A South Korea Navy patrol-combat corvette sailing through rough seas.  (Photo from ROKN website)

A South Korea Navy patrol-combat corvette sailing through rough seas. (Photo from ROKN website)

South Korea committed to give a warship to the Philippines, the Department of Foreign Affairs announced Thursday.

The warship, a Pohang-class corvette, will be decommissioned by the Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN) by yearend for donation to the Philippine Navy, the DFA said in a statement.

South Korean Defense Minister Kim Kwang-jin discussed the donation when he met with Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin in Seoul on May 30, according to the statement.

“There is a big possibility that the ship will be delivered before the year ends,” a source at the Department of National Defense said.

Earlier, Gazmin announced that South Korea will also give the Philippines a landing craft utility, 16 rubber boats, and 200 computers.

South Korea had built 24 Pohang-class corvettes and currently operates 22.

The lead ship, Pohang, was retired and now used for training. Another ship, the Cheonan, was sunk in a torpedo attack by a North Korean submarine in March 2010.

The remaining ships were first used in the mid-1990s, after having been delivered to the ROKN by Korea Shipbuilding Corp., Hyundai Heavy Industries, Daewoo Shipbuilding, and Korea Takoma.

This would make the donation the newest import on the Philippine Navy’s fleet when it arrives.

The current newest are three other corvettes bought from the United Kingdom, which first used them in the early 1980s.

Pohang-class corvettes are 88 meters long and weigh about 1,200 tons at full load.

The ships, primarily designed for coastal patrols, can sail as fast as 32 knots and can carry over 90 crew members.

They are divided into anti-surface warfare (ASUW) and anti-submarine (ASW) variants.

ASUW-types are armed with anti-ship missiles, 76-millimeter guns, and 30mm anti-aircraft guns.

Their ASW counterparts are armed with anti-ship missiles, two 76mm guns, two 40mm guns, and triple torpedo tubes.

Both types are also fitted with different countermeasures, various radars, and sonar systems. (John Roson)

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