MANILA, -- Representatives of the Philippine Navy (PN) have visited and conducted post-qualification inspections on South Korea's Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), one of the proponents in the country's missile-capable frigate project.
This was stressed by Rear Admiral Roland Joseph Mercado, Western Command chief and head of the PN technical working group head on the above-mentioned project Tuesday.
HHI was one of the six foreign shipbuilders who participated in the project when it formally opened for bidding sometimes in 2014. It is based in Busan, South Korea
He added that post-qualification inspection on HHI is "very favorable" and said PN representatives focused on the proponent's capability to meet the project's "technical proposals and technical requirements".
Post-qualification inspections took place some three weeks ago, Mercado added.
The Department of National Defense has allocated PHP18 billion for the acquisition of two missile-armed frigates capable of engaging surface, air and sub-surface targets.
The budget can be divided into PHP16 billion for the ships and PHP2 billion for the weapon systems and munitions.
Mercado declined to give exact specifics of the frigate program but said the two ship can "must steam in speeds in excess of 25 knots and can engage surface, air, and surface threats" aside from helping in the PN's humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions.
He expects the ships to be in service within three to four years.
The Republic of Korea Navy Gyeonggi (경기) FFG-812 Incheon-class coastal defense frigate.