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  • The Phil. Army's Interest on the FGM-148 Javelin ATGM

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  • More Shaldag-class FAIC-M for the Philippine Navy?

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  • More FA-50PH for the Philippine Air Force?

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  • Know More About Us

    Just kindly click this link to understand more about our resolve of providing knowledge and perspective in relation to the Philippine defense and other related topics or discussions.

The Donated SD3-30 (C-23) Sherpa Aircraft of the Philippine Army

A donated platform helps provide a bit of an increase in military capabilities, especially to provide mobility and logistics support that a military branch needs for a quick deployment for its troops and military hardware across the country, in areas that immediate aid and support that they need

We will discuss the donation coming from the United States to the Armed Forces of the Philippines, specifically for the Philippine Army Aviation Unit.

INTRODUCTION
The type of aircraft that the Philippine Army received from a donation.
(c) Philippine Army Facebook Page.

The Philippine Army recently received the donated SD3-30 Sherpa Aircraft from a local business conglomerate named "Semirara Mining and Power Corporation", a mining and power-oriented enterprise owned by the Consunji family, in which the recipient for the donation of the air assets will be the Philippine Army's 'Army Aviation Regiment' itself currently improving its capability as a unit by getting more assets like this one.

This is despite the news coming from the past about the military's interest in securing the same type of aircraft from the United States, but with the intentions slowly fading away as securing C-23 Sherpa Aircraft from the United States may require additional funding and budgeting requirements that the Philippine Armed Forces does not have for the needed repair and rehabilitation.

Since the recipient will be the Army Aviation 'Hiraya' Regiment of the Philippine Army, we can say that these logistics fixed-wing aircraft will be the largest one that the Army Aviation Unit will have since the inception of the military unit, as it gives an indication of the continuous growth that this military unit will have, with the plans of having more flying military hardware for the Philippine Army to have in the future.

That being said, this will give the Philippine Army the needed airlifting platforms, wherein they can rely less on the Philippine Air Force for such requirements while giving the assurances that such military hardware are on their disposal whenever they needed a deployment for the aircraft to partake, whether it will be an area of concern from a security standpoint or from such area that went affected by natural calamities at hand.

Now that the Philippine Army has a SD3-30 Sherpa Aircraft at its possession, we will discuss the details pertaining to this airlift platform, in a manner similar to the way military assets discussed in this page, such as its manufacturer, development, and the specifications, with an apples-to-apples comparison to a related platform such as the ones currently in service with the Philippine Air Force.

KNOWING THE SHORT BROTHERS PLC
An aerospace company from Belfast, Northern Ireland. Image Source.

In an overview, Short Brothers PLC is an aerospace company, with its headquarters in Belfast, Northern Ireland and is currently a subsidiary of Spirit AeroSystems Inc., an aircraft supplier firm with its headquarters in the state of Kansas, in the United States of America. This is the third time the company changed ownership from being a standalone company at the beginning of the century until to the sales that took place and the organization that it is today.

The company started in 1909 and was, apparently, the first company in the world that mass produce aeroplanes, which was an invention relatively new during those times, especially in the decade that the first powered and sustained aeroplane flight took place six years prior to 1903 by the Wright Brothers in the United States, using the Wright Flyer. The Short Brothers PLC produced the same advanced aerospace technology of that time under license.

As the Short Brothers PLC, as an aerospace company, grew from its foundation in the early 1900s, they supplied aircraft to the British Royal Air Force, especially during the First World War when they produced the Short Type 154 Reconnaissance/Torpedo Floating Aeroplane, wherein it saw action during that war and has sunk an enemy warship using a torpedo as its primary weapon of choice, with the vessel being of Turkish origin.

The company survived all its way into the Second World War, as the interwar period has proven to be difficult to the British aerospace industry during those times, just like those with other aerospace industries across the world. As the Second World War has started and progressed all throughout the 1940s, Short Brothers PLC produced military aircraft for the British Royal Air Force to use, such as the four-engine Short Stirling heavy bomber aeroplane, which has contributed a lot in the war alongside the more famous British heavy bomber such as the Avro Lancaster.

Short Brothers PLC after the war closed its factories that produced wartime aeroplanes to the British Royal Air Force, and became a firm based in Belfast, Northern Ireland that it is today, in which it produced several experimental intended to the British military, such as the Short SC.1 prototype Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) Aircraft, Short SB.5 prototype variable swept-wing aircraft, and the Short SB.4 Sherpa experimental aircraft.

