Lorenzana signs ₱30B deal for six Offshore Patrol Vessels for the Philippine Navy

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Courtesy: DND

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 27) — Outgoing Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana signed on Monday a ₱30 billion contract with a Korean shipbuilder for six Offshore Patrol Vessels for the Philippine Navy.

In a statement, the Department of National Defense said Lorenzana signed the deal with Hyundai Heavy Industries vice chairman Nam Sang-hoon. Present to witness the event were South Korean Ambassador to the Philippines Kim In-cheol; Gen. Andres Centino, chief-of-staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines; and Rear Admiral Caesar Bernard Valencia, acting flag-officer-in-command of the Philippine Navy.

“The project aims to further enhance the maritime patrol capabilities of the Philippine Navy, and includes technology transfer, particularly human engineering operators and maintenance training of equipment, operations training, technical publications and manual. In addition to this is a design ownership, granting the Philippine Navy a license to manufacture/build using the OPV's design for the exclusive use of the Philippine government,” the DND noted.

Lorenzana, who steps down in three days, earlier expressed reservations about signing the contract, fearing it could be labeled as a midnight deal.

The vessels measure 94.4 meters long, 14.3 meters wide, with a displacement of 2,400 tons, maximum speed of 22 knots, cruising speed of 15 knots, and a range of 5,500 nautical miles.

The DND said the OPV project was prioritized under the Second Horizon of the Revised AFP Modernization Program, as approved by President Rodrigo Duterte in May 2018. This is also the culmination of months of careful study by the DND, as endorsed by the Philippine Navy, it added.

CNN Philippines' David Santos contributed to this report.