Navy’s 1st missile-capable frigate arrives in Subic
Michael Punongbayan (The Philippine Star) - May 25, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Navy’s first missile-capable frigate has arrived after a five-day voyage from Ulsan, South Korea, authorities reported yesterday.

To be named BRP Jose Rizal once commissioned to serve next month, the brand new warship or FF150 arrived in Subic, Zambales on Saturday. 

Upon entering Philippine waters in the morning of May 21, the frigate exchanged signals and communications over radio with BRP Quezon, which is stationed on Mavulis Island in Batanes, according to Lt. Cmdr. Maria Christina Roxas, chief of the Navy’s public affairs office.

Malacañang described the vessel’s arrival as a breakthrough in efforts to enhance the Navy’s capabilities. 

“We consider this as a breakthrough in the Philippine Navy’s transformation journey (and) an attainment of our goal of building a strong and credible maritime force,” presidential spokesman Harry Roque said in a statement. 

Roque said the warship is proof of President Duterte’s commitment to modernize the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

“This forms part of the government’s initiative to enhance the country’s defense capabilities and secure our seas against threats,” Roque added. 

The frigate was welcomed by the Naval Forces Northern Luzon through a meeting procedure participated in by three patrol boats in the waters off Bolinao, Pangasinan on May 22. 

In the afternoon of the same day, a meeting procedure involving BRP Andres Bonifacio, an Augusta Westland 109 helicopter and a C-90 fixed wing aircraft was conducted in Sta. Cruz, Zambales.

After the procedure, the vessel was escorted to its designated anchorage area in Subic.

The frigate’s crewmembers will undergo quarantine for 14 days in compliance with the protocols imposed by the government to contain the coronavirus disease 2019.

Technical inspection and acceptance of the frigate will start after the crewmembers completed the quarantine period.

Arrival and commissioning ceremonies will be on June 19, coinciding with the birth anniversary of Jose Rizal.

The arrival of the FF150 is the realization of a modern Navy that is capable of performing its territorial defense mandate, according to Cdmre. Karl Decapia, chief of the Navy’s offshore combat force. Alexis Romero

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