Keel laid for first Philippine Navy FAP frigate

South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries held a keel-laying ceremony for the first of two frigates built for the Philippine Navy under the Frigate Acquisition Project (FAP).

The ceremony took place in Ulsan, South Korea, on October 16, and was attended by the Philippine flag-officer-in-command, Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad, project supervisor Capt. Sergio Bartolome and other navy and shipyard officials.

The keel-laying ceremony took place six months after first steel for the vessel was cut and marks the official start of construction. The lead ship is expected to be delivered to the customer in 2020.

FAP frigates measure 107 meters in length and 12 meters in width. They will have a speed of 25 knots and a cruising range of 4,500 nautical miles.

The ships are based on the Hyundai HDF-3000 FFX-I multipurpose frigate design and will provide superior operational performance and survivability, especially in harsh marine conditions in the Philippines, according to HHI.