November 5, 2018 – It actually costs more to operate and maintain older naval vessels, Philippine Navy spokesperson Commander Jonathan Zata said Monday.
Zata made this comment when pressed on whether or not the recent decommissioning of some of its senior vessels left the Navy short-handed.
“We’re actually optimizing available resources in decommissioning Navy ships. Personnel, equipment and funds needed to maintain older ships are being rechanneled to support newer and more capable vessels. It actually cost more funds to maintain and sustain older ships than it is for newer ones. Likewise, there is a need to train personnel to handle newer and more modern equipment and weapons systems,” he said in a message sent to the Philippine News Agency.
Last Oct. 31, the PN retired from service the BRP Bienvenido Salting (PC-112) after 22 years in service, while last March 15, it retired BRP Rajah Humabon (PS-11) after 38 years.
Zata said these decommissioned vessels will be replaced by a South Korean-donated Pohang-class ship and the two missile-armed frigates now being constructed by Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI).
“A Pohang-class frigate will be available by the first half of next year while (one of the two) the new and purposely built (missile-armed frigates) for the PN will be delivered by the following year, 2020,” he added.
Keel-laying for the first HHI-constructed frigate took place last Oct. 16 in Ulsan, South Korea, while the steel-cutting for the second ship transpired on Sept. 17, also in the same shipyard.