Throughout the postwar period until the turn of the century, the leadership passed the ownership of the Short Brothers PLC from an independent company into a subsidiary of Bombardier in the mid-1980s, wherein it helped its parent company producing aircraft components intended for Bombardier's primary aerospace business, or with other aerospace companies under contract such as Boeing, Pratt and Whitney, General Electric, and Rolls Royce Deutschland.

Bombardier's ownership over Short Brothers PLC ended in 2019, when they sold the firm to Spirit AeroSystems Holding, Inc., amounting to US$500 Million in cash, with a total carrying value of around US$700 Million over the assumption of the liabilities made throughout the operations, of which it also includes another facility in Casablanca, Morrocco, and Bombardier's aero structures maintenance facility in Dallas, Texas in the United States as part of the company's business reorganization process.

DEVELOPMENT OF THE SHORT C-23 SHERPA AIRCRAFT
First C-23A Sherpa for the United States Air Force. (c) Wikimedia Commons, via this link source.

In order to understand the design of the C-23 Sherpa further as a cargo utility aircraft that will now serve as a logistics platform for the Philippine Army, let us discuss the history of its development, along with the different derivatives and previous versions of the aircraft that the Short Brothers plc built throughout its operational life, which have led to the production and existence of the C-23 Sherpa aircraft as it is today.

The first aircraft design derivative that the Short Brothers plc built that served as the basis of what will be the C-23 Sherpa military cargo aircraft design is the smaller Short SC-7 Skyvan, itself being a 19-seater twin-turboprop aircraft nicknamed as "Flying Shoebox" or "Irish Concorde", with it being used for short-hauled cargo or passenger flights which include recreational skydiving.

The Short SC-7 Skyvan has already served until the present day since 1967, with the aviation users that still have this type of aircraft appreciate its short takeoff and landing feature that is essential in short runways in remote areas, with its success prompted Short Brothers PLC developed a larger aircraft that derived from the SC-7 Skyvan, itself being the basis on the design that define the C-23 Sherpa military cargo aircraft.

With the Short SC-7 Skyvan comes an improved and further developed aircraft with this aircraft served as a basis, which is the Short 330 light cargo aircraft, with the C-23A Sherpa belonging to this family of aircraft that also include the larger Short 360 commuter aircraft and a military equivalent like the C-23B/C Sherpa aircraft wherein its capacity is far greater than the Short 330/C-23A Sherpa derivative.

They designed primarily the Short 330 aircraft as a regional airliner and a utility freighter, wherein it served the customers who had purchased the aircraft since 1975, with the military variant C-23A Sherpa primarily served most of the military branches within the United States Armed Forces, until several units such as their Army National Guard decommissioned them from service in 2014.

Before Short C-23 Sherpas became a consideration for the Philippine Army's Army Aviation, the Philippine Airlines already operated several of the Short 360s in its lineup of aircraft in the late 1980s, serving passengers in shorter routes across the country during that era, before the current time with De Havilland Dash-8 Q400NGs becoming the airlines main turboprop aircraft at the time of this article writing.

The development from SC-7 Skyvan to its current operations to several airlines, along with those for Short 330 and Short 360 aircraft and their C-23 Sherpa military variants, spanned for at least half a decade and are still operational to some users that use its primary capabilities on airlift, with the Philippine Army's Aviation Regiment being one of the new users of such aircraft for this military unit to use.

SPECIFICATIONS
The technical specifications for the Shorts 330 or C-23A Sherpa. The ones for the Shorts 360 will be larger than the ones presented. Source.

The specifications or technical data vary between the Shorts 330 aircraft or the larger Shorts 360 aircraft, wherein the details for the former have seen in a table provided above. As with Shorts 360 aircraft, it keeps the wingspan of 22.80 meters, while the length of the aircraft increased to 21.58 meters and the height to 7.27 meters as an attribute primarily to the aircraft's rudder.

Speaking of which, the Shorts 360 aircraft keeps a similar wingspan size, while there is a difference of around 3.88 meters long and 2.27 meters high in its dimension, as this will give the Shorts 360 an extra 30 more passengers as opposed to the original Shorts 330 aircraft with its 30 passenger count, which is the same thing regarding the comparison of both the C-23B/C Sherpa and its C-23A Sherpa counterpart.

