The Philippine government has approved a budget totaling PHP 38 billion (US$730 million) for the acquisition of newbuild vessels by the country's navy, the service's most senior official told local reporters on Monday, June 17.
Navy flag officer in-command (FOIC) Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad said the approved budget will cover the procurement of two corvettes and eight fast attack/interdiction craft.
The admiral added that the corvettes will feature more sophisticated weapons systems compared to those that will be fitted on the two Jose Rizal-class frigates slated to enter service starting next year while the fast attack craft will be armed with surface-to-surface missiles capable of hitting targets up to 25 kilometres away.
Meanwhile, the navy will take delivery of a decommissioned South Korean Navy Pohang-class corvette and three more Mark III Multi-Purpose Attack Craft (MPAC) within the next two months.
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