The Philippines will receive several weapon systems and military equipment from South Korea. Representatives of the Philippine Navy visited the Jinhae naval base to examine the decommissioned Pohang-class corvette ROKS Andong (PCC-771). If the transfer pushes through, the corvette will be the second ship donated to the Philippines by South Korea. A group of Philippine military and defense officials also went to South Korea earlier this month to inspect rocket systems and an anti-submarine warship used by the South Korean armed forces. In addition to rocket systems and military vessels, Manila will likely receive additional equipment and ammunition,
ROKS Andong (PCC-771) was a Pohang-class corvette of the Republic of Korea Navy. The Pohang class is a series of corvettes built by different Korean shipbuilding companies. The class consists of 24 ships and some after decommissioning were sold or given to other countries. There are five different types of designs in the class from Flight II to Flight VI. If the transfer pushes through, the vessel will be the Philippines’ second donated ship by South Korea, which two years ago handed over a second-hand Pohang-class corvette ROKS Chungju (PCC-762), now called BRP Conrado Yap (PS-39).
According to a report by Inquirer.net, Manila and Seoul’s security ties have flourished through the years after it was cemented by the Philippine deployment of troops during the Korean war in the 1950s.South Korea has been a major source of military hardware for the Philippines— from military trucks to light fighters. In the past year, Hyundai Heavy Industries delivered two Rizal-class frigates for the Philippine Navy worth P16 billion. South Korean firm Hanwha Systems, the supplier of the combat management systems for Rizal-class warships, is also in charge of upgrading the Navy’s Del Pilar-class vessels. Hanwha pledged in 2019 to donate a simulator training center for the Navy.
The Department of National Defense was expected to issue the notice of award to HHI in the coming weeks, once the special allocation release order is approved by the Department of Budget and Management. The donation came ahead of an anticipated big-ticket procurement for a pair of brand new corvettes from South Korea’s HHI for P28 billion—a plan that has been announced since 2019 but it faced setbacks due to budgetary constraints and the pandemic. HHI has been declared as the “single responsive offeror” for the Navy’s corvette acquisition project. These ships are envisioned to be more advanced than Rizal-class warships also built by HHI.