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BRP Antonio Luna to arrive first quarter of 2021 —Navy chief

The Philippine Navy's second missile-capable frigate is expected to arrive in the country by the first quarter of 2021, Navy chief Vice Admiral Giovanni Carlo Bacordo said Monday.

"We are expecting the delivery of the second frigate, the BRP Antonio Luna, in the first quarter of calendar year 2021. If not for this COVID-19 pandemic, the second frigate should have been delivered October of this year," Bacordo said in an online news forum.

Last month, a handover, christening, and commissioning ceremony for BRP Jose Rizal, the country’s first multi-mission frigate, was held in Subic, Zambales. It is capable of anti-air warfare, anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, and electronic warfare operations.

It is the country's second missile-capable frigate after the BRP Jose Rizal.

The Navy has been saying that the acquisition of these missile-capable frigates would strengthen its ability to safeguard the Philippines' maritime territory.

Meanwhile, Bacordo also said the first of the eight fast attack interdictor craft-missiles (FAIC-M) will arrive in the first quarter of 2022. He said four of these will be coming from an Israeli shipyard.

"Four will be built in Israel and the remaining four will be built at the naval sea systems command. That means we have to revive, we will be reviving the ship building capability of the naval sea systems command," Bacordo said.

If not for the COVID-19 pandemic, the first of the FAIC-M would have arrived in December of this year, Bacordo said. — BM, GMA News