Lorenzana signs contract for new PH Navy vessels

Bianca Dava, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 28 2022 08:24 PM

Department of National Defense
Outgoing Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana (L) and Hyundai Heavy Industries vice chairman and president Sam Hyun Ka (R) sign on June 27, 2022 a P30-billion contract for the acquisition of six offshore patrol vessels (OPV) for the Philippine Navy. Photo from the Department of National Defense

MANILA — Outgoing Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Monday signed a P30-billion contract with Korean shipbuilding company Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) for six offshore patrol vessels (OPV) for the Philippine Navy.

Lorenzana signed the deal with HHI vice chairman and president Sam Hyun Ka at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City.

The OPVs are 94.4 meters long and 14.3 meters wide, with a displacement of 2,400 tons, maximum speed of 22 knots, cruising speed of 15 knots and a range of 5,500 nautical miles.

“Ang nanalo dito ay, as is, ‘yong same price noon na regional price na budget ceiling natin, okay lang sa Korea. Make it 6 of those na same price. Ang sabi pa doon sa kontrata ay hindi sila mage-escalate 'pag tumaas ang exchange rate,” Lorenzana, who steps down in two days, told reporters on Tuesday.

“If I do not sign this, it will drag on. I do not know the power or authority of the OIC Gen. Faustino, if he is allowed to sign contracts. By the time na mapirmahan niya ‘yan after several months, baka iba na ang presyo. Hyundai said na kapag nagtagal ng 100 days since the award was given, hindi na nila kaya ang presyo. Naghahabol tayo ng presyo, na ang price natin hindi na mag-escalate,” he explained.

The project aims to further enhance the Philippine Navy’s maritime patrol capabilities. 

It includes technology transfer, particularly Human Engineering Operators and Maintenance Training of Equipment, and Operations Training and Design Ownership.

The Philippine Navy is granted a license to manufacture and build using the OPV's design for the exclusive use of the Philippine government.

Lorenzana added that South Korea will also turn over a Pohang-class corvette to the Philippines, which will be a boost to the country’s capability to conduct maritime patrols around the archipelago.

“Korea will also transfer to us one of their Pohang frigate din as part of the freebie na ibibigay nila sa atin,” he said.

A Lifetime Service Support was also signed for the sustainment of Jose Rizal-class frigates.

“Mas maganda itong sa Hyundai. Ginawa nila ang BRP Rizal at Antonio Luna, plus ang ibibigay nila sa atin na Pohang. Pare-parehas ang systems, ang spare parts. That’s easier to maintain. At the same time, kasama sa pinirmahan kahapon ay magtatayo sila dito ng service support facilities to help maintain these ships. ‘Yan ang tinatawag nating transfer of technology,” Lorenzana said.

The defense department said the OPV project was prioritized under the Second Horizon of the Revised AFP Modernization Program, as approved by President Rodrigo Duterte in May 2018. This is also the culmination of months of careful study by the DND, as endorsed by the Philippine Navy.

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