The Philippines has ordered two new warships from South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries, Philippine Defense Minister Delfin Lorenzana said on Tuesday. He said the acquisition was aimed at modernizing the country’s navy after an escalating dispute with Beijing in the South China Sea region.
The Philippine Navy’s arsenal has been a concern in recent years. The country even operates US warships from WWII. The naval modernization program began in 2010, when President Rodrigo Duterte’s predecessor, Benigno Aquino, took power. Unfortunately, modernization is quite simple.
The $556 million deal with the South Korean shipbuilding giant comes five years after the company won a contract to build two new frigates for the Philippine Navy.
Corvettes and frigates are small but fast-moving warships. These two types of ships were mainly used to protect other ships from attack.
“This project will provide the Philippine Navy with two modern corvettes capable of performing anti-ship, anti-submarine and air defense missions,” Lorenzana said at the agreement signing ceremony in Manila. Said.
Manila has purchased two ex-US Coast Guard vessels, three landing craft from Australia and several coastguard patrol vessels from Japan in an effort to increase its presence in the South China Sea, where the country faces a dispute with Beijing.
China claims almost all trade routes at sea are its own. Beijing’s claims contradict Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam. It is said that the routes in the South China Sea pass trillions of dollars worth of trade each year.
China ignored the 2016 decision of the Court of Arbitration in The Hague, which declared Beijing’s historic claims about the sea to be unfounded. [ab/ka]