A green light has been issued by the Department of National Defense (DND) to acquire two brand-new frigate for the Philippine Navy.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana

The approval came after Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana signed “the Notice of Award” on the Frigate Acquisition Project of the Philippine Navy (PN).

According to MaxDefense, 2 weeks from now the DND and PN are now preparing for a contract signing with South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) .

HHI will be submitting the finalized design by mid-2017 and the first frigate will be delivered by late 2019, and the second by mid-2020.

image credit to Max Defense
Korean made – Incheon class frigate – s3.zetaboards.com

According to the official from the DND, the specifications of the proposed Philippine Navy frigates state that it must be at least 95-meters in length, with a displacement of 2,000 tons, capable of engaging in anti-surface, anti-submarine, anti-air and electronic warfare, can carry and housing a 12 tons chopper such as the soon-to-arrive two AgustaWestland AW-159 “Wildcat” submarine hunter type helicopter. – Carl E.



  1. Again, will these frigates have over the horizon anti-ship capability? Otherwise, they will just be expensive targets for the People’s Liberation Army Navy to sink at their leisure. SM-6, LRASM, Naval Strike Missile or even the old Harpoon will add credible deterrence capability. Then comes the ability to defend themselves against enemy incoming anti-ship missiles and attack aircraft. The SM-6 and SM-2 systems offer the best all around SAM defense. This is not rocket science. Pun intended.

      • As we all know, international military contracting is a dynamic and ever changing process. Rumor has it that the Philippine DND is interested in Hyundai Heavy Industries’ Incheon-class FFX, Batch II can only accommodate a 10-ton helicopter so modifications will be required which will increase the price. Batch II can also come with a VLS system, but is more compatible with older US (Harpoon) and current S. Korean indigenous missile systems. The Mk 41VLS system onboard the US Arleigh Burke-class DDGs would make more sense since they can launch current SM-6 and future LRASM missiles. But as we all know, the Philippines has yet to arm her naval vessels with over-the-horizon anti-ship missiles. The venerable Harpoon doesn’t have the standoff range against PLAN YJ-83 missiles found on her tiny Houbei-class patrol craft and Type 056 Corvettes. Reality is, as the current inventory of AIM-9L Sidewinder missiles for the new FA-50’s shows, that there will only be enough units to lightly arm each aircraft for one mission if not two. Not enough missiles. So history dictates that the same will probably be true for the new frigates, even if they do come with VLS. Another example is the order of towed 155mm howitzers only having 240 rounds. It is a joke. My Armor Company of M1A1 tanks can go through 500 rounds in one day training at the range. When it comes to the Phil Navy ships, they don’t even have enough 76mm rounds to sustain a decisive engagement. But, alas, they won’t get the chance to use their guns because they will be sunk by enemy missiles firing from 200 Km away. Wouldn’t it be better to invest in less expensive anti-ship missiles and SAM rather than expensive ships with no long range ASuW capability? How about one ship with enough missiles to be a viable threat? Common sense.

        • FYI For the anti-ship missile system, the new TS improved the required minimum range to 150 kilometers (from 50 kilometers) and minimum cruise speed to mach 0.8 (previously defined as minimum subsonic speed). The missile must have sea-skimming capability, fire and forget, and has an active homing radar seeker and enhanced Electronic Counter Counter Measure (ECCM). The range now confirms the type as a standard long range over-the-horizon anti-ship missile system in the same category as the Boeing Harpoon Block II, the MBDA Exocet Block 3, LIG Nex1 SSM-700K Haeseong (C-Star), and the supersonic BrahMos missile. Hyundai cannot win the bidding if it does not have these missiles on board. It is a requirement.
          A good choice is the Exocet which has a range of around 200 km and is a proven system. Haeseong is not proven and a copycat of the proven Harpoons. The Harpoon block II has a new ER version and could be available. It has a range of 250 km.
          Brahmos is a game changer but doubtful the Indians will even sell it nor the PH will get them.

          Roy B, FA-50 will soon be able to carry a Mini-Taurus Anti Ship missile with a 400 km range.
          Don’t compare US with the Philippines, militarily. Philippine military budget work within its economic capability. Economically, PH has only 85 billion in the bank and a debt to GDP ratio of <40% but compare that to the US, the US is broke! 20 TRILLION in debt and rising. Your self implosion is coming!

          • Hmmm, if the US is so broke, then why is she building more ships every year? A broke nation has no financial leverage. But that is for the financial gurus to pontificate on. Mayanmar has a GDP equal to 1/2 of Metro Manila’s GDP and yet has a larger and more capable navy than the Philippines. It is because of the rampant corruption. We can talk about what the DND requires and what they plan to get, but history shows that their budget changes mid-course and gets allocated for other uses. This is why Israeli military contractors are tired of dealing with the Philippine Govt (e.g. Israeli shore based mobile Anti-ship Missile). Harpoon block II ER is obsolete. If you look at the range of the RGM-109I Tomahawk Blk IV MMT, range: 1600 Nm (2963 km) or the new LRASM, range: 430 Nm (796 km), they both put the aged Harpoon and Exocet to shame. Old systems are easier to spoof bye ECM also. The RIM-174A ERAM SM-6MR Blk I is a Surface to Air Missile system able to intercept high speed ASBM/hyper glide vehicles and also act in a dual purpose role of anti-ship. The latter would be a good investment for the budget limited Philippine Navy for its dual capability. You see, a $160 Million frigate is just an easy target for smaller PLAN Corvettes if that frigate doesn’t have the capability to intercept incoming anti-ship cruise missiles. Wouldn’t it be wiser to invest in 1 AEGIS Destroyer (Arleigh Burke Flight IIA or Japanese Derivative) with ample Mk41 VLS (total of 96 cells) for the same price? I also work on an air/naval military simulator which the US Naval War College uses as a teaching tool and it is amazing how a single Arleigh Burke-class DDG can help the entire Philippine SAG engaged near Scarborough Shoal. Without it, the whole Philippine Navy can be sunk by 2 PLAN Type 054D destroyers. As far as the FA-50 and her “soon to be able to carry a Mini-Taurus Anti-Ship missile,” that is yet left to be seen. The FA-50 should carry AIM-120D AMRAAM first so that they can take on the J-10/J-11/J-15 fighters used by PLAN’s South Sea Fleet. AIM-9L is used for visual range and last resort. If a pilot has resort to guns, he is in a very sad shape. They can’t perform effective CAP over Subic and Clark if they can’t even shoot down the enemy BVR. The Philippine DND really needs to focus on acquiring current ASuW and SAM systems that can act as viable deterrence to any threat and have enough logistical support to have a decent stockpile of munitions. I’m afraid that Pres Duterte is surrounded by not so informed advisers when it comes to military purchases.

          • All of this hoopla you are writing does not change anything. You are still 20 trillion in the hole. Keep printing those greenbucks. It is a matter of time the monetary standard will not be the dollar anymore.

          • You attempt to disparage the United States but you have no platform to stand on. If you are Filipino, as I am, then you must be the type to call for the US military to leave the Philippines yet be the first one to beg for help when the country is threatened by a superior military. You are pathetic. This is why many Americans believe that the US should let the Philippines fight its own battles. Your kind of Filipino threw them out before and now you need their protection. I just want the Philippine government to be rid of corruption and the President be surrounded by informed and sound advisors. If you are not Filipino, then that must explain the animosity towards the United States. Chinese? Russian? Communist?

          • Because you are so stupid comparing Philippines versus your experience with the United States. What kind of a comparison is that?
            You keep forcing something that is not within the Philippines’ capability. You need to grow up and smell the roses.
            Corruption? You think O’bummer is clean? He is the worst US president ever. Sold the US Iranian nuclear position for 32 pieces of silver. It goes even further to the lower ranks like Madame Hillary who simply ignored the plea of 4 US embassy staffers and allowed them to die.
            You are not a Philipino. SamTing Wong with you.

          • Typical loser. When you lose an argument, you hurl verbal insults. You are like a petulant child. You can’t even maintain an intellectual conversation. FYI, I am a proud Filipino-American who proudly served as an officer in the US Army. I am a conservative, therefore I hate Obama and Clinton. You are such a child for assuming otherwise, proving your lack of intellect and wisdom. I pity you.

          • Loose because your US Army is way better than the Philippines? You’re out of your mind. Why don’t you come down to earth and understand the real Filipino capability instead of comparing it with the US.

          • You are such a child. First of all, spelling is LOSE. Loose is to release tension. Second, you completely are missing my point because you lack the intelligence to process it. My point was, that Myanmar, a country with a GNP of one half the GNP of Metro Manila can have a better navy than the Philippines, equipped with anti-ship missiles and newer frigates. Singapore, a city state, has a better air force and navy than the Philippines. South Korea was devastated after the Korean war, yet look how the country has progressed since then. What do you suppose the reason is as to why the Armed Forces of the Philippines is so poorly equipped? If you still don’t understand, then just be quiet. You’re such a child and have to have the last say.

          • Now your true colors have come out, you dingbat. You are not a Philipino. You are an American pretending to be a Philipino. Like Du30 said “Put_ng_na”.

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