Delivery of PH's 2 missile-armed frigates still on track

Delivery of PH's 2 missile-armed frigates still on track

All systems are still a GO.

Vice Admiral Ronald Joseph Mercado’s sacking for being the Flag Officer in Command (FOIC) was just a bleep in the radar/sonar so to speak in the much delayed modernization of the Philippine Navy. The President has named Rear Admiral Robert Empedrad  as acting Philippine Navy FOIC.

Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana gave the assurance  after an issue has taken with respect to the Philippine Navy leadership, that has raised an alarm regarding the possible delay in the delivery of the Philippines first two missile-armed frigates, which are designed to be capable of engaging surface, subsurface and air threats.
Hyundai Heavy Industry (HHI)HDF-3000 was the design from which the Philippine Navy frigate will be patterned.(photo credit Maxdefense)

"The frigate (project) has not been delayed. Tuloy-tuloy siya (It is continuing) and delivery time is still the same (first quarter of 2020) and we are going to process that," Lorenzana said.

Hyundai Heavy Industries and the Philippine government represented by the Philippine Navy signed a PHP18 billion contract for two frigates including its weapon systems and munition last Oct. 24, 2016.

But the Defense Secretary also acknowledged that the frigate program still has a lot of challenges to hurdle before being completed.

Some of the roadblocks along the way are how to prepare and train PN personnel to man and operate these modern ships, where to dock them, and where to source the missiles and torpedoes which are the frigates' main armaments aside from its main guns and secondary gunnery systems.

So we have to process that so that pagdating ng frigate ay may bala (na siya)," he added.

The acting FOIC, has expressed his thanks to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte for naming him as the one who will lead the Philippine Navy following the relief of Vice Admiral Ronald Joseph Mercado after Defense Secretary  Lorenzana cites his  lost of trust and confidence on the integrity and leadership of Vice Admiral  Mercado.  *

Some have pointed out that Mercado has this preferred company to provide the combat management system (CMS) on the country's frigate project. The lull time on what particular manufacturer to utilize for the two frigates has delayed the project for at least four months, the Defense Secretary earlier said.

Report from PNA

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