MANILA --- A European firm bagged the contract to supply surface-to-air missiles for the two frigates currently being constructed by South Korean shipbuilder, Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI).
In a Notice of Award dated January 30 posted on the Department of National Defense website, the agency accepted the bid of MBDA France to supply the surface-to-air missiles for 10,690,000 Euros (PHP639,262,000).
The amount is pegged at an exchange rate where one euro is equivalent to PHP59.80, during the time when the notice of award was issued.
"This is to inform you that the proposal of MBDA France for the Acquisition of Frigate Lot 2 (Missiles and Munition) -- Lot 2B Surface-to-Air Missile Project of the Philippine Navy, with a corresponding contract price in the amount of Ten Million Six Hundred Ninety Thousand Euros (10,690,000 Euros) is hereby accepted," Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said in the notice.
Earlier, the Department of National Defense Bids and Awards Committee 1, in a resolution, declared MBDA France's proposal as the "Single Calculated and Response Quotation for the Acquisition of Frigate Lot 2 (Missiles and Munition) -- Lot 2B Surface-to-Air Missile Project and Recommending the Issuance of a Notice of Award in its Favor."
The contract covers two Simbad launchers for Mistral short-range surface-to-air missiles for each frigate, MBDA said March 13.
Philippine Navy (PN) flag-officer-in-command Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad, earlier, announced that the construction of the first missile-armed frigates is proceeding smoothly.
"(Construction for) our (first-missile) frigate is moving forward. Darating na siya sa (It will arrive by) February (or) March of 2020, all systems go and we should be very happy. We should be happy for our country," he added.
The keel-laying for the first-missile-armed frigate took place last October 16 in Ulsan, South Korea while the steel-cutting for the second ship took place last September 17, 2018.
The steel cutting for the first frigate took place on April of the same year.
HHI is expected to lay the keel of the second frigate by the first quarter of 2019.
The Philippines and 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 of the first frigate is by 2020, and the second one, in 2021. (PNA)
(EDITOR’S NOTE: No-one could be reached at MBDA outside of business hours to comment the Philippines’ announcement.)
-- March 14 @ 8:00 CET: Added MBDA statement detailing the type of missile covered by the contract.