Author Topic: The Jose Rizal Class Frigates: To Accept or Not To Accept  (Read 2646 times)

dr demented

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The Jose Rizal Class Frigates: To Accept or Not To Accept
« on: May 18, 2020, 10:41:42 AM »
(Note:  modified version of a comment I posted in the FB honeypot -- reposted here for discussion purposes.)

The Jose Rizal Class Frigates and the Data Link Controversy:  To Accept or Not To Accept

As pointed out in recent articles, the newly built BRP Jose Rizal (FF-150) is schedule to depart Ulsan, South Korea bound for Subic Bay, and is scheduled to arrive on May 23, 2020.

The project has been surrounded by controversy, much of it centered on whether the ship's data link system is what was agreed upon when the contract was signed with Hyundai Heavy Industries.  Many in the Philippine defense community have charged that the data link system which has been installed on the ships are substandard and is in violation of the terms of the contract.  Some have called for the ships not to be accepted.

While these issues are serious and must be dealt with, the practical realities of the defense of the nation, including defense against Chinese incursions and sovereignty violations in the West Philippine Sea, are the major factor which will determine the disposition of these ships.  Like it or not, the brutal truth is that the Philippine Navy is desperate for hulls, and that more than anything dictates that the two frigates of the Jose Rizal class would have to be accepted.

As I've pointed out in previous posts, with two of the three GDPs on the shelf, the only long range, extended duration patrol assets left between the PN and the PCG are the BRP Andres Bonifacio, BRP Conrado Yap, and the PCGs BRP Gabriela Silang. Beyond that are the handful of remaining WW2 assets, but those are likely to be retired in short order. Everything else in the inventory of the PN and PCG have the necessary range, but can't stay out to sea for very long. Go out, then come back after a few days.......not very conducive to maintaining presence not just in the WPS (which is a very vast area all by itself), but also other hotspots like the Sulu Sea, Bashi Channel, Benham Rise, etc........

I hate to say this, but it is what it is. Whatever you feel about them, two additional hulls is still two additional hulls. If those ships are accepted, then it is doesn't end there. If there is an issue with the data link, then the PN needs to continue to work to fix that issue even after those ships have been accepted and enter service.

But as I've said before.........when this whole thing started, I kept my expectations low........very low. Specifications before hiring a consultant that's supposed to develop the specifications, small budget for two frigates but we wanted all the bells and whistles, FFBNW........a whole lot of contradictions which cause you to want to impossibilities to happen at the same time. And it's taken them since 2012-2013 to get to this point?

Just hope that they learn from their mistakes after this. It shouldn't take 7 or 8 years to get this done, with a fair amount of the process being a clusterf@#k of epic proportions.

Some of you feel that we should flat out junk this project, not accept these frigates, and move on to the corvette project. But it isn't as simple as that. It sends a bad signal to other shipyards who might jump in. Both the Philippine government and HHI would end up eating the massive losses for the JRCF project. This would particularly hurt HHI, which has been on life-support the past few years due to the worldwide shipbuilding downturn (more so now with a general worldwide economic downturn on top of that). Other shipyards would worry that they may similarly be put in that position, given that we do have a track record of being flaky (just ask the Italians). What we don't want is the perception that we are "not worth the risk". We have improved our reputation and are beginning to be seen as a potential good customer. It was certainly enough for Austal, which wanted nothing to do with the JRCF project, to now jump in to offer to build 6 OPVs in Cebu. They're not going to do that if we are seen as risk exposure.

But it still comes back to needing hulls in the water, which we seem to have a very difficult time dealing with. Ask yourself this: if this deal was jacked up, do you trust the same clowns that jacked up this deal to come up with a better deal and not take 7 or 8 years to get it right? And are you willing to go without those 2 extra hulls in the meantime?

Sometimes if you screw up, it's just better to be forced to live with your mistakes for all to see. Maybe we learn our lessons as a result.


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Re: The Jose Rizal Class Frigates: To Accept or Not To Accept
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2020, 12:05:43 PM »
Accept. For all the faults, it's there and it's something to build on.  Hopefully we can get the flight II ordered.
Hopefully, with the the GDPs sharing the same systems, we can get at least 5 missile armed ships. 


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Re: The Jose Rizal Class Frigates: To Accept or Not To Accept
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2020, 02:02:41 AM »
Agreed. The ships as they are might not look like much, but the hull is sound and can be modified later to suit our needs and once money(and better leadership) becomes available.

The CMS can be removed and replaced contrary to what both sides of this issue say, the weapons can be upgraded and/or replaced with more capable versions, and the sensors can be made better with some work to the boat.

Let the ships stand as a permanent reminder of what happens when personal interests are allowed to overtake the needs of the service. Maybe when the CAP comes into play, the Navy can take a look at the Jose Rizal class Flight I or whatever you want to call them... and be reminded not to allow anyone to mess with their ships, regardless of who is pushing.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2020, 02:05:00 AM by mamiyapis »


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Re: The Jose Rizal Class Frigates: To Accept or Not To Accept
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2020, 12:18:10 AM »
Take delivery and settle any deficiencies at court.