Soldiers from the Philippine Navy marching band participate in an activity celebrating the 121st founding anniversary of the Philippine Navy in Cavite Province, the Philippines, June 17, 2019. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the acquisition of two brand new warships and other naval assets, Philippine Navy chief Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad said on Monday. (Xinhua/Rouelle Umali)
MANILA, June 17 (Xinhua) -- Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the acquisition of two brand new warships and other naval assets, Philippine Navy chief Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad said on Monday.
In a speech celebrating the Navy’s 121st founding anniversary in Sangley Point in Cavite province, Empedrad said the two Corvette warships plus other assets will cost 35 billion pesos (about 669.71 million U.S. dollars).
He said the two Corvette warships, which costs 28 billion pesos (roughly 535.87 million U.S. dollars), are more expensive but more capable than the two brand new frigates which are currently being constructed by Hyundai Heavy Industries for 18 billion pesos (about 344.45 million U.S. dollars). Hyundai is expected to deliver the ships in April and September next year.
“These Corvettes will be more powerful than the two frigates because of their more sophisticated and modern weapon system,” Empedrad said.
Empedrad said Duterte also approved the acquisition of eight fast attack interdiction craft missile with an approved budget of 10 billion pesos (roughly 191.36 U.S. dollars).
He said the missile-firing assets can hit targets 25 km away with “pinpoint accuracy” and can “easily destroy the enemy in a Marawi-type war,” referring to the May 2017 urban armed conflict in the southern Philippines that lasted for five months.
Empedrad said other projects are in the pipeline, including the upgrade of the navy’s two patrol vessels, acquisition of two submarines, and shore-based missile systems.
He said a second-hand Pohang-class Corvette donated by South Korea is due to arrive next month. He said the ship, to be named BRP Condrado Yap, will be deployed to help in the fight against communist and terrorist groups.
Empedrad said the deployment of BRP Condrado Yap and other multi-purpose attack craft of the navy “will hasten the end of the 50-year-old (communist) insurgency problem.”
"Total control of maritime waters in Mindanao will destroy the ability of the insurgents and even the terrorists from using the sea to consolidate their forces and transport their weapons and logistics in war. In war, disrupting the logistics or supply lines is vital in defeating the enemy,” he said.