Philippine Navy acquires second-hand corvette from South Korea

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MANILA, Aug. 5 (Xinhua) -- The Philippines has received a Pohang-class corvette that South Korea donated to the Philippine Navy, Philippine defense and military officials said on Monday.

Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said in a Facebook post that South Korea formally turned over the ship Monday afternoon to the Philippines at a ceremony at Jinhae Naval base in Changwon City in South Korea.

The ship was the former South Korean Pohang-class corvette Chungju, which served in the South Korean Navy from 1987 to 2016.

Expected to arrive at the Philippines by mid-August, the corvette "will provide the Philippine Navy with anti-submarine warfare capability and an important platform to train officers and sailors on anti-submarine warfare operations," Lorenzana said.

The ship measures 88.3 meters long, with a beam of 10 meters and draft of 2.9 meters while her displacement is at 1,216 tons full load. It can move to a maximum speed of 25 knots to a distance of 4,000 nautical miles.

Moreover, it is armed with two Oto Melara 76 mm main guns, a 30-mm automatic cannon, anti-submarine torpedoes and a variety of sensors, sonars, and radars.

In a separate statement, the Philippine Navy said the acquisition of the ship "will beef up the navy's frontline defense in safeguarding our maritime nation and territorial limits, and greatly enhance our fleet's anti-air warfare (AAW), anti-surface warfare (ASUW), anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capabilities."

The vessel will be used for ASW training in preparation for transition to the future corvette vessels the Philippine Navy plan to purchase under a 535 million-U.S. dollar acquisition plan of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the acquisition of warships and other naval assets as part of the Armed Forces of the Philippines' plan to modernize and strengthen its military capability.

Aside from corvettes, the Philippines also plans to buy eight fast attack interdiction craft missile. Other projects include the upgrading of the navy's two patrol vessels, acquisition of two submarines, and shore-based missile systems. Enditem

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