal (FF-150) is the first of two frigates signed under a P16-B contract between HHI and the Philippine government in 2016.

Defense Undersecretary Raymundo Elefante, Armed Forces chief Gen. Benjamin Madrigal Jr. and Navy chief Vice Adm. Robert Empedrad are among the Philippine delegation expected to witness the event.

According to HHI, the two vessels are targeted to be delivered to the Philippines by Sept. 6, 2020 and March 6, 2021.

Controversy marred the big-ticket project last year after it was alleged that Malacañang intervened in the selection of the combat management systems for the two frigates.

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