MANILA Source: BERNAMA (News AgencyThe Department of National Defense (DND) on Tuesday announced that it has begun the acquisition process for the ammunition needed to arm the 76-mm automatic main cannons and 30-mm secondary cannons of the two missile-equipped frigates, being constructed by South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI).
An invitation to bid bulletin posted on the DND website indicated that PHP77,536,964 is the approved budget for the so-called Frigate Acquisition Project Lot 2C Sublot-1 or the acquisition for the 76-mm ammunition.
Meanwhile, the budget for the Frigate Acquisition Project Lot 2C Sublot-2 or the acquisition for the 30-mm ammunition, is placed at PHP100 million. Both will be sourced from the AFP Modernization Trust Fund.
Winning bidders are required to deliver the items within 240 calendar days upon receipt of the Notice to Proceed.
They must also have completed a similar project in the past 10 years, DND Bids and Awards Committee 1 chair, Assistant Secretary Manuel Felino V. Ramos, said in the bulletin.
The pre-bid conference for both projects will be held at the DND Bids and Awards Committee Conference Room, Basement, Left Wing, DND Building, Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City at 10 a.m. on February 7.
The opening of the bids will be held at the same venue at 10 a.m. on February 21.
Earlier, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said that the two missile-armed frigates being constructed by HHI will be named BRP Antonio Luna and BRP Jose Rizal, two of the country's leading patriots.
He added that these names are fitting as they came from Filipino heroes.
Rizal is considered the country's national hero for his writing against the abuses committed by Spanish colonial authorities that inspired the Philippine Revolution.
Luna, meanwhile, is known for his staunch resistance against the Americans during the Philippine-American War.
The construction for the first missile-armed frigates is proceeding smoothly, Philippine Navy (PN) flag-officer-in-command Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad announced.
"(Construction for) our (first-missile) frigate is moving forward. It will arrive in February (or) March of 2020. All systems go and we should very happy. We should be happy for our country," he added.
The keel-laying for the first-missile-armed frigate took place in Ulsan, South Korea on October 16 last year, with steel-cutting for the second ship taking place last September 17.
HHI is expected to lay the keel for the second frigate by the first quarter of 2019.
The Philippines and HHI signed a PHP16-billion contract for two missile-armed frigates, with another PHP2 billion set aside for its weapon systems and munition. The projected delivery date for the first frigate is by 2020 and the second one, in 2021.
The ceremony was conducted at the building dock number 6 of the Special and Naval Shipbuilding Division of HHI. Three blocks of the first PN frigate (with HHI Project Number 159) was installed on the dock, Capt. Sergio Bartolome, the PN officer supervising the project, earlier said.
Keel-laying formally starts the ship's construction and is among the four highlights of a vessel life with the other three being the launch, commissioning and decommissioning.
The keel is also considered the backbone of any ship and breakage will result in the destruction and sinking of any water craft.
The steel-cutting for the first frigate took place last April. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency