MANILA — The participation of the BRP Jose Rizal (FF-150), the country’s first missile-frigate, in this year’s “Rim of the Pacific” (RIMPAC) naval exercises will help the Philippine Navy (PN) in the development of its doctrines on surface warfare operations, its chief said on Monday.
“The experience acquired in this exercise is also an important input in the development of our doctrines in surface warfare operations ensuring that the PN is responsive against modern-day threats. Moreover, PN’s participation enhances our cooperation and inter-operability with other foreign navies,” said Vice Adm. Giovanni Carlo Bacordo in a message to the Philippine News Agency (PNA), when asked for updates on BRP Jose Rizal’s deployment for the international naval exercise slated on August 17 to 31.
Bacordo said the participation of the PN’s first modern frigate will also help in the overall development of knowledge and skills of their naval personnel.
He added that RIMPAC, touted as the world’s largest maritime warfare exercise, will give the PN an opportunity to see the ship in action, showcasing her capabilities in naval warfare.
“The crew of FF-150 have been conducting various training in preparation for the exercise. Training and drills are scheduled every day to make sure that the crew is in its highest state of readiness. Their training not only focuses on ship emergency drills but also on combat information center drills simulating actual combat scenarios,” Bacordo said.
Also, the crew of BRP Jose Rizal will get to witness live-fire and sinking exercises first hand, he added.
“This is a great opportunity for the ship and its crew to observe and learn how other countries utilize weapons against air, surface and sub-surface threats,” Bacordo said.
BRP Jose Rizal is scheduled to depart for Hawaii, where the biennial RIMPAC is usually held, this coming July 29 with preparations for the voyage now nearing completion.
“The ship is also logistically prepared and has enough provisions for the entire voyage. Various refueling and reprovisioning points have also been identified as part of the planning,” he added.
Earlier, PN public affairs office chief, Lt. Commander Maria Christina Roxas, said the ship’s crew would use the two-week RIMPAC maneuvers as a “shakedown cruise” to test the performance and seaworthiness of the brand-new missile frigate.
A “shakedown cruise” allows the crew to familiarize themselves aboard a new vessel and ensure that all of the ship’s systems are functional.
The RIMPAC, being a multi-dimensional training exercise, will be a chance for the BRP Jose Rizal “to level up its engagement in this four-dimension warfare”, Roxas added.
“Having this exercise for FF-150, it is an opportunity now that we have this capability in our inventory,” she said. The ship is capable of conducting anti-air warfare, anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, and electronic warfare operations.
The BRP Jose Rizal was launched at the Hyundai Heavy Industries’ shipyard in Ulsan, South Korea on May 23, 2019.
Its sister ship, the BRP Antonio Luna (FF-151), was launched in the same facility on November 8 last year. The contract for the two ships was PHP16 billion, along with PHP2 billion for weapon systems and munitions. (PNA)
On photo: The 150-manned BRP Jose Rizal, the country’s first missile frigate, will participate in this year’s Rim of the Pacific, the largest maritime warfare exercise in Hawaii. It is scheduled to depart 29 July 2020.