As with the dimension, there is also a variance in the shaft horsepower (SHP) in the power plant (engine) configuration of both the Shorts 330 and the Shorts 360 aircraft, with the former running a 2x 1,156shp Pratt and Whitney PT6A-45B turboprops with 5 blade propellers, as opposed to the latter's 2x 990kW (1,327shp) Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-65R turboprops driving five blade constant speed Hartzell propellers.

Given the classification provided by Pratt and Whitney for its engines based on power levels, the PT6A-45B turboprops counts as a 'Medium'-powered aircraft engine, whereas the PT6A-65R turboprops counts as a 'Large'-powered aircraft engine, which makes sense for both of the Shorts aircraft aforementioned as the Shorts 360 comes with more passenger capacity count and larger size than its Shorts 330 counterpart.

The passenger count of both Shorts 330 and Shorts 360 aircraft comes shorter than other newer aircraft such as the CASA/IPTN C-235 aircraft, which comes with 2x 1,750shp power plant fit and a wider wingspan of 25.81 meters, while having a rough comparison with the Shorts 330 and Shorts 360 aircraft like with the length of fuselage at 21.35 meters and an overall height of 8.18 meters.

Take note that the CASA/IPTN C-235 aircraft served as the basis for the more modern and larger EADS-CASA/Airbus C-295 aircraft that is currently used by the Philippine Air Force for its Medium-Lift Aircraft requirements, augmenting the C-130 that the air branch also currently has in its inventory and has plans for expansion with the procurement the likes of C-130J-30 and Maritime Patrol Aircraft Acquisition Project that has C-295 MPA Persuader as one candidate, among other offers, for the project.

With the specifications provided, the C-23 Sherpa of the Philippine Army comes sufficient for their aviation regiment, especially that it provides a boost for their logistics chain that will help them become less reliant on the Philippine Air Force's airlifting capabilities, although they may still need support from the air branch of the Philippine Armed Forces on tasks far beyond the C-23 Sherpa's capabilities.

TO SURMMARIZE...
Officials from the Department of National Defense and the Philippine Army inspecting the aircraft.
(c) Philippine Army Facebook Page.

The Philippine Army's Aviation Regiment has boosted its capability further as the result of the donation of the Shorts SD3-30 Sherpa Aircraft coming from a private entity, enabling them to use its airlift capabilities in transporting army supplies and personnel in areas across the country, making them less reliant to the Philippine Air Force's cargo aircraft workhorses.

This may mean that the donation serve as a sign of the organization's plans and programs that sought to improve and expand the Army Aviation Regiment, both with rotary aircraft or helicopters of different types and fixed-wing aircraft such as the SD3-30 Sherpa aircraft, wherein it is plausible that the leadership sought to add more units of such type of aircraft in their inventory.

Currently, the Philippine Army's Aviation Regiment seeks to have more aircraft for its operations, like the AH-6i Light Attack Helicopters that has offered by Boeing for the Army Aviation Regiment's Close Air Support Capabilities, as well as its own Medevac Helicopter or an Air Ambulance that is currently in service, which is a reconfigured Bolkow-Blohm Bo-105 helicopter intended to transport severely injured personnel and others that are wounded in action.

Speaking of improving capabilities, the Army Aviation Regiment of the Philippine Army seeks to have more military hardware, such as the Sikorsky HH-60 Blackhawk MEDEVAC Helicopter, whereby it can augment the Bolkow-Blohm Bo-105 helicopter that the aviation unit currently uses to transport military personnel wounded in action, along with other purposes such as disaster relief, search and rescue, and humanitarian help.

To sum this up, the future of the Philippine Army's Aviation Regiment has the fullest potential, especially in terms of its growth and development as a sub-unit within the military organization, as they aim to have a self-reliance close air support and airlift transport mechanism that aids them to their operations, while letting the resources of the Philippine Air Force focus on more important areas such as in terms of external defense.


(c) 2022 PDA.
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Hyundai Heavy Industries' OPV Offer for the Philippine Navy

The discussion for the Offshore Patrol Vessel acquisition project of the Philippine Navy took several rounds before across multiple defense groups and communities, including here on Pitz Defense Analysis. And most of the discussions during that period pointed to the deal made by Austal, an Australian-based shipbuilding firm, to build such naval assets in the country through their shipyard in Balamban, Cebu.

Many things have changed since then, with the leadership from the Department of National Defense, as well as those within the Philippine Navy, changed the preferred supplier and instead go to a shipbuilder who has the record of building warships to the naval branch of the Philippine Armed Forces, the shipbuilder who also built the Jose Rizal-class Frigates now in active service.

