December 7, 2020 – The Philippine Navy (PN)’s prospective missile frigate, BRP Antonio Luna (FF-151), will undergo a test of its communications system as part of its second sea acceptance trials this week.
The test would be conducted off the waters of Ulsan, South Korea, PN public affairs office chief Lt. Commander Maria Christina Roxas said in an interview with the Philippine News Agency (PNA) Monday.
“Comms (communications) testing will be on December 7 to 11 on Ulsan waters,” she added.
This phase will involve testing the ship’s communications system in various seagoing scenarios.
Roxas said the first sea acceptance trials, held from Nov. 30 to Dec. 4, yielded satisfactory results.
“The first week of sea acceptance trial (was) completed with satisfactory results. The test conducted are the vessel performance, propulsion control, navigation systems, and auxiliary machinery,” she added.
More systems tests or trials are to be conducted in the coming weeks.
She added that the third batch of PN personnel, assigned to the BRP Antonio Luna, and scheduled for original equipment manufacturer (OEM) training have already arrived in South Korea on Nov. 27 and are now observing their 14-day mandatory quarantine before starting their training.
BRP Antonio Luna was launched on Nov. 8, 2019 at the Ulsan facility of South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries. Its keel-laying on May 23, 2019, coincided with the launch of BRP Jose Rizal.
The contract for the BRP Jose Rizal and the BRP Antonio Luna was placed at PHP16 billion with another PHP2 billion for weapon systems and munitions.
These ships are capable of conducting anti-air warfare (AAW), anti-surface warfare (ASUW), anti-submarine warfare (ASW), and electronic warfare (EW) operations.
Earlier, PN chief Vice Admiral Giovanni Carlo Bacordo said the BRP Antonio Luna could have been delivered this October if not for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
“If not for this Covid-19 pandemic, the second frigate (FF-151) should have been delivered by October this year but because of this pandemic, it will be moved to the first quarter of Calendar Year 2021,” he added in an online forum.