The Joneses…More Details on the PN New OPV

A CGI of the Philippine Navy corvette. HHI

SHAH ALAM: In a previous post, Malaysian Defence wrote about the 11 new ships the Philippines Navy is buying. Among the 11 ships are six OPVs which it is buying from South Korea.

On June 27, the Philippine government signed a contract with South Korean shipbuilder, Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) to construct six units of new build 2,400 ton Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV) costing US$573 million or RM2.5 billion.

A close up of the OPV CGI. HHI

According to a HHI release:

The Philippine Navy OPV has a displacement of 2,400 tons, a length of 94.4 meters, a width of 14.3 meters, a maximum speed of 22 knots, a cruising speed of 15 knots, a range of 5,500 nautical miles and will be built at HHI’s Ulsan shipyard until 2028. The vessel is to be equipped with a 76mm main gun, two 30mm secondary guns, a helideck capable of operating a helicopter and unmanned aerial vehicles

A CGi of the Damen Sigma Corvette 8313, a slight smaller variant of the 9113 corvette. Damen

From the above and the CGI of the ship, the OPV is basically similar to the requirements of the RMN’s LMS Batch II. It is not equipped with surface to surface missiles and a 3D radar though from the CGI it is equipped with twin VSHORAD launchers.
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

It must be noted that in late 2021, HHI also signed a contract with the Philippines to build two missile-armed corvette for US$547 million or MR2.4 billion. The two corvettes are 116 meters in length and 14.8 meters in width, with a displacement of 3,200 tonnes. They will be able to achieve a maximum speed of 25 knots with a travel range of 4,500 nautical miles. These ships are similar to the Jose Rizal class frigates (pictured above) – two already in service but slightly smaller.
A CGI of the HHI corvette for the Philippine Navy. HHI

It is likely that HHI could tweak the design to accommodate twin SSM launchers and other needs of the RMN for the LMS Batch II. That said it appears that HHI and its local agent were completely in the dark about the LMS Batch II as it came to the DSA 2022 promoting its MRSS option. Or perhaps it was thinking it had no chance for the smaller ship programme and decided that the MRSS was a better deal to pursue.

— Malaysian Defence

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19 Comments

  1. Admin can I ask…is Malaysia deal with supplier direct Govt to Govt (like Philippines) or have a middleman in purchasing military equipment for Malaysia.?

  2. I see thats why Malaysian Military Equipment are more expensive…If there is a Middlemen corruption may take place unlike in Govt to Govt…there is no or less Corruprion at all…Middlemen get rich…

  3. I think Secretary Lorenzena is the reason for that in the Philippines. Let’s hope the new Defence Secretary, a former COS as well, continues the practice

  4. jun – ”If there is a Middlemen corruption”

    Not ”corruption” per see but mark ups. They have to make a profit for the services rendered and that’s what drives prices up [my stance on this and the policy which enables it has been made very clear]. ”Corruption” does happen but in different ways; we are talking about markups here. Not only does mark ups drive up the prices of things but the if/when local agents go bust it has a ripple effect.

  5. Does not mean that G2G will not have corruption issue nor will meet exactly what the end user really wanted.

    The best way is to have a blind procurement process whereby the end user specify in detail the requirements and the performance envelope of their needs but not the thing or the make itself to remove any preferences, and the Government will have an open tender process for the prospects to bid according to the specs given. The ones that meet all or as many the requirements and acceptable by the end user will be selected and parred down thru further evaluations, eventually only the most suited bid will win. This way it is a win-win-win for all as the end user gets what they want, the Government will get their money’s worth, and the bidders will have transparency on their bidding chances.

  6. Rm2.5 billion for six ships sound like a good deal..The question is, are them good enough for RMN’s LMS batch 2 requirement or are they want something bigger.?

  7. We need to implement the Political Funding Act to minimise corruption.

    Secondly, there is no such thing as open tender unless the product is a commodity. Each defence product is significantly different. You just need to lobby that your specs is the one tendered out. Just a single item that others can’t comply is good enough.

