State-of-the-art frigates specification awaiting Navy chief approval

The Philippine Navy said specifications of two state-of-the-art frigates with allocated budget of PhP18.9 billion will be unveiled this month.

Normally the navy should have the sole right to decide on what they want in their ships. Any new entrant in procurement of the weapon procurement plan has to be tested and proven before the contract is given in their favor. The approval of the navy chief is essential to get the acquisition program up and running without which they could be an ouster of duties for the chief or commander in charge.

Any kind of pressure to accept the contract by government official with insider interest will necessarily lead to relieving of duties from the position they hold due to the sensitivity of the defense mechanism of an country in particular, full report on the issue has created a sense of shock and disbelief among officials including other chiefs in line for pressurizing and favoring a particular group of companies for the Frigate contract. The stipulation given to a bidder to choose the weapon system in a war ship goes beyond the importance it has for the countries preparedness for wars.

The nexus between the manufacturer of the warship mechanism and the existing navy chief goes beyond the integrity of the intricacies of the dense mechanism of a country.

As confirmed to PNA by Philippine Navy technical working group Commodore Roland Mercado, these warships will befitted with variety of weapon systems capable of dealing with surface, sub-surface and air threats.

“It (frigates’ specifications) might be released by July. I’ll just have to present it to the PN leadership to get their comments and approval,” Commodore Roland Mercado stated. Due to pending approval from Navy flag-officer-in-command Vice Admiral Jesus Millan, the commodore did not reveal any information regarding the said frigates’ specification.

Six firms including Navantia Sepi of Spain, STX Offshore & Shipbuilding of South Korea, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. Ltd. of South Kores, Hyundai Heavy Industries Inc. of South Korea, Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd. of India, and STX France SA are bidding for the said project.

Meanwhile, Subic is being prepared to house the said upcoming state-of-art frigates. “Subic is considered very strategic because (it is) only 120 miles from the flashpoint which is the Bajo de Masinloc. So it is very important that Subic is ready to respond,” SBMA Chairman and Administrator Roberto V. Garcia said earlier this year.

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