The Department of National Defense (DND) recently announced that they have decided to forgo the acquisition of a third Hamilton-class ship for the Philippine Navy (PhN) thru the United States’ Foreign Military Assistance (USFMA) program, and instead intends to use the money as additional funds for the new Frigate bidding that will be coming up soon (still no date set, though). I’m not so sure about this, because it costs the Philippines only USD 15 million to get the last Hamilton-class ship, the BRP Ramon Alcaraz, and adding USD 15 million for the budget of the two new Frigates is not much.
It is possible that the DND had thought about adding more budget for the new Frigates after seeing that only ONE manufacturer have come forward publicly to offer their ship for the bidding, and that is Navantia Avante 1800 (A1800). They might’ve found the A1800 to be not too particularly appealing, or not up to their expectations, hence I decided to take a much closer look at this ship. All data for the ship is taken from this source, unless stated otherwise.
‘Anti Air Warfare Capability’
First, the ship’s Air Defense capability. It has a 3D Air and Surface Search radar to detect and track aircrafts and missiles, and it has a single 8-cell Vertical Launch System (VLS) assumed to be a Mk41 launcher. That single Mk41 VLS can carry 32 RIM- Evolved Sea Sparrow Missiles (ESSMs) quad-packed into each cell, which would give the ship a LIMITED Area Anti Air Warfare (AAW) capability as these ESSMs have pretty good ranges at 50km.
Continue reading A Closer Look at the Navantia’s Avante 1800