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Pohang-class Corvette Transfer Project of the Philippine Navy

With the transfer of a Pohang-class corvette by the government of the Republic of Korea to the Philippine government, there will be several expected processes and work that needs to be done, and costs involve to fulfil the transfer.

This is where the Pohang-class Corvette Transfer Project of the Philippine Navy becomes relevant, as it will handle all aspects of the transfer, including administrative and technical requirements.

The project is part of the Horizon 2 Phase Priority Projects of the Revised AFP Modernization Program.

The BRP Conrado Yap (PS-39) as it leaves South Korea for the Philippines on 12 August 2019. Photo taken from the Philippine Navy.

The Pohang-class combat corvette ROKS Chungju (PCC-762), which was transferred to the Philippine Navy and will be named BRP Conrado Yap (PS-39).
Credits to original source of the photo.

Overview - The Ship: ROKS Chungju (PCC-762):

The ship involved, the former ROKN Pohang-class combat corvette ROKS Chungju (PCC-762), one of the four Flight III ships of the class. She was commissioned with the Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN) in 1987 and served the ROKN until 2016.

She is 88.3 meters long, with a beam of 10 meters and draft of 2.9 meters. Displacement is at 1,220 tons full load. The ship was rated for a crew of 118 personnel.

The ship is powered in a Combined Diesel or Gas (CODOG) configuration, with two (2) MTU 12V956 TB82 diesel engines and one (1) GE LM2500 PB gas turbine engine, all running 2 Kamewa controllable pitch propellers. She is rated to run a maximum speed of 30 knots using the gas turbine engine, and has an endurance of up to 20 days. It is also rated  with a maximum range of 4,000 nautical miles @ 15 knots cruising speed using diesel engines.

Prior to retirement, the ship was equipped with the following systems:
a. Weapon Systems:
- 2 x Mk. 72 Oto Melara 76mm/62 Compact main naval guns
- 2 x Otobreda twin 40mm/70 secondary naval guns
- 2 x Mk.32 triple 324mm torpedo tubes, compatible with Mk.44, Mk.46 and MU90 torpedoes
- 1 x Mistral firing station for MBDA Mistral or LIGNex1 Chiron VSHORAD missile
- 2 x Mk. 9 Depth Charge Racks (6 bombs each)
- 6 x 12.7/50 heavy machine guns

The Flight III ships were not equipped with anti-ship missiles, unlike the Flight II (MM38 Exocet) and Flights IV & V (Harpoon). The Flight III was configured more for Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW).

b. Sensor Systems:
- Ferranti WSA 324 combat data system
- Raytheon AN/SPS-64(V)5B surface search radar
- Singaal (now Thales) LIOD optronic director
- Signaal (now Thales) WM28 fire control radar,
- Raytheon AN/SQS-58 hull mounted sonar
- ULQ-12(V)1K electronic support measures

After retirement, the ROKN removed several systems, mostly obsolete but others are because they are for use only by the ROKN. These include the following items:
- 1 x Mistral firing station for MBDA Mistral or LIGNex1 Chiron VSHORAD missile,
- 6 x 12.7/50 heavy machine guns
- ULQ-12(V)1K electronic support measures
- several others that we won't be mentioning anymore

The Philippine Navy recommended the replacement of removed systems especially on navigation and communication systems. And although they did not appropriate funds to acquire a new Electronic Support Measures (ESM) and Mistral firing station, the ship is now proven to be able to accommodate such subsystems. The current planned acquisition of Radar-ESM by the Philippine Navy for the Del Pilar-class Frigate Upgrade project, as well as the planned use of MBDA Mistral missiles on the upcoming new frigates could be a basis for future upgrade on the Pohang-class corvette.

Another item for installation by the Philippine Navy is a deck crane for a 7-meter Zodiac-type RHIB.

The Department of National Defense and the Philippine Navy are also in coordination with the South Korean Ministry of Defense on the acquisition of 76mm, 40mm, and 12.7mm ammunition, heavy machine guns, spare parts, supplies, and others. Should the DND and PN fail to secure the transfer of ROKS's existing stock of ammunition, it is expected that the DND and PN might shell out additional funds and purchase directly from Poongsan Corporation, which is the ROKN's supplier of naval gun ammunition.

The ROKN removed the Mistral firing station from the ROKS Chungju after its retirement from service. But the point that this was installed means the PN can also install a similar system once the ship is in their possession. The PN is an upcoming user of the MBDA mistral VSHORAD missile, as it is among those