(Photo courtesy: Philippine Navy)

MANILA -- BRP Conrado Yap (PS-39), the former South Korean "Pohang"-class corvette "Chungju" (PCC-762), will serve as the Philippine Navy (PN)'s transition platform for the two Jose Rizal-class missile frigates which are now undergoing construction at the Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) shipyard in South Korea.

This was stated by PN spokesperson, Captain Jonathan Zata when asked on how the acquisition of the BRP Conrado Yap will help the Navy in its ongoing modernization programs aside from boosting their numbers.

"She is a welcome addition to the PN’s surface patrol capability and will serve as a critical transition platform for the arrival of the newest Jose Rizal-class frigate next year," he said in the message to the Philippine News Agency Monday.

BRP Jose Rizal (FF-150) is expected to be delivered by HHI to the PN by April 2020 while its sister-ship, the BRP Antonio Luna (FF-151) is expected by September of the same year.

Turn-over ceremonies for the BRP Conrado Yap is slated on Monday afternoon at the Jinhae Naval Base, South Korea.

It will be escorted to the Philippines by the strategic sealift vessel, the BRP Davao Del Sur (LD-602), which arrived at the above-mentioned facility last August 2 after attending the Russian Naval Day celebration in Vladivostok, Russia last July 28.

Aside from serving as patrol and training platforms, Zata said the South Korean-donated ship will enhance the PN's anti-submarine warfare capabilities. The ex-"Pohang"-class corvette was formally donated to the Philippines in 2014.

"BRP Conrado Yap will provide the PN (with) that needed anti-submarine warfare capability and an important platform to train officers and sailors on anti-submarine warfare operations. It increases the PN’s firepower since it will be the most powerful ship in the current fleet inventory," the PN spokesperson stressed.

The ship measures 88.3 meters long, with a beam of 10 meters and draft of 2.9 meters while her displacement is at 1,216 tons full load.

BRP Conrado Yap is rated for a crew of 118 personnel and can sustain operational presence for 20 days.

The vessel's combined diesel or gas (CODOG) propulsion configuration of motor transport unit (MTU) diesel engines and LM2500 gas turbine with controllable pitch propellers (CPP) enable the ship to move to a maximum speed of 25 knots to a distance of 4,000 nautical miles.

The ship is armed with two Oto Melara 76mm main guns, a 30mm automatic cannon, anti-submarine torpedoes and variety of sensors, including sonars, and radars.

The ship was named Conrado Yap to uphold the legacy of a gallant Filipino military leader who served in the Korean War as part of the Philippine Expeditionary Forces to Korea.

Yap was a captain in the Philippine Army and considered as the most decorated Filipino soldier during the Korean War.

He posthumously received a Philippine Medal of Valor, the country's highest military honor, as well as a US Distinguished Service Cross, for gallantry in action as part of the Tank Company, 10th Battalion Combat Team, Philippine Army. (PNA)