The Philippine Navy (PN) held a simple send-off ceremony for its contingent that will participate in the world’s premier and largest joint and combined naval exercise dubbed as Rim of the Pacific Exercise 2020 (RIMPAC20) in Honolulu, Hawaii. The participating Philippine Navy Naval Task Group (NTG) 80.5 is onboard the newly-commissioned missile-frigate BRP Jose Rizal (FF150) with an embarked AW109 naval helicopter. Through RIMPAC20, Philippine Navy will be able to simulate and test the capabilities of this newly acquired platform. This will provide FF150 a venue to test the proficiency of personnel as they integrate in a wider range of operations.
On April 29 2020, the US Navy announced RIMPAC would be held from August 17-30, but due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, it would be at sea only. RIMPAC 2020 will involve 23 ships, including a submarine, and aircraft. Participating countries are Australia, Brunei, Canada, France, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore and the United States. RIMPAC 2020 is from August 17 to 31, 2020. To date, only three ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries will be participating and these are Singapore, Brunei, and the Philippines. As of this time, only 11 countries will be sending ships to join the biennial maneuvers described as the largest maritime warfare exercise in the world.
RIMPAC, the Rim of the Pacific Exercise, is the world’s largest international maritime warfare exercise. RIMPAC is held biennially during June and July of even-numbered years from Honolulu, Hawaii. It is hosted and administered by the United States Navy’s Indo-Pacific Command, headquartered at Pearl Harbor, in conjunction with the Marine Corps, the Coast Guard, and Hawaii National Guard forces under the control of the Governor of Hawaii. With RIMPAC the United States Indo-Pacific Command seeks to enhance interoperability among Pacific Rim armed forces, as a means of promoting stability in the region to the benefit of all participating nations.
The Jose Rizal frigate was launched on May 23, 2019 by Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) in Ulsan, South Korea. The ships are heavily modified derivative of HDF-3000 frigate design (officially known as HDF-2600 Frigate Design) from Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) with design specifically accommodated to fit the requirements of the Philippine Navy. She started sea trial near in South Korean waters in November last year and was delivered May 18. The contract was signed following the victory of HHI in an international tender. The contract value was determined to be 15.744571584 billion Philippine pesos (about $ 311 million).