Philippines' Brand-New Warship Arrives in February From South Korea
The Philippine Navy's newest warship will arrive in the country in February. In a statement released on January 26, 2021, Commander Benjo Negranza of the Philippine Navy revealed BRP Antonio Luna (FF-151) is undergoing final technical inspections in South Korea. It is the second brand-new warship acquired by the Philippines after BRP Jose Rizal. Both were made by South Korea's Hyundai Heavy Industries.
The Antonio Luna is a variant of South Korea's Incheon-class frigates. A frigate is a type of warship built for speed and maneuverability, typically taking multiple roles at sea. The BRP Antonio Luna and BRP Jose Rizal are types of guided-missile frigates that can be used to patrol and deter incursions in the West Philippine Sea.
According to a report by the Inquirer, the brand-new warship is expected to arrive in the Philippines on February 5 if technical inspections go smoothly.
Weapons on the BRP Antonio Luna
Like many modern warships, the BRP Antonio Luna and BRP Jose Rizal are equipped with electronic warfare and decoy systems. This means they could jam the radars of nearby warplanes as a defense measure to avoid getting targetted. They are also equipped with decoy launchers that can intercept enemy missiles or rockets in case they are attacked.
On the offensive side, both ships are equipped with a 76-mm super rapid gun, a 30-mm gun, a close-in weapon system for detecting and destroying incoming missiles, four c-star anti-ship missiles on twin canisters, two torpedo launcher systems, and two Mistral homing rocket launchers.
BRP Antonio Luna's 76-MM Super Rapid Gun (Main Weapon)
BRP Antonio Luna's Close-in Weapon System
Together with the Philippine Navy's flagship BRP Jose Rizal, the BRP Antonio Luna signifies the country's commitment to creating a "minimum credible defense posture" in the West Philippine Sea. That means the Philippine Navy intends to beef up its muscle but only enough to deter potential aggressors from encroaching on the country's maritime zones and territories.