MANILA --- The Philippine Navy said the construction of the country's first missile-armed frigate is steadily progressing.
"(The construction of) our (first) frigate is moving forward. It will arrive in February (or) March of 2020. All systems go and we should be happy for our country," Navy flag-officer-in-command, Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad, said during an interview with reporters late Monday.
The keel-laying for the frigate took place in Ulsan, South Korea last October 16.
The Philippines and Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) signed a PHP16 billion contract for two missile-armed frigates, with another PHP2 billion set aside for its weapon systems and munition.
The projected delivery date for the first frigate is in 2020 and the second in 2021.
“The ceremony was conducted at Building Dock No. 6 of the Special and Naval Shipbuilding Division of HHI. Three blocks of the first PN frigate (with HHI Project No. 159) was installed on the dock,” Capt. Sergio Bartolome, the Navy officer supervising the project, earlier said.
Keel-laying signals the start of the ship's construction and is among the four highlights of a vessel's life, the other three being the launch, commissioning and decommissioning.
The keel is considered the backbone of any ship and breaking or destroying it will result in the destruction and sinking of any water craft. The steel-cutting for the first frigate took place last April.