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South Korea Shipbuilder Sees Subic Repair Facility: DND

Delfin Lorenzana of the Department of National Defense (DND) stated that Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), a South Korean shipbuilder, may decide to build its maintenance facility in Subic, Zambales.

The facility, which could be established in the old Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Philippines (HHIC-Phil) shipyard in Subic Bay, will take care of the maintenance requirements of all naval ships manufactured by HHI for the Philippine Armed Forces (AFP).

In response to questions about whether the DND will have to send its HHI-constructed ships to South Korea if they need repairs or maintenance, Lorenzana said during his goodbye conference with reporters on Tuesday, “They are intending to construct a maintenance depot here for all (HHI-ordered) ships.”

The first two missile frigates of the Philippine Navy (PN), BRP Jose Rizal (FF-150) and BRP Antonio Luna, were constructed by HHI (FF-151). In December, the company also won the PHP30 billion offshore patrol vessel (OPV) contract as well as the PHP28 billion contract for two anti-submarine corvettes.

The HHI is also the contractor for the “Pohang”-class corvettes of the South Korean Navy, one of which is now serving with the PN and another of which is scheduled to be transferred soon.

Along with the OPV agreement, the DND and HHI also agreed to a lifetime service support contract on June 27 for the maintenance of the two guided-missile frigates Jose Rizal.

Lorenzana has stated that HHI is perfect for the OPV project because it had built two modern ships, the Jose Rizal-class missile frigates, for the PN in the past.

The Naval Operating Base (NOB) Subic, which was activated in May and presently houses the PN’s major ships, was likewise built on a portion of the former HHIC-Phil shipyard.

The leasing deal for the PN to occupy the northern part of the former HHIC-Phil shipyard, which covers around 100 hectares of the site’s more than 280 hectares, was recently approved, leading to the activation.

The Department of National Defense, the Office of the Executive Secretary, the Departments of Finance, Budget and Management, and Justice, as well as the Bases Conversion and Development Authority and the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, worked together to help the PN acquire this key harbor.

The Navy’s stepped-up marine activities to support the required base services of deep-draft warships like Jose Rizal-class missile frigates, Del Pilar-class offshore patrol ships, and Tarlac-class landing docks are in accordance with the activation and subsequent operationalization of NOB Subic.

Select fleet marine units, maintenance, and replenishment facilities will be housed at the recently activated base, allowing the fleet to support the operating needs of the present and upcoming capital vessels.

The NOB Subic is an essential part of the Navy’s drive to modernize and transform into a multifunctional naval force.

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