MANILA – The country's first missile frigate, BRP Jose Rizal, made history as it conducted Philippine Navy (PN)'s first-ever replenishment at sea (RAS) evolution last Oct. 16.
The Naval Forces Central, in a Facebook post on Tuesday, said BRP Jose Rizal conducted the RAS with Royal Australian (RAN) replenishment oiler, HMAS Stalwart during Maritime Training Activity (MTA) "Samasama-Lumbas" 2022 off the waters of Negros Oriental.
The exercise is slated from Oct. 11 to 18 and is conducted with the US, RAN, United Kingdom’s Royal Navy and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force.
The naval training exercise demonstrates the capabilities of PN personnel to apply their skills and knowledge learned from training to the actual performance of the RAS evolution while underway.
Around 30,000 liters of fuel oil was successfully transferred from HMAS Stalwart to BRP Jose Rizal.
“We made history, as PN marks its first-ever RAS evolution from over a long period of time, and now when it successfully accomplished with the combined efforts of PN’s FF-150 and HMAS Stalwart of RAN," Naval Task Force 51 commander Captain Raul Regis, who is also the Exercise Director, said.
The RAS or the capability to refuel while at sea is considered one of the hallmarks of a modern navy.
The PN was given RAS training by the RAN Fleet Training Group last Sept. 26 to 30 at the Naval Operating Base Subic in Zambales.
The MTA "Samasama-Lumbas" 2022 enables the Philippines to demonstrate its commitment to multilateral cooperation and enhances the readiness of the PN to interoperate with its allied partners.
The BRP Jose Rizal and its sister ship, the BRP Antonio Luna (FF-151), are modern warships capable of surface, sub-surface, air, and electronic warfare using state-of-the-art electronic sensors, long-range missiles, acoustic guided torpedoes, and embarked anti-submarine helicopter.
The BRP Jose Rizal was delivered to the Philippines in May 2020 and commissioned in July of the same year while the BRP Antonio Luna was commissioned on March 19, 2021.
The contract for the two ships was placed at PHP16 billion with another PHP2 billion for weapon systems and munitions. (PNA)