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Additional Navy frigates seen

Francis Wakefield

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BRP Conrado Yap (PS-39)

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Tuesday said that the Philippine government hopes to finish by December this year its negotiations with the South Korean government to start the building of two more Pohang-class corvettes worth P25 billion which will added to the Philippine Navy’s fleet.

Lorenzana noted that once the contract has been signed, the building of the corvettes could start by January 2020.

“We are still working on the financing. I want the negotiations to be finish this December so the contract can be signed already so that we can start making or building the corvettes by January,” said Lorenzana.

“We are still working on the financing because we don’t have the money to pay for it immediately. They can give us generous financing and we could pay them in three to five years later on. Maybe they will make our corvettes,” he added.

The Defense chief noted that just like the two frigates set to be acquired by the country from South Korea next year, Hyundai Heavy Industries Col., Ltd. will also be the one to build it if the plan pushes through.

Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. is the world’s largest shipbuilding company. Its headquarters are in Ulsan, South Korea. HHI was founded in 1972 by Chung Ju-yung as a division of the Hyundai Group, and in 1974, completed building its first ships.

Lorenzana said once the country acquires the two corvettes, the ships will be deployed in the south.

The Philippine Navy recently acquired from South Korea BRP Conrado Yap (PS-39) which arrived in the country on 18 August. Lorenzana said that the Philippines is also set to acquire two frigates from South Korea next year.

He said BRP Rizal is set to arrive in the country by April of May of 2020 while BRP Luna is expected to be delivered by December next year.

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