By Priam F. Nepomuceno
MANILA, (PNA) — The Department of National Defense (DND) decision to acquire two brand-new frigates for P18-billion will boost the capabilities of the Philippine Navy fleet.
“The acquisition of the two frigates are part of the PN’s force-mix program to attain (our) minimum credible defense posture. These will also enhance the Navy’s vision to become a true blue water navy as we aim to be really strong and credible,” PN spokesperson Lt. Cmdr. Gregory Fabic said.
Blue water capability refers to the ability to sail and protect the country’s 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone against all threats.
The P18-billion contract for the ships include ammunition for the frigates’ weapon system.
Interested bidders must have completed a similar project within the last 10 years.
Winner bidders are required to deliver the frigates within 1,460 calendar days from the opening of the letter of credit.
Pre-bid conference will be held on Oct. 11 with first stage bid to be held on Oct. 25.
Both will be held at the DND Bidding Awards Committee Conference Room, Basement, DND Building, Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.
The option to acquire brandnew frigates for the Navy came in the wake of the decision to forego the acquisition of Italy’s Maestrale-class frigates due to evaluation studies that found out that operating these vessels will be more costly in the long run.
“We found out that it will be more expensive to maintain second hand vessel(s) than buying a new one,” the DND earlier said.
The Maestrale was earlier touted by the DND as the next ships to be acquired for the Philippine Navy due to its credible missile and anti-submarine capabilities.