Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The New Philippine Frigate and Its Features

The Hyundai Heavy Industries and the Philippine Navy Signed a contract bearing at around $334 million U.S. Dollars (15.7 billion Pesos) to design, construct, and deliver the newest combatant ship in the fleet with the first one to arrive in 2019.

OVERVIEW
Contract signing took place October 24, 2016
at around 2pm. Credits to unknown owner.
The contract signing was commenced last October 24, 2016 at around 2:00pm. It was done through the agreement set weeks before the contract signing at around September and first weeks of October. The signing was done by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and the Executive Vice President of Hyundai Heavy Industries Ki-sun Chung. The exact cost of the project is at around $334 million or around Php 15.7 million. This is considered to be the first big-ticket project signed by the Duterte administration which the project originated back from the former Aquino administration and is considered part of the First Horizon of the AFP Modernization Program.

BRIEF HISTORY
HDF-3000. This is where the future frigates
will be based. Courtesy of Korean Navy.
Last 2013, the Department of National Defense – Bids and Awards Committee placed a bid for the acquisition of two brand new frigates with the contract price of 18 billion pesos after rejecting the decision of procuring the Italian Maestrale class Frigates due to issue pertaining to its operation.

There are bidders who participated in the deal of procuring two frigates to the navy. Consequently, the duration of the program bid are a bit long due to the fact that a consultant was hired to tender the frigates to its needed capabilities which it will be enough to conduct anti-submarine warfare as well as anti-air warfare. Upon the first stage of bidding, the participants reduced to six. These participants are named Garden Reach Shipbuilding and Engineering (GRSE), STX offshore, STX France, Navantia S.A, Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) and Dae Sun Marine Engineering (DSME). Upon the evaluations made in the second stage of bidding, two are found to get passed and is considered contractually flexible and these are HHI and GRSE. Upon price offer, GRSE is the lowest calculated bidder followed by HHI. Garden Reach offered the 109-metre Kamorta-class corvette while the HHI offered the Incheon-class frigate. Thereafter, GRSE failed to pass the post-bid evaluation due to financial issues which brought the HHI as the winning bidder with the Notice of Award issued last September 1, 2016.
Conceptual design of the future frigate. It is a mixed
combination of HDF-3000 and HDF-3500
Now, the project contract is being sealed HHI bagged the $340-million project. The ship’s final design will be out by the end of year 2017. Construction will commenced on 2018 and the two ships will be delivered to the Philippine Navy first on late 2019 and second on late 2020.

DIMENSIONS AND DESIGN FEATURES

Dimensions
Weight: 2,600t
Length: 107m
Beam: 12m
Endurance: 4,500nm at 15 knots
Top speed: 25knots
Engine Configuration: Combined Diesel and Diesel (CODAD)

Weapons:
-1x 76mm Oto Melara Super Rapid Gun
-4x  SSM-700K C-Star Antiship Missiles
-2x Simbad Remote-controlled launchers for Mistral Missiles
-2x Triple torpedo tubes for K745 Blue Shark anti-submarine torpedoes
-1x MSI Defense Seahawk RCWS plus 30mm gun (Secondary Gun)
-4x manually operated M2HB 50-caliber machine guns
FFBNW
-1x 8-celled Vertical Launch System (VLS)
-1x Close-in weapons system (CIWS)

Combat Management System:
-Thales TACTICOS CMS

Sensors:
-3D Surveillance Radar: NS-106 AESA Radar
-Hull-mounted sonar: Thales Bluewatcher
-Fire Control Radar: Thales STIR 1.2 EO Mk.2 FCR
-Electro-Optical Tracking System: Thales Vigile LW
FFBNW
-Towed array sonar

Miscellaneous:
Countermeasure(s): Wallop Super Barricade countermeasure system
Tactical Data Link: Thales Link Y (with Link 16 and Link 22 as FFBNW)
Infomatic Photo: This is the specifications of the ship.
Pitz Defense Analysis/MaxDefense

ANALYSING THE SHIP

The ship, first and foremost, once will be commissioned will be the most capable, modern combat ship in the Philippine arsenal capable of antisubmarine and anti-air operations. In fact, this may be the first ship in the navy to have a fully integrated weapons capability system that will involve missiles and torpedoes to do its mandate.

Its systems and sensors are greatly influenced by the French company Thales. The ship’s CMS, TACTICOS, is one of the known and the most proven CMS there is in the market as of the present. Hence, it will benefit the navy for its performance considering its weapons integration to the sensors, in which it is undoubtedly, Thales ones.

Its sensors are a great leap for the navy capabilities so to speak. The 3D surveillance radar will be supplied by Thales with its NS-106 AESA radar which is undoubtedly better than initial technical specifications given by the bids and awards committee which is 2D. Moreover, Thales will also more sensors on the ship like the Bluewatcher sonar which will be used, STIR 1.2 EO Mk. 2 FCR for the 72mm Oto Melara main gun and the Vigile LW which is used for Electronic Warfare.
With regards to weaponry, the ship will be armed with a 76mm Oto Melara Super Rapid Gun in which it will fire at 120 rounds per minute (rpm). The ship-to-ship missile launchers will cater the SSM-700C-Star ASM in which it will be two twin launchers, two Simbad-RC launchers will also get armed in which it will be armed with Mistral missiles. Four M2HB 50-cal machine guns will also be armed in the ship and the FFBNW features will include 8-cell vertical missile system for air defense, close-in weapons system for both surface and air targets, and towed sonar array for submarine detection. These in which will give a great leap for Philippine Navy as it is revolutionary for the organization to introduce itself in modern-day spectrum of battlefield.

As per the dimension, its 107m length and 12m width may suffice the ship’s capabilities in present terms. However, such given dimension for the ship have little space for improvements when it comes for more weaponries attached such as anti-ship missiles and the vertical launching system. More unto this, it is as hopeful for the navy to consider these things so that it will be fixed and properly set up as the final design will be up. For instance, many from different defense outlets agree that the Simbad launchers shall be on the lower part of the deck of the ship rather than the top of the bridge citing reloading reasons. Another is that the ship’s hull will definitely cover the main weapons such as anti-ship missiles, torpedoes and the RHIBs for armed assaults.

CONCLUSION
The deal is now set. Via Sec. Lorenzana's Twitter Account.
These ships, two new frigates from Hyundai are one of the big ticket projects of the Philippine Armed Forces for the first horizon which may be done alongside FA-50PH from the country of South Korea where the ships will be made and the Tarlac-class landing platform docks from Indonesia where it gave the navy its amphibious capabilities. It is as certain that the weapons on these FFX-Philippines derivative ships will also get integrated on the Del-Pilar class Frigates for commonality where it will give full significance on the capabilities of the Philippine Navy’s offshore combat force. 

Overall, these ships are one of the symbols of modernization that gives drastic change to the Armed Forces of the Philippines in which by year 2028, as what they are aiming for, will be a world-class, fully capable force for which it fulfills the mandate to enforce the nation’s territorial defense.

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