NEW NAVY SHIP. The Philippine Navy formally takes into service the BRP Conrado Yap (PS-39) during hand-over and commissioning ceremonies at the Jinghae Naval Base in Changwon City, South Korea on Aug. 5, 2019. BRP Conrado Yap, formerly the South Korean Pohang-class ship "Chungju", was donated by South Korea.  (Photo courtesy of Philippine Navy)

MANILA -- The Philippine Navy (PN) formally took into service the BRP Conrado Yap (PS-39), formerly the South Korean Pohang-class ship "Chungju", during hand-over and commissioning ceremonies at the Jinghae Naval Base in Changwon City, South Korea on Monday afternoon.

Captain Jonathan Zata, PN spokesperson, said Department of National Defense Assistant Secretary for Logistics and Acquisition Jesus Rey Avilla signed the transfer documents, together with his South Korean counterpart Logistics Management Administrator Kim Soo Sam.

After the signing of transfer documents, BRP Conrado Yap was then commissioned into the PN.

The ship is the former "Chungju" (PCC-762) of the Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN), which was commissioned in 1987 and served until 2016.

Zata said the corvette's taking on the name of Yap was aimed 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.

In response to the welcome remarks of ROKN chief-of-naval operations Admiral Sim Seung-Seob, PN flag-officer-in-command Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad described the ceremony as a historic event that highlights the alliance between the PN and Republic of Korea Navy that goes beyond friendship through the years.

He then assured the South Korean government and the ROKN that “the PN will take care of this ship” and that it “will always be in ship shape condition and shall defend our country’s maritime waters with same valor as displayed by our hero Capt. Conrado Yap 68 years ago."

BRP Conrado Yap is set to sail to the Philippines this month under the command of Captain Marco Buena, its maiden sailing crew underwent 13 weeks of necessary operational and warfare trainings facilitated by the Reserve Ship Maintenance Squadron in Jinhae, Gyeongsang-namdo, South Korea.

It will be escorted by the strategic sealift vessel, BRP Davao Del Sur (LD-602), which arrived in South Korea last August 2 after participating in the Russian Naval Day activities in Vladivostok, Russia last July 28.

"(The BRP Conrado Yap) 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," Zata earlier said.

Also, the PN spokesperson said the ship will provide the Navy with an anti-submarine warfare capability, aside from being an important platform to train officers and sailors on anti-submarine warfare operations.

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 Oto Melara main guns, a 30mm automatic cannons, anti-submarine torpedoes and variety of sensors, including sonars and radars. (PNA)