INTRODUCTION
The design of the future Offshore Patrol Vessels that Hyundai Heavy Industries offered to the Philippine Navy. (c) Hyundai Heavy Industries

The Philippine Navy and the Department of National Defense are now inching closer to complete the deal, hoping that the Php 30 Billion worth of the allotted budget for the contract pertaining to the construction of six offshore patrol vessels for the fleet will get signed before the exit of the current administration, upon setting the new term for the new administration by July 1, 2022.

The deal with the South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries includes a single Pohang-class Corvette that was recently retired from the South Korean Navy, adding up to the number of such vessels in the Philippine Navy, itself currently comprises by the former ROKS Chungju (PCC-732), now named as BRP Conrado Yap (PS-39), which may get added more by the former ROKS Andong (PCC-771) entering the fleet. 

This news came as the South Korean shipbuilding firm has secured another deal with the Philippine Navy before the decision for the Offshore Patrol Vessel acquisition project, in which they are also obliged to deliver two HDC-3100 Corvettes under the Php 28 Billion Corvette Acquisition Project (US$547 Million) of the said same military branch, wherein its design is an improved variant over the HDF-2600 or the Jose Rizal-class Frigates.

Previously, the Philippine Navy and the Department of National Defense were almost determined that the Offshore Patrol Vessel Acquisition Project would award to the Australian shipbuilding firm Austal, with the provisions include building it in their shipyard in the country, in Balamban Cebu. However, the project has found out to be far more costly, amounting to Php 12 Billion of overrun than the intended budget allotted.

The said overrun has pointed out because of Austal's Value Added Tax or VAT considerations in the overall computation for this acquisition project of the Philippine Navy, making it fallen out of favor to the two other competitors, namely the Turkish arms contractor and exporter ASFAT with their own Offshore Patrol Vessel design, and South Korea's Hyundai Heavy Industries who is the preferred supplier for the project.

Hyundai Heavy Industries' win for the Offshore Patrol Vessel acquisition project will further cement their foothold in the Philippine Defense market, specifically to the naval sector wherein they have provided two other big-ticket acquisition projects coming from the Philippine Navy, namely the Frigate Acquisition Project and the current work-in-progress Corvette Acquisition Project.

With this acquisition project now set to stone as another big ticket project of the Philippine Navy under the second horizon, let us discuss in-depth about the shipbuilder (which was not discussed before), the overview for its other acquisition projects that were provided to the Philippine Navy, the specifications of the Offshore Patrol Vessel design and its comparisons to the offers made by Austal for this project.


HYUNDAI HEAVY INDUSTRIES' RECORD IN NAVAL SHIPBUILDING
South Korean Navy's eight and final Daegu-class Frigate launched in Hyundai Heavy Industries' shipyard.
Image Source.

This portion will focus primarily on the number of warships that Hyundai Heavy Industries have produced for the South Korean Navy from its inception in 1972 up to the present, as well as its other projects involving other nations like the Philippine Navy, especially that we already discussed the history of Hyundai Heavy Industries as one of key shipbuilders in South Korea through this article linked right here.

One project that the South Korean shipbuilder took part in producing multiple warships is South Korea's FFX-II project, also known as the Daegu-class Frigates (see image above), in which the warships made along with other units of the same class of warship produced by another shipbuilder Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering or DSME, with the latter offering the DSME 1400PN submarines to the Philippine Navy.

The other being the FFX-I project, or what is now known as the Incheon-class Frigates of the South Korean Navy, wherein like the FFX-II or the Daegu-class Frigates that succeeded it, have also jointly produced by Hyundai Heavy Industries and Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering for the South Korean Navy, wherein they seek to retire their older Ulsan-class Frigates from the fleet.

The experiences that the Hyundai Heavy Industries have in building these warships to the South Korean Navy helped them pitched in pushing their products to other countries like the Philippines, which so far now has at least three separate naval acquisition project for the Philippine Navy, namely the Frigate Acquisition Project that made the Jose Rizal-class Frigates, the ongoing Corvette Acquisition Project, and the Offshore Patrol Vessel Acquisition Project which is the main topic of this article.

