According to GMA News – A Pohang-class corvette donated by South Korea is set to arrive in the Philippines in July, 2019, the Philippine Navy said on Friday. The vessel was named after Captain Conrado Yap, a decorated Filipino soldier who was part of the Philippine Expeditionary Forces to Korea in the 1950s.

The BRP Conrado Yap is the former Republic of Korea Navy “Pohang”-class corvette Chungju that was commissioned with the Republic of Korea Navy in 1987 and served until 2016. According to the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippines is planning to acquire 25 to 30 warships within the next 10 years under its part of the modernization program.

The Pohang-class corvette is a class of general purpose corvettes operated by the Republic of Korea Navy. They have served in a coastal defense role during the late Cold War and post Cold War period. A total of 24 Pohang-class vessels were built, all constructed in South Korea and 18 vessels remain in service.

Pohang-class corvette review

The late 1970s and early 1980s saw the massive industrialization efforts of South Korea gaining ground, backed by fast expanding economy and government support for self sufficiency. The ROKN embarked on a massive shipbuilding program to prove their gains and experience from the local manufacture of their earlier Chamsuri-class patrol boat in the 1970s. 

A design project based on the design of the Donghae-class corvette, which became a class of its own despite huge similarities with the earlier Donghae-class design. This design ultimately became the ROKN’s Pohang-class corvette.

Compared to the older Donghae-class, the Pohang-class is 10 meters longer, and around 0.3 meters wider and deeper. This resulted to better sea-keeping attributes on open seas, and ROKN decided to continue the PCC program using the design. Improvements on machinery, habitability, weapons and sensors fit were also made to maximize the usage of the hull enlargement.

The Pohang-class corvette – The primary mission is coastal patrol, deployed as the main force for coastal defense. These ships meet complicated missions of modern naval warfare, anti-ship, anti-submarine and anti-aircraft warfare with its compact design for cost effectiveness in operation as well as in acquisition.

These ship have a multi- role capability with all the weapons and sensors for attack, Anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and self defense mission. The Pohang class ships are divided between the Anti-surface warfare (ASUW) type and Anti-submarine warfare type, which aere distinguished according to guns, and Anti-submarine warfare or surface-to-surface capability.

The first four of the Po Hang class are fitted Exocet and the remainder have the improved Harpoon combat data system. The Anti-surface warfare type consists of 4 ships 756 to 759, which have 2 Exocet anti-ship missiles, 1 Oto Melara 76mm gun, 2 Emerson 30mm anti-aircraft guns but no Anti-submarine warfare capability including sonar and torpedo. The Anti-submarine warfare type consist of 20 ships 761 to 785, which have 2 Oto Melara 76mm guns, 2 Breda 40mm guns, sonar, 6 torpedos, 12 depth charges but no anti-ship missiles. The last 2 ships, Roks Sinsung PCC-783 and Roks Kongju PCC-785, have improved electronic equipments for reinforced Anti-aircraft warfare capability.

The MM-38 Exocet anti-ship missiles is a short-range ship launched cruise missile developed by MBDA. The missile has a maximum range of 40km and can carry a 165kg warhead. Oto Melara gun has a rate of fire of 120 rounds a minute and a range of 16km.

The external form is identical to the Tonghae class. Pohang class has a length of 88.3m, a beam of 10m and a draft of 3m. with a full loaded displacement of 1,300 tons. The vessel has a maximum speed of 32 knots and can complement over 90 crew members. Machinery is controlled from the Ship Control Center. Main propulsion power is provided by 2 MTU diesel generators. The engines drive two shafts through the installed gearboxes.

The Pohang class ships were named after cities in South Korea. Pohang is port city located in coastal of East Sea and famous for the large iron works called Pohang Ironworks.

The BRP Conrado Yap is the second Pohang-class corvette that Seoul sponsored for Manila. Earlier in 2014, this Southeast Asian nation was transferred PCC-759 Mokpo, the previous generation of the PCC-762 Chungju is about to be delivered.

The Philippine Navy will receive this ship with a symbolic price of only $100, however they will have to pay the full cost of repairs so that the ship can continue to operate. It can be seen that although armed and quite powerful, it can be predicted that the PCC-762 coming to Manila port will have only a minimal weapon configuration.

Based on the report published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, the South Korea does not sell Exocet or Mk 32 torpedoes to the Philippines with the PCC-759.

This made many people think of the Philippine Air Force F/A-50 fighters, they served in the absence of both artillery and air-to-air missiles.If the PCC-762 was received with only 76mm and 40mm cannons, it was probably appropriate to make the coastguard ship more than a true warship.

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