MANILA: South Korea’s shipbuilder, Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) will be supplying the Philippine government with six Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV). The contract, worth PHP30 billion ($547 million) was signed by Philippine’s Secretary of National Defence, Delfin Lorenzana and HHI vice chairperson Nam Sang-hoon.
The event was witnessed by South Korean Ambassador to the Philippines Kim In-cheol; General Andres B Centino, Chief of Staff, Armed Forces of the Philippines; Rear Admiral Caesar Bernard N Valencia, Acting Flag-Officer-In-Command, Philippine Navy; and other Department of National Defence , Armed Forces of the Philippines and HHI officials.
The project aims to further enhance the maritime patrol capabilities of the Philippine Navy, and includes technology transfer, particularly Human Engineering Operators and Maintenance Training of Equipment, Operations Training and a Design Ownership, granting the Philippine Navy a license to manufacture/build using the OPV’s design for the exclusive use of the Philippine government.
At the event, a Lifetime Service Support contract was also signed for the sustainment of the Jose Rizal-class frigates.
The OPV project was prioritized under the Second Horizon of the Revised AFP Modernisation Programme, as approved by President Rodrigo Duterte in May 2018.
They are planned to be 94.4 meters long, 14.3 meters wide, and gave a displacement of 2,400 tons, maximum speed of 22 knots, cruising speed of 15 knots, and a range of 5,500 nautical miles.
The OPVs are expected to replace the World War II surface assets decommissioned by the Philippine Navy.—shp/adj/aaa (Image: Philippine DND)