The Philippine Navy’s (PN) corvette acquisition plan has been moved to Horizon 3 of the Revised Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Program (RAFPMP).

The country is purchasing two missile-armed corvettes under the PHP30bn ($0.6bn) Corvette Acquisition Program (CAP) according to the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana was quoted by PNA as saying: “The acquisition of the corvette(s) is still being considered, albeit on a later date after our economy recovers from this (coronavirus) pandemic.

Under the CAP, the PN aims to procure heavily-armed and capable platforms. Two Jose Rizal-class missile frigates are currently being introduced in service with the country’s navy.

Having started in 2018, Horizon 2 is expected to end in 2022.

Horizon 3 is scheduled to commence in 2023 and will run until 2028. It will involve the acquisition of additional equipment and platforms.

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Under Horizon 1, which ran from 2013 to 2017, the navy acquired two Hamilton-class cutters, six MPACs, 114 armoured personnel carriers, three C-295 aircraft, two C-130 heavy transport planes, five AgustaWestland AW-109 helicopters, and 12 South Korean FA-50PH jet fighters.

The modernisation projects that have been awarded with contracts and funds are expected to be taken forward, whereas the projects with lack of contracts or funding are anticipated to be postponed.

Lorenzana added: “The others might be postponed. Depends on the (decision of the) Department of Budget and Management (DBM).”

In October last year, the navies of the US, Japan and the Philippines commenced the third iteration of the maritime training activity (MTA) Sama Sama in Puerto Princesa, Philippines.