The Philippine Navy may soon operate two brand-new Indian made frigates. This is after Defense Undersecretary Fernando Manalo said that an Indian government-owned shipbuilder Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers is currently undergoing post-qualification process.
Manalo is responsible for Department of National Defense finance, munition, materiel and modernization.
In February, DND released a document informing prospective bidders of changes in the bidding documents including the Technical Specifications of the Frigate Acquisition Program for Philippine Navy.
According to the said document, the Philippine government is acquiring two (2) Frigates with design that the Philippine Navy can have ownership or license to manufacture/build in future. The revised technical specification also stipulated that the frigates should be at least 95 meters long and have a displacement of at least 2000 tons.
The frigates should also be able to accommodate a 12-ton helicopter (from 10-ton) at flight deck, and should also have a hangar for a 10-ton helicopter.
Six firms including Navantia Sepi of Spain, STX Offshore & Shipbuilding of South Korea, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. Ltd. of South Korea, Hyundai Heavy Industries Inc. of South Korea, Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd. of India, and STX France SA previously qualified in the 2013 first stage bidding.
Meanwhile, DND and AgustaWestland signed Tuesday the contract that will provide Philippine Navy with two anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopters. These helicopters will be on-board component of frigates being acquired.
Two missile-armed frigates and ASW helicopters together with amphibious assault vehicles, two long-range patrol aircraft, six close-air support aircraft, munition for the brand-new FA-50PH jet fighters and surveillance radars are projects approved by President Aquino to be under “multi-year contract”. These projects will be financed until 2018.
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