By Christian Ewan
The Philippine Navy (PN) formally accepted its first missile-capable frigate BRP Jose Rizal (FF-150) 3 o’clock in the afternoon today (10th July) with a ceremony held in Subic Zambales which was attended by Philippine Navy officials, Secretary of National Defense Delfin Lorenzana and President Rodrigo Duterte as well as by South Korean ambassador to the Philippines.
“This ship represents the advancement and a welcome addition to the Philippine Fleet, being the first missile-capable frigate of the Philippine Navy,” said Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.
Navy Chief Vice Adm. Giovanni Carlo Bacordo said the ship, which carries the name of Philippine hero Jose Rizal, represents “love of country and fiery dedication to protect freedom and sovereignty.”
The commissioning was date was initially set last June 19 coinciding the birthday of its namesake but was moved today due to COVID-19.
BRP Jose Rizal is one of the two frigates ordered by the Philippine Navy from the South Korean shipbuilder Hanjin Heavy Industries. The vessel is named after Dr. Jose Rizal, a Filipino patriot whose works greatly contributed in gaining the country’s independence from Spain in the end of 19th century.
The ship carries SSM-700k anti ship missile, K-47 Blue Shark torpedoes, 76mm SR, 30mm secondary gun and Mistral missiles as its offensive and defensive weapons.
Meanwhile its sistership Juan Luna (FFG-151) is almost done and is also set to be delivered later this year.
The acquisition of these vessels is under the multi-phase modernization program of the Philippine Navy that is set to boost its inventory of assets and capabilities that can address modern day’s multi-dimensional threats as well as boost its presence in its vast maritime domain.