MANILA – The Philippines’ second-guided missile frigate, BRP Antonio Luna (FF-151), was officially deployed to its first mission in the Naval Forces West in Palawan.
Philippine Navy (PN) chief, Rear Adm. Adeluis Bordado led the send-off ceremony for the BRP Antonio Luna at the Pier, South Harbor, Manila on Thursday, where he urged all officers and enlisted personnel of the ship “to sail boldly.”
“I know that you have trained very hard for this,” he added, noting that the missile frigate is one of the most advanced in the naval platform to fly the national ensign.
The BRP Antonio Luna arrived in the country in February and was officially commissioned to the PN service in March.
“I want you to know how much pride and honor you carry and magnify for the entire Command by carrying the Philippine flag during your first and most challenging mission yet. Make waves, bow, and winds obey,” Bordado said.
BRP Antonio Luna, commanded by Navy Capt. Charles Merric Villanueva, had recently declared a high state of operational readiness after successfully complying with all pre-deployment requirements.
After completing its logistical fill-up, the frigate will be deployed in Naval Forces West.
The Naval Forces West is responsible for protecting Palawan waters and part of the West Philippine Sea including the Kalayaan Island Group.
BRP Antonio Luna and its sister ship, BRP Jose Rizal (FF-150), are capable of surface, sub-surface, air, and electronic warfare using state-of-the-art electronic sensors, long-range missiles, acoustic-guided torpedoes, and an embarked anti-submarine helicopter.
The BRP Antonio Luna left Ulsan, South Korea last February 5 and arrived in Capones Island in Zambales on February 9.
The contract for the two ships was placed at PHP16 billion, with PHP2 billion for weapon systems and munitions. (PNA)