4 more frigates needed to secure PH seas: Navy chief

By Priam Nepomuceno

February 25, 2018, 12:34 pm

MANILA -- To fully protect the country's vast maritime domains and resources, the Philippines needs four more modern frigates aside from the two contracted with South Korean shipbuilder, Hyudai Heavy Industries (HHI).

This was the remark of Philippine Navy (PN) flag-officer-in-command Rear Admiral Robert Empedrad when asked how many more modern warships the Navy needs to fully secure the country’s maritime domains.

Empedrad issued this statement during the Frigate Acquisition Project hearing at the Senate last Feb. 19 where issues concerning the brand of combat management system (CMS) to be installed were discussed.

"Based on our Modernization Program, we will require six of the frigates until 2028 – that is our Third Horizon. Apat pa after we get these two ships," he said.

The frigates, presently being built by HHI, will be armed with weapons capable of neutralizing surface, sub-surface and air threats aside from its electronic warfare ability.

These ships have a contract of PHP18 billion, including their weapons systems and munitions.

In the same hearing, the Navy chief said there are also plans to install a CMS and upgrade the weapon systems of the three Hamilton-class cutters acquired from the US Coast Guard. (PNA)