The Philippine Navy, which has been retiring World War II-era ships since 2020, has been on a buying spree for replacement with brand-new and refurbished vessels. South Korea has been one of its leading partners in its massive endeavor.
Korean shipbuilder, Hyundai Heavy Industries, is expected to deliver six (6) offshore patrol vessels for coastal defense purposes. Worth PhP 60 billion (USD 570 million), is Hyundai’s 3rd order contract from the Philippines after delivering two corvettes for PhP 25 billion (USD 463 million) last December 2021, and two missile-capable frigates worth PhP 16 billion (USD 296 million), which was delivered six years ago. South Korea is also expected to turn over used Pohang-class corvettes, K136 Kooryong multiple launch rocket system and donate 22 K1361A rocket launchers, 22 KM809A1 rocket launcher trucks, 22 M60 ammunition carrier trucks, and over 50,000 rocket ammunition to the military as excess defense articles.
Also comes with cheap financing options, the country beat Turkey’s Asfat which is its competitor in the bid. The Navy too eyed Australia’s Austal but scrapped the plan after the company hiked its price.
Hyundai’s OPV is based on the HDP-1500 Neo design. With an overall length of 81 meters, a displacement of 1,700 tons, and a maximum speed of 21 knots, the new patrol ships are expected to be armed with 76mm naval guns and autocannons in remote controlled weapon stations. It will be delivered yearly in two batches – the first batch will arrive 4 years after the contract has been signed.
(Sources: Nikkei Asia, Inquirer)