04 Agustus 2014
HHI HDF-3000 frigates (photo : pdff)
South Korean shipbuilding firm Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) revealed that it is pitching a variant of its HDF 3000 class multipurpose frigate design for the Philippines Department of National Defense's (DND's) PHP18 billion (USD413 million) frigate acquisition programme, which seeks to procure two new-build light frigates for the Philippine Navy (PN).
Speaking to IHS Jane's at the inaugural Asian Defence and Security 2014 (ADAS 2014) exhibition in Manila on 17 July, a spokesperson from HHI's Special and Naval Shipbuilding division said it will likely feature an armaments and equipment fit tailored to suit the PN's desired mission profiles of interdiction, long-range patrol, and surveillance across the country's exclusive economic zone (EEZ). However, he declined to reveal specific details of the proffered design due to the ongoing bidding process.
The HDF 3000 design is already in service with the Republic of Korea Navy (RoKN) as the Incheon-class missile frigate (FFGHM). In 2009, HHI was awarded a contract to construct the lead ship of the RoKN's Future Frigate Experimental (FFX) programme and a subsequent deal in September 2010 to build the second and third ships, all of which are based on the HDF 3000 blueprint. The first-in-class frigate ROKS Incheon entered service in January 2013, while the follow-on vessels Gyeonggi and Jeonbuk are due to be commissioned in 2014 and 2015 respectively.
The HDF 3000 design measures some 114 m long, 14 m wide and has a draught of 4 m. It displaces approximately 3,251 tonnes at full load. It also features a propulsion system comprising of two General electric LM 2500 gas turbines generating a combined output of 58,200 hp (43.42 MW) and two MTU 12V 1163 TB83 diesels rated at 8,840 hp (6.5 MW) in a combined diesel or gas (CODOG) configuration. It is capable of attaining a maximum speed of 30 kt and a maximum range of 4,500 n miles at an economical cruising speed of 13 kt. To improve its fuel efficiency, HHI has incorporated a bulbous bow design and a stern plate on the hull.
While the technical details of the armaments and sensor fit of PN variant is not presently known, the RoKN has successfully outfitted Incheon with a 127 mm/62 Mk 45 Mod 4 main gun, a Raytheon Mk 49 RAM RIM-116 surface to air missile (SAM) system, and two quadruple launchers for Cheon Ryong sea-launched land attack cruise missiles (SLCMs) and Hae Sung (Sea Star) 700K surface to surface missiles (SSMs). For anti-submarine warfare (ASW) missions, the vessels are equipped with two triple 324 mm torpedo tubes. A Raytheon 20 mm/76 6-barrelled Mk 15 Block 1B Vulcan Phalanx close-in weapons system (CIWS) provides means of countering incoming missiles.
The RoKN has also equipped Incheon with a Thales SMART-S 3D air and surface search radar and a Saab Ceros fire control radar, a LIG SLQ-200(V)K Sonata electronic warfare suite, and a Thales bow-mounted sonar system. A Samsung-Thales Naval Shield integrated combat management system controls both sensor and weapon systems.
HHI is competing against other shipbuilders that have successfully passed the technical evaluation phase of the two-stage competitive bidding process - a list which currently includes its Korean counterparts Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) and STX Offshore and Shipbuilding, India's Garden Reach, Spain's Navantia Sepi, and STX France - and are now undergoing cost assessment.
The spokesperson said HHI expects the DND to announce its selection by September 2014.
According to the DND, the winning bidder is expected to deliver the new frigates within four years from the contract award.