MANILA -- BRP Jose Rizal (FF-150), the country's first missile frigate, performed well during its second sea trials, which took place last December 15 to 18.
"The second sea trials (were conducted) with satisfactory results," said Philippine Navy (PN) public affairs office chief, Lt. Commander Maria Christina Roxas, in a message to the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Tuesday.
During the testing period, Roxas said systems like the ship's propulsion console, freshwater generator, and steering gear were tested. Also, the frigate's propulsion system was tested and checked for vibration.
Likewise, the ship's turning circle when at the maximum design speed of 25 knots and rudders being shifted to "hard left and hard right progressive speed" was determined, the PN official added.
Roxas said the BRP Jose Rizal was made to undergo zigzag and spiral maneuvers along with crash stop ahead (full astern to full ahead) and crash stop astern (full ahead to full astern) along with another vibration measurement test.
The ship's S and X band radars, which are for surveillance and targeting applications, were also tested along with the frigate's fuel consumption at 85 percent of "maximum continuous rating" or maximum speed.
BRP Jose Rizal has a maximum designed speed of 25 knots and a cruising speed of 15 knots and a range of 4,500 nautical miles. The first sea trials, which were conducted in the waters of Ulsan, Busan, and Mokpo last November 23 to 27, had the frigate performing well even at Sea State Condition 4 where waves are known to reach between four to eight feet.
It was conducted to check the ship's performance and general seaworthiness. "(Present during the 2nd sea trials) are PN representatives, (ship-builder) Hyundai Heavy Industries QM (quality management) technicians, OEM (original equipment manufacturer) engineers and Lloyd's Register of Shipping inspector," Roxas earlier said.
For the third and fourth sea trials, which are still to be scheduled, this will be more on testing the ship's various weapons systems, she added.
The sea trials are the last phase of construction before the frigate’s delivery to the Philippines scheduled tentatively in April or May 2020. This took place six months after the vessel was launched at the HHI shipyard for the first time in Ulsan last May 23.
"The PHP8 billion warship is a big-ticket acquisition of the Armed Forces of the Philippines that is poised to be the benchmark of PN’s transformation journey," Roxas earlier said.
Incidentally, BRP Antonio Luna (FF-151), the sistership of BRP Jose Rizal, was launched in the same facility last November 8.
The contract for the two ships is placed at PHP16 billion with another PHP2 billion for weapon systems and munitions.
These ships are capable of conducting Anti-Air Warfare (AAW), Anti-Surface Warfare (ASUW), Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) and Electronic Warfare (EW) Operations and it is fully equipped with Surface-to-Air and Surface-to-Surface Missiles, torpedoes, launchers, and weapon systems.
The activity signifies that the PN is inching closer to its dream of acquiring highly capable warships.
Its crew and maintenance personnel are currently undergoing training in South Korea.
Roxas said the BRP Jose Rizal provides leverage for the Navy’s bid of becoming a stronger and more credible force that the Philippines as a maritime nation can be proud of. (PNA)