Jose Rizal-class Frigates' design is based on the Hyundai Heavy Industries' HDF-2600 frigate concept, whereas the Corvette Acquisition Project's design was based on the HDC-3100 corvette concept, itself seen as an improvement over the previous HDF-2600 design. The ones for the Offshore Patrol Vessel of the Philippine Navy are based on the HDP-1500 offshore patrol vessel concept, in which we will talk about the details of this design all throughout this article writeup.

Hyundai Heavy Industries' bagging of the Offshore Patrol Vessel is a development for the shipbuilder's desire to get the huge pie share over the Armed Forces of the Philippines' military and defense acquisition market as it keeps on modernizing its capabilities under the Revised Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Program or the Republic Act 10349.

The reputation of the South Korean shipbuilder in producing the Jose Rizal-class Frigates (now armed with SSM-700K C-Star Anti-Ship Missiles), enabled them to increase their lineup of military hardware products that are now being provided to the Philippine Navy, especially now that they bagged two more contracts that call for the production of having more warships in the fleet, replacing the older World War 2 era vessels that the fleet decommissioned years ago.

SPECIFICATIONS
The Offshore Patrol Vessel's subcomponents. Observe the space allocated for future weapons fit.
(c) Hyundai Heavy Industries

Additional Information:
Length, Overall: 81 Meters
Breadth: 13.1 Meters
Draught: 3.5 Meters
Speed: 21 Knots
Range: 5,500 Nautical Miles (nm)
Endurance: 28 Days

Let us discuss the specifications of the HDP-1500neo concept design as provided by Hyundai Heavy Industries for its Offshore Patrol Vessel offer for the Philippine Navy, specifically with its dimensions (first three information provided) on Overall Length, Breadth, and Draught, which it define the size of each warship units they provide for the Naval Branch's Offshore Patrol Vessel Acquisition Project.

Comparing it to the dimensions provided by Austal for their concept Offshore Patrol Vessel for the Philippine Navy before Hyundai Heavy Industries has chosen for this same acquisition project, both the length and breadth (width) provided for each vessel are almost similar, with the maximum hull draft for the Austal's design being higher at 4 meters compared to those presented by the South Korean shipbuilder.

Both Offshore Patrol Vessel designs from Austal and Hyundai Heavy Industries include a helipad for the Philippine Navy's Naval Air Wing assets to land on, and a main gun with the latter having a configuration or "customizable combat suite" as they depict it in their brochure, wherein the end user having a choice to install either a 40mm or 76mm Main Gun on the warship.

Speaking of main guns, the chances for the Hyundai Heavy Industries offer for the Philippine to include a 76mm main gun is more likely, as it is the mainstay gun for the Jacinto-class Patrol Vessels, Del Pilar-class Offshore Patrol Vessels, Jose Rizal-class Frigates, and the soon-to-be HDC-3100 Corvettes also being made by the same South Korean shipbuilder, with it being an Oto Melara Super Rapid Gun.

Also, both designs include a stern-launching system for RHIBS or rigid-hull inflatable boats, as this is a feature of offshore patrol vessels to conduct maritime interdiction operations in the high seas, whereby the instances that a deployment of RHIBS complete with naval search or boarding parties are required to neutralize threats, ranging from contraband to terrorist and bandit groups that poses harm to the country's security.

Continuing further into the details provided in the HDP-1500 Brochure of Hyundai Heavy Industries, which is accessible on this link here, the weapon and sensor suite include an array of subcomponents that can found on larger vessels like Corvettes and Frigates such as a Combat Management System, 2x Ship to Ship Missile (SSM) Launchers, and 2x Triple Torpedo Launchers, as well as sensors like a hull-mounted sonar for antisubmarine capabilities.

If these are to be provided, it is not surprising that we will expect something like Hanwha Systems' Naval Shield ICMS as its default Combat Management System, SSM-700K C-Star (Haeseong) Anti-ship Missile as its ship to ship missile system, and LIG Nex1 K-745 Blue Shark torpedoes as its primary torpedo munition for the triple torpedo launchers installed onboard these offshore patrol vessels.

AUSTAL, FALLEN OUT OF FAVOR
Austal's offer to the Philippine Navy for the Offshore Patrol Vessel Acquisition Project. Image Source.

Before the Philippine Navy and Department of National Defense' decision in finalizing the deal with South Korea's Hyundai Heavy Industries, they were almost close in sealing a deal with the Australian shipbuilder Austal in what should be the first indigenously built Offshore Patrol Vessel for the fleet as part of the acquisition program of the same name, in their shipyard in Balamban, Cebu.

