HD HHI launches first Philippine Navy corvette

South Korean shipbuilder HD Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) has launched its first corvette for the Philippine Navy at its shipyard in Ulsan, the company announced on 11 June.

The launch of the future BRP Miguel Malvar was officiated by Philippine Secretary of National Defense Gilberto C. Teodoro Jr, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces Romeo S. Brawner Jr. and Flag Officer-in-Command Toribio Adaci Jr

The Republic of Korea Navy (RoKN)’s Vice Chief of Naval Operations Kang Dong-gil and HD HHI CEO Lee Sang-kyun also participated in the event.

“The Philippines formed a blood alliance with Korea by sending 7,500 troops to protect the freedom and democracy, when Korea was under gunfire 74 years ago,” Lee said, noting that the company will continue to bid for follow-on acquisitions for corvettes and frigates in the Philippines.

Miguel Malvar will be delivered to the Philippine Navy by 2025 following its fitting out and sea trial. The second corvette is expected to be launched in December and delivered to the Philippine Navy by the end of 2026.

The Philippine Department of National Defense (DND) and HD HHI signed a US$495 million contract for two newbuild multirole missile corvettes which are capable of conducting anti-ship, anti-submarine, and anti-air warfare missions in December 2021. It is believed that HD HHI is using a version of its 3,100-tonne and 114 metre-long HDC-3100 platform concept.

The Philippine Navy’s future corvettes will be equipped with lightweight ALPHA 3D active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar systems developed by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).

Developed by IAI’s ELTA Division, the ALPHA 3D radar system shares technology with the larger MF-STAR radar and features a modular construction and fully digital software-driven architecture that enables it to be continuously enhanced via software updates to address new threats. The radar will be fully integrated with the combat management system (CMS) supplied by South Korea’s Hanwha Systems.

This contract marks the second major defence procurement between HD HHI and the Philippines. The company earlier won a bid to construct two new frigates for the navy, which are based on the Republic of Korea Navy’s Incheon (FFX-I) class platforms. Both vessels are now in service as the Jose Rizal-class.

by Jr Ng