The Philippine Navy’s José Rizal-class frigate

South Korean shipbuilding giant Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) has launched the second José Rizal-class frigate on order for the Philippine Navy. The Rizal-class is based on HDF-3000 ship design of HHI.

A ceremonial launch of BRP Antonio Luna (151) was held on 8 November at Ulsan, South Korea. The programme’s first-of-class, which is in service as BRP José Rizal (150), was launched at the same location in May 2019.

The Philippine Navy (PN) attracted attention in late 2017 due to the selection of Thales TACTICOS Baseline 2 combat management systems (CMS), which is considered as the best technology of the Rizal-class warships. The HHI is the prime contractor and integrator of the advanced technology supplied by Turkish Aselsan, France’s Thales, South Korean Hanwha Systems and Italian Leonardo Company.

The Jose Rizal-class frigates were designed based on the Incheon/FFX-I/HDF-3000-type multi-purpose frigate of the Republic of Korea Navy. It will be armed with Oto Melara 76mm super rapid gun and Aselsan SMASH 30mm remote-controlled established naval gun.

The Rizal-class is equipped with Thales S-band active electronically scanned array radar, phased array radar, electronic countermeasures, electronic support measures, fire control radar, IFF, data link, navigation systems, hull mounted sonar and sensors.

The ships is fully equipped with mistral VSHORAD, medium range surface-to-air and eight 150km range anti-ship missiles, two triple torpedo tubes, verticle launch system (VLS), close-in weapon system, four machine guns and remote control weapon systems for four-dimensional warfare.

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Each vessel is capable to carry more than a hundred officers and crew with an operational endurance of 30 days. It also features a flight deck towards the stern with the ability to handle Leonardo maritime helicopter weighing up to 12t. A hangar will also be fitted to accommodate the helicopter.

It will also be equipped with two rigid-hulled inflatable boats for military and emergency operations at sea.

The two ships will have a maximum speed of 25 knots, with a range of 4,500 nautical miles at cruising speed of 15 knots.

The Philippine Navy is looking to acquire two corvettes, six offshore patrol vessels, eight fast attack interdiction craft and two landing docks in the next few years.

The Rizal-class vessels were ordered by the Philippine Navy under a US $337 million contract awarded to HHI in 2016.

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