January 14, 2021 – The officers and enlisted personnel aboard the prospective BRP Antonio Luna (FF-151), the country’s second missile frigate, is now conducting unit training at sea.
“(They are now conducting) unit training (as of this time). This means that the crew is now conducting a hands-on operation on the different systems aboard the ship. This includes machinery, weapons, and sensors,” Philippine Navy (PN) public affairs office chief Lt. Commander Maria Christina Roxas said in a message to the Philippine News Agency on Thursday, when sought for updates about the ship.
Roxas added that the ship is also performing maneuvers during this period except undocking which is being done with the assistance of a harbor pilot.
She added that the unit training took place shortly after the BRP Antonio Luna’s final drydock, painting and outfitting after its satisfactory sea acceptance trials (SAT) which took place last December 14 to 18 off Ulsan, South Korea.
Earlier, Rear Adm. Alberto Carlos, head of the PN’s Technical Inspection and Acceptance Committee (TIAC), declared that FF-151 is compliant with the agreed technical specifications after personally witnessing the warship’s performance during the sea trials.
“FF-151 is 95 percent complete at this time. All machinery and combat systems were subjected to test procedures as stipulated in the contract and were observed to be working properly. More importantly, I’m happy to announce that FF-151 passed the prescribed standards and procedures,” he said.
Built by South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), BRP Antonio Luna is a modern naval warship capable of surface, sub-surface, air, and electronic warfare using state-of-the-art electronic sensors, long-range missiles, acoustic guided torpedoes, and an embarked anti-submarine helicopter.
The ship is expected to be delivered and turned over to the PN by the first quarter of 2021.
The first frigate, BRP Jose Rizal (FF-150), was delivered and subsequently commissioned into the PN last July 10.
BRP Antonio Luna’s keel-laying on May 23, 2019, coincided with the launch of BRP Jose Rizal (FF-150).
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.