    Moreover, the users themselves have their own set of requirements. Tendering out generic requirements would dilute so much those specific specs unique to certain bleeding edge product.

  8. Joe – ”Does not mean that G2G will not have corruption issue nor will meet exactly what the end user really wanted.”

    Only a catastrophic thermonuclear war which results in the end of humanity as we know it will totally eradicate corruption…

    The point is that appointing local companies to act as the facilitator for certain deals drives prices up and it doesn’t really lead to any tangible benefits in the long run. On paper the whole idea of doing so is that local companies can get certain types of knowledge that will eventually benefit the industry/nation. In reality; with a few exceptions; local companies don’t provide any added value or justify they revenue they’ve earned. Until or unless the defence policy undergoes a fundamental revamp the end user will not get the desired capability at the right price or in the needed quantities and the taxpayer won’t get her/his cash’s worth and we’ll remain stuck in the rut we’re in.

    With the Philippines it’s different; there’s an acute realisation that after decades of neglect the PN badly needs modernising and that was the priority; not benefiting the local industry or other forms of national interests.

  9. I know right they will get 6 ships for 2.5 billion but with only main gun and secondary gun ( hence the OPV designation )..With the projected 2.5 billion for LMS batch 2 batch 1 maybe RMN can get 3-4 ships fully equipped

  10. @Hasnan
    I call BS. Political funding has nothing to do with our current defence predicament. And while no defence product will suit our requirements like a glove (no product ever does in general really), there are certain parameters that can be compared and which should be made known by the end user and all the parties. Such requirements are never generic as you put it, you have to achieve Performance A, Range B, Endurance C and so forth. Everything is quantifiable and made transparently clear it is up to the bidders to select or customise their products to suit A, B, C, and others. The lower the matching requirements, the lower the chances of winning, hence unrealistic bids will fast whittle down. Quick, Simple, Popular, Cheap.

    @Azlan
    You should know by now how I feel about local defence industry but come on we have to be realistic here, wishing for a revamp of the standing policy is like hoping a cow to jump over the moon and no matter how much you kept repeating and wishing, it will never happen as while it seems logical to change, counterintuitively it does not benefit to any of the stakeholders to change it. The local players won’t change a system that feeds them, the politicians won’t change anything if its not to their political survival, the rakyat will refuse to change if an increase in defence budget meant lesser Bantuan Rakyat to them. If we cannot change the system then what can we do?

    Which is why I proposed a blind procurement process that could tweak our current way of doing things to minimise corruption, overspending and getting things which don’t suit the end user.

  11. firdaus – ”only main gun and secondary gun ( hence the OPV designation )..”

    The ”OPV” designation and the weapons fit out is because of their intended role. One can also get an OPV with a 12 cell VLS and 8 SSMs and still designate it an ”OPV”.

  12. Yes, we could go the way of a blind procurement but if the imported product is still represented by a local agent, the mark ups and under the table process, will continue. That’s why Azlan mentioned the need to overhaul the procurement process. Yes, a GtoG could still be tainted by the under the table process, but at least we could still eliminate the middle men or at least keep them at the minimum. It’s a start to reduce the queue number to Mindef

  13. Joe – “wishing for a revamp of the standing policy is like hoping a cow to jump over the moon and no matter how much you kept repeating and wishing”

    I’m not “wishing” for a revamp but stating/stressing the need for it which is different to “wishing”. A lot here are still oblivious as to the need for a revamp and the reasons we do things we do. A revamp is indeed unlikely and unless it’s changed we will continue to be in the rut we’re in and the MAF and the defence policy Will continue to be reflection of many things which have gone terribly wrong in this country. Like Marhalim I’m aware of various cockups/disasters that have happened but for various reasons won’t mention in a public forum.

    As for the “rakyat” their indifferent attitude towards defence has far less to do with “bantuans” as you put it but due to history, the neighborhood we live in; the traditional importance [or lack of it] place in defence, etc.

  14. SG Menhan just share SG needs to enhance it defence as world is getting unstable. In 2021, SG spend $12.1 billion Us dollar on defence.

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