Keeping Up With The Joneses…New Corvettes for Philippines

A CGI of the new Philippine Navy corvette. HHI

SHAH ALAM: Keeping up with the Joneses. The Philippines has ordered two new corvettes from South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), it was announced on Dec. 28 in Manila. Under the deal worth US$556 million (RM2.3 billion), the HHI is expected to deliver both ships by 2026.

Although described as corvettes, the new warships for the Philippine Navy is bigger than the two Jose Rizal frigates also built by HHI which are 107-meter long and weigh around 2,600 tons. The new corvettes will have a 3,200-ton displacement and 116-meter long.

With a maximum speed of 25 knots, the corvettes will have a 16-cell vertical launching system (VLS), eight SSMs, a 35mm close-in weapon system (CIWS), a 76mm main gun, two three-tube torpedo launchers and an AESA radar. The above are almost the same for the Jose Rizal frigates apart from the the CIWS and an extra eight launchers for the SAM, which are not fitted on the latter. It is unclear whether the new corvettes will have the SAMs.

A Philippine Navy TC-90 aircraft flies near BRP Jose Rizal frigate as it enters the country’s territorial waters in May 2020. Philippines Navy

Philippine Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana was quoted by the Philippines News Agency as saying that they were happy to sign the contract this year despite delays due to the coronavirus pandemic.
BRP Jose Rizal frigate. PN

“We are finally signing the contract, the last phase of the procurement process. For a total approved budget of PHP28 billion, this project will give the PN two modern corvettes that are capable of anti-ship, anti-submarine, and anti-air warfare missions,” he added.

Lorenzana said acquiring the two corvettes from HHI, where the two Jose Rizal-class guided-missile frigates, will ensure commonality and interoperability.

The two ships will also serve as backstops for the two frigates now in commission with the PN.

“With a common shipbuilder for all our naval platforms, we expect ease of maintenance and repairs,” the DND chief added.

Lorenzana also said he is commending HHI for being an active and reliable partner in the modernization program of the PN.

“Like the two frigates which were built in record time, we expect this acquisition project will likewise run smoothly,” he added.

The Philippines will pay 15 per cent of the contract price as payment following the contract signing with the rest of the funds to be paid in stages.

— Malaysian Defence

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18 Comments

  1. Wow many money for Philippines. I Read also from Lorenzana speech that they are waiting for the released on the budget for 32 blackhawk and 6 OPV from Austal.

  2. Looking at the pricetag of RM 1.2Bil per boat, it will likely just be another FFBNW from the onset much like JR class; the SAMs would be later when needed. Case in point the JR class cost RM 1.4 Bil.

  3. What could have been right? 2 3200 tonnes ‘corvettes’ for under 600m usd..with aesa radar,a ciws and 75mm gun nonetheless compared to our 3100 tonnes ‘frigate’ with 57mm gun haha..If we take this phillipines way..6 ships can be procured for less than 2 billion usd/rm 8 billion with ensured delivery on time

  4. These new corvettes for Philippines Navy is actually a little bit bigger than our own Maharajalela Gowind LCS. At 556 million dollars for 2 ships, it is way cheaper than the Maharajalelas, or even the smaller FFBNW Kedahs class OPVs, although what weapons is included at that low price is not confirmed.

    As you know of the koreans, being on time is actually considered a failure. These ships will probably be in the water before any of our maharajalelas will be.

  5. @Jun
    In the past, their security concerns were internal rather than external. With emergence of China, they now need to turn outwards hence the significant buys in the past decades. This is the same as well for us, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore.

    @Firdaus
    If we took the Pinoy way, we’d end up with more Kedah type FFBNW ships rather than fully kitted out LCS. In that sense, why not just add more Kedahs instead.

  6. Initial fund for the additional Blackhawks was already released by their Finance ministry. Seems the initial fund for Brahmos was released also. Election tactics?

  7. @joe

    Unlike the JR class, this will not be FFBNW as notably, the VLS and CIWS will be included. There is also a second budget for the munitions.

  8. “As you know of the koreans, being on time is actually considered a failure.”

    The Koreans are competent but progress will also depend on the timing of payments by the customer.

  9. @LionFlyer
    Look at the price similarity with JR class that comes without VLS & CWIS. If there is an additional budget to fully fit these ships, it would be a separate discussion when the price tag is known. ATM we only know what has been announced.

    @Hasnan
    Indeed. We spent RM 6Bil for a ship class that is meant to be fully fitted from start, unlike the Pinoys.

  10. Unrelated but how about that malbatt unifil apc tender that published on october last year? And any news regarding that mpa/uav tenders?

  11. @joe
    The price for the original JR class were approximately $310 million USD, while the new corvettes comes in at $530 million USD. The price difference was attributed to a desire to avoid the FFBNW situation, hence the VLS and CIWS are expected to be included, along with much improved specifications and some of the munitions.

  12. The corvettes won’t be fitted for but not with anymore. They will be delivered with the CIWS, VLS, guns and missile launchers, something the Philippine Navy learned when they did the acquisition of Jose Rizal-class frigates. There is actually a Lot 2 for this project which is allotted to buy the munitions (missiles, torpedoes and countermeasures), and if the PN learned, these should be delivered before, or right after delivery of the corvettes.

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