The surface-to-air and surface-to-surface missiles of the Philippine Navy (PN) BRP Jose Rizal (FF-150) and BRP Antonio Luna (FF-151) are scheduled for delivery in October next year and the first quarter of 2022. The Philippine Navy (PN) said in a message to the official media outlet Philippine News Agency (PNA) when sought for updates on the acquisition of primary weapons of the two guided-missile frigates. The contract for the two ships was placed at PHP16 billion with another PHP2 billion for weapon systems and munitions. Both will be sourced from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Modernization Trust Fund.
The surface-to-surface guided missile project is under “Frigate Acquisition Lot 2A” and that South Korean defense manufacturer LIG Nex 1 would deliver C-Star missiles. The SSM-700K Haeseong (C-Star) Anti-ship Missile is a ship launched sea-skimming surface-to-surface anti-ship cruise missile developed by the South Korean Agency for Defense Development (ADD), LIG Nex1 and the Republic of Korea Navy in 2003. The missiles are deployed on KDX-II and KDX-III destroyers as of 2006, each carrying 8 and 16 of the missiles respectively, and on Ulsan-class frigates. It is reported that an unknown number of C-Star missiles were sold to Colombia.
Meanwhile, the surface-to-air guided missile project is under “Frigate Acquisition Lot 2B” and was awarded to MBDA, France, which would deliver a quantity of Mistral 3 anti-aircraft missiles. Mistral is an infrared homing MANPADS manufactured by the European multinational company MBDA missile systems (formerly by Matra BAe Dynamics). It was initially deployed in 1988 for the first version (S1), 1997 for the second version (M2), and 2019 for the third version (M3). There are also launch units that allow the missile to be fired from armoured vehicles, ships or helicopters. A two-missile unit installed on ships is called Simbad, and a newly launched four-missile version is called Tetral.
The Jose Rizal-class of multi-role guided missile frigates, currently in service with the Philippine Navy, are heavily modified variant of the ROK Navy’s Incheon-class frigates. The ships, which were built by Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), are specifically accommodated to fit the requirements of the Philippine Navy. The BRP Jose Rizal was delivered to the Philippines in May and commissioned last July, while the BRP Antonio Luna is expected to be delivered to the PN by February next year. The frigates will improve the capability of Philippine Navy’s Offshore Combat Force, which is mostly composed of aging fleet of retired ships transferred from other countries.