MANILA — Test-firing of the 76-mm main gun of the country’s first purposedly designed missile frigate, BRP Jose Rizal (FF-150), was successfully concluded off South Korean waters on Wednesday.
Philippine Navy (PN) public affairs office chief, Lt. Commander Maria Christina Roxas, said the test-firing of BRP Jose Rizal’s Oto Melara Super Rapid main gun successfully went off during sea trials as per reports from PN representatives who witnessed the test.
“The recent one was yesterday (Wednesday) and that is our fifth sea trial. We conducted a structural test firing of our main gun (76mm Oto Melara Super Rapid SR main gun) with 12 rounds of ammunition. This is to check the effect of the main gun in the structure of the ship,” Roxas said in a message late Thursday.
Roxas said the sixth sea trials involving the ship’s combat systems (weapons and sensors), integrated platform management system and endurance test of the frigate will commence on February 17.
The third and fourth sea trials took place in the third week of January that involves testing the communications and navigational equipment of the BRP Jose Rizal and also went successfully.
The ship’s first and second sea trials took place in November and December last year, respectively, which involves the vessel’s general seaworthiness and propulsion and associated systems, including its radars.
BRP Jose Rizal has a maximum designed speed of 25 knots and a cruising speed of 15 knots and a range of 4,500 nautical miles.
The sea trials are the last phase of construction prior to the frigate’s delivery to the Philippines scheduled tentatively in April or May this year.
BRP Jose Rizal was launched at the Hyundai Heavy Industries shipyard in Ulsan May 23, 2019. The contract for the BRP Jose Rizal and its sister ship, the BRP Antonio Luna (FF-151), is 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. Priam Nepomuceno /PNA – northboundasia.com