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The Philippines' Two Brand-New Missile Warships Sail Together for the First Time

Each ship cost around P8 billion each.
IMAGE Philippine Navy
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For the first time, the Philippine navy's two brand-new warships from South Korea sailed together in Philippine waters as BRP Antonio Luna arrived in the country after passing the final technical inspections in South Korea.

BRP Jose Rizal, which was delivered to the Philippines months earlier, met her sister-ship BRP Antonio Luna as it entered Philippine territorial waters on February 9, 2021. The Philippine Navy purchased the two frigates from Korea's Hyundai Heavy Industries for P16 billion as part of its modernization program. 

BRP Antonio Luna

Photo by Philippine Navy.

BRP Jose Rizal

Photo by Philippine Navy.
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The two warships conducted drills, followed by their first passing maneuver exercises. The exercise was filmed from an AgustaWestland AW109 naval helicopter. The Philippine Air Force also participated with a fly-by of three brand-new FA-50 jets to welcome the new warship. The jets were also purchased from South Korea.

AFP Chief: We Will Improve Patrols in the West Philippine Sea

Newly installed Armed Forces Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana said in a press conference that the armed forces is prepared to increase patrols in the highly disputed West Philippine Sea. 

He was reacting to the new law passed in China authorizing its coast guard to use force on ships in the West Philippine Sea. 

"That's very alarming. I should say it's a very irresponsible statement," said Sobejana. 

"As part of our mandate to protect the people, we will increase our visibility through the deployment of more naval assets," he said. 

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Mario Alvaro Limos
Features Editor, Esquire Philippines
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