88 Meters Korean Anti-Submarine Warship Cheaper than a Smart Phone: Philippines to buy three for ₱5,000 Pesos Each a real deal?
Korean Pohang-Class Anti-Submarine “Chungju PCC-762” which launched on 30th June 1984, commissioned on 1987 and was decommissioned on 27th December 2016 after 29 years of service in protecting Korean waters has been offered to the Philippine Navy by the Korean Government.
South Korea will transfer an ageing Pohang-class anti-submarine warship to the Philippines this year in return for just $US100 (₱ 5,000.00), boosting its capability to patrol vast maritime borders.
The 88.3 meters corvette type warship has a 1,200 tones displacement, speed of 32 knots (59 km/h), and capacity of 95 crews.
It could be fitted with armaments such as 2 x MM-38 Exocet, 1 OTO melara 76 mm/62 compact cannon, 2 x Emerlec 30 mm cannons, 4 x harpoon missiles, 2 x Nobong 40mm/70 twin cannons, 3 x Mark 32 triple torpedo tubes with 6 chung sang Eoes and 12 x mark 9 depth charges.
South Korea, next to USA for being the largest source of Philippine military hardware, from fighter jets, and patrol ships to armored vehicles and army trucks.
USA has provided almost the same armament to the Philippines in 2013 but unlike the Pohang Anti-submarine warship which cost the Philippines only $100 USD, the Hamilton Class cutters from the USA cost the Philippine government a hefty $10 Million US Dollars.
Philippines received ten FA-50 light fighters from Seoul and two more will be delivered next month to complete the 12 aircraft, 18 billion peso deal.
The Philippines has expressed interest to acquire six more similar planes.
"We are hoping to receive the vessel within the year," defense spokesman Arsenio Andolong said of the warship.
"The transfer will be in the form of a donation. We will pay a token $US100, but the corvette will still undergo refurbishment."
He said he has no idea how much the Philippines would need to spend to repair and restore the warship.
Andolong said the Philippines may acquire up to three such warships, which Seoul is replacing with newer and faster vessels.
"This may be an old ship but it will definitely enhance our capability to patrol our waters and perform counter-terrorism measures," he added.
South Korea has donated a lot of military hardware to the Philippines and has expressed gratitude for Manila's role in the 1950-53 Korean War.