The Philippine Navy’s (PN) Jose Rizal-class frigate, BRP Jose Rizal (FF-150), has completed a deck landing qualification (DLQ) test together with the AgustaWestland AW-159 Wildcat helicopter.

In a report, the Philippine News Agency (PNA) cited BRP Jose Rizal’s statement saying that the DLQ test was conducted by Team FF-150 on 9 August.

Prior to the beginning of DLQ test, a series of lectures and workshops were conducted between AW159 aircrew and the crew of the ship, Team FF150, to assess the safety and preparedness of personnel and flight deck equipment.

BRP Jose Rizal social media post said: “This activity marks the beginning of warfare interoperability operations between our air and surface assets which compliments the detection and engagement capability of both units.

“The DLQ held is a part of a series of flight deck operations to further test and improve existing procedures, check connectivity, system integration, and levelling of officers, pilots, sailors, and aircrew on flight operations.”

According to the statement, the entire test concluded safely and ‘no casualties and any faults’ were discovered in both the platforms.

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It added: “As our navy gears towards development and modernisation, we ensure that our personnel is aligned with this innovation to sustain and adapt to the fast and growing naval warfare technology and optimise our assets to their full capability.”

Built by South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), the PN’s Jose Rizal-class frigate was commissioned in July 2020.

The navy also acquired two AW-159 ASW helicopters, including munition and mission essential equipment and support, to add to the Jose Rizal-class frigates’ ASW capabilities.

Additionally, the helicopters can also be equipped with machine guns, missiles, torpedoes and modern sonar systems to track the submarines.