This was the case for the Department of National Defense in year 2021, wherein they have still affirmed that Austal's offer was at the forefront of the Offshore Patrol Vessel Acquisition Project for the Philippine Navy, with its local shipbuilding being a great asset for the Australian shipbuilder to showcase for this deal, as building it in the country may help boost the local economy for shipbuilding, benefiting Austal's local workers.

However, Austal's offer, along with the Offshore Patrol Vessel Acquisition Project itself, has faced an enormous obstacle, with the government imposing a ban against foreign loans and grants, so much that the Department of National Defense hoped that Austal and the Offshore Patrol Vessel Acquisition Project will go exempted from the ban, which it dragged this key big-ticket project of the Philippine Navy into multiple delays.

The delays did not help with the exponential increase of Austal's offer to the Offshore Patrol Vessels, now that it has calculated the Value Added Tax or VAT into the overall contract prices, overstating the allotted budget for the contract or ABC wherein it opt the Philippine Navy leadership and the Department of National Defense to go into another shipbuilder, and ended up choosing Hyundai Heavy Industries to the project.

Austal, despite the Philippine Navy and Department of National Defense' preference for the HDP-1500 Offshore Patrol Vessel offer of the Hyundai Heavy Industries, is still has an interest in the project, whereby their leadership still has its lines open for discussions even with the Philippine government undertaking the transition from one administration to another that will be in effect by July 1, 2022.

The defense secretary has believed that the defense department's cancellation of deal with Austal will not stain the relationships between the two parties, and lines of communication are still open for cooperation, with the latter still committed in getting into any future deals with the Philippine Navy, as well as other government law enforcement agencies such as the Philippine Coast Guard and the Philippine National Police.

With Austal contributing to the improvement of the Philippines' local shipbuilding industry and its portion to the country's GDP, it comes with hopes and aspirations that more acquisition projects will still be open for the Australian shipbuilder to take part in, as this may help them contribute to the improvement of the capabilities of any government maritime agencies that sees interest in their products and services.

SUMMING THIS UP
Additional features of the HDP-1500neo as presented by Hyundai Heavy Industries.

It is a good thing that the Offshore Patrol Vessel Acquisition Project of the Philippine Navy has almost reached its resolution, with the outgoing administration determined to have this big ticket project signed within the year, or before the Duterte administration steps down, in which it has flagged by VACC or Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption as a midnight deal and gives recommendation to the incoming admin to defer it.

If the incoming Marcos administration defers the Offshore Patrol Vessel acquisition project, it would add up to the already-delayed progress for this big ticket project of the Philippine Navy, as this may mean that the old Second World War-era warships that the fleet decommissioned years ago may not get replaced right away, and there may still some changes introduced along the way as long as the deal still don't get signed.

Despite all this, the Department of National Defense, along with the leadership in the Philippine Navy through their Bids and Awards Committee (BAC), has already come to the stage of conducting post-qualification process to the South Korean shipbuilder, which at the time this article has published is the preferred supplier for the Offshore Patrol Vessel Acquisition Project through their HDP-1500neo design.

And with the deal for this project coming in for finishing touches, Hyundai Heavy Industries as a supplier for the Philippine Navy gets determined to seal this deal up as this will add up to their record as a preferred shipbuilder that provides naval vessels of different types and mission requirements to the fleet, as well as increasing their market share to the support of the warships its supplies at the maintenance point of view.

Aside from Hyundai Heavy Industries' gain shall the deal push through, the Offshore Patrol Vessel Acquisition Project may help improve the relations between the Philippines and South Korea, wherein they have supplied several military equipment under various modernization projects of the Philippine Armed Forces, such as the FA-50PH from Korean Aerospace Industries and KAAV-7 of Hanwha Systems.

Speaking of the improving defense relations between the Philippines and South Korea, let us note that at the time this article published, a second Pohang-class Corvette formerly known as the ROKS Andong, is in its process of getting transferred to the Philippine Navy, with the transfer will take place sometime within this year as it will augment the other Pohang-class Corvette already serving in the Philippine Navy.

With the Offshore Patrol Vessel Acquisition Project, along with the Corvette Acquisition Project also being pushed to the South Korean shipbuilder, it may go beneficial that the relations between Hyundai Heavy Industries as a supplier and the Philippine Navy, through the Department of National as a buyer grow more, while giving other shipbuilders like Austal the opportunity to take part in other acquisition projects.


(c) 2022 PDA.
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