Philippines still negotiating payment for South Korean corvettes
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana answers questions from the press in an interview at the Busan Exhibition and Convention Center in Busan, South Korea.
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Philippines still negotiating payment for South Korean corvettes
( - November 26, 2019 - 4:26pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Navy has yet to finalize the details of its plan to order two new warships from South Korea.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the navy is planning to buy two new corvettes from Hyundai Heavy Industries.

The government, however, has yet to seal the deal due to a lack of funds.

"We are still working on the financing because we do not yet have the money to pay for right away," Lorenzana said in an ambush interview in South Korea.

A corvette is traditionally the smallest class of vessel considered to be a warship. According to Lorenzana, the corvettes will be faster as they are smaller.

"If they can give us generous financing that we can pay maybe in a period of three to five years later on maybe they will start making our corvettes," Lorenzana said, referring to the South Korean shipbuilder. 

The navy had acquired two new frigates from Hyundai – BRP Jose Rizal and BRP Antonio Luna – which are scheduled to be delivered next year.

The Defense chief also clarified that the Philippines will not be acquiring arms from South Korea.

Prior to his trip to South Korea for the ASEAN-South Korea summit, President Rodrigo Duterte said he will buy arms in the country.

"These frigates have arms. Maybe that was what the president was referring to. Those are not for offensive but for defensive only," Lorenzana said in Filipino.

Lorenzana also said South Korea has expressed support for the Armed Forces of the Philippines' modernization.

Last August, the Philippine Navy commissioned a former Pohang-class corvette of the South Korean Navy, which is now called BRP Conrado Yap.

BRP Conrado Yap, a corvette capable of anti-submarine operations, was recently deployed to guard the country's southern maritime boundary. – Patricia Lourdes Viray

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