The Philippines Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has approved funding for the acquisition of two corvettes under the navy’s Corvette Acquisition Program (CAP).
The Special Allotment Release Order (SARO) was released to “cover the funding requirements for the 15 percent advance payment for the CAP of the PN under the Revised Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Program.”
The initial funding for the purchase of two vessels is PHP3.75 billion (USD74.5 million). Department of National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana revealed that there are still several steps to be done before the contract is signed.
“We have been waiting for this for the procurement process to proceed… Our target is before the year ends,” Lorenzana pointed out.
The budget for the CAP, which consists of two modern corvettes capable of anti-ship, anti-submarine, and anti-air warfare missions, is placed at around PHP28 billion (around $557 million). It will also be equipped with a variety of sensors to allow it to conduct such missions.
The acquisition of these two missile-armed corvettes was done to backstop the two brand-new frigates acquired from South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI).
“They are smaller than the (two Jose Rizal-class frigates) but will also be sufficiently armed,” Lorenzana said when asked for a description of the ships.
The two Jose Rizal-class frigates measure 107 meters and weigh around 2,600 tons. Both of them are capable of engaging in the four dimensions of modern warfare, namely: Anti-Air Warfare (AAW), Anti-Surface Warfare (ASUW), Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) and Electronic Warfare (EW), and are fully equipped with surface to surface missiles (SSM), surface to air missile (SAM), and torpedoes.
The primary gun is 76mm Super Rapid Gun while the secondary is a 30mm gun. It also has chaffs and decoys as defense against incoming missile.
The first vessel BRP Jose Rizal (FF150) was commissioned last July at the Alava Wharf, Subic Bay.
Earlier on, Lorenzana said while the country has yet to sign a contract with HHI for the two corvettes, the PN is recommending that the company be the one to build these ships for commonality and interoperability.