CONTENT PREVIEW
Sea Platforms

Philippines positions new frigates as primary ASW platforms

26 October 2016

Key Points

  • Hyundai Heavy Industries has unveiled further details of the two frigates that it will construct for the Philippines
  • The frigates are set to become the Philippine Navy's most capable ASW platforms

Amid a proliferation of submarines in the Asia-Pacific region, the Philippines appears to have positioned the two frigates on order from South Korea as the country's primary anti-submarine warfare (ASW) platforms, new details released about the ships suggest.

A digital visualisation of the Philippine Navy's new frigate released by Hyundai Heavy Industries on the occasion of the programme's contract signing in October 2016. (Hyundai Heavy Industries)A digital visualisation of the Philippine Navy's new frigate released by Hyundai Heavy Industries on the occasion of the programme's contract signing in October 2016. (Hyundai Heavy Industries)

South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) unveiled the details in a press release on the occasion of the programme's contract signing on 24 October.

The platforms, which have been described by HHI as inheriting the main design features of the Republic of Korea Navy's (RoKN's) Incheon-class guided-missile frigates, will have an overall length of 107 m and a standard displacement of about 2,600 tonnes.

A computer-generated image released by the company indicates that the platforms will feature two triple torpedo tubes, each located on the port and starboard sides. Also pictured on the flight deck, which can take aircraft of up to 12 tonnes, is what appears to be an AW159 helicopter.

The Philippine government has selected the AW159 to fulfil its ASW helicopter requirement, IHS Jane's reported in March 2016. The Philippine Navy (PN) is not known to have any other substantial submarine prosecution capabilities before this acquisition.

Other weapon systems depicted in the image include an eight-cell vertical launching system installed at the forward section, just behind its primary weapon, which will most likely be a 76 mm naval gun, and four (two twin) anti-surface missile launchers mounted athwartships.

It also seems that the frigates will be equipped with a pair of MBDA-SIMBAD anti-air defence system turrets above the bridge, one each to the left and right of its fire-control radar pedestal.

The platforms are scheduled to be delivered to the PN from 2020, said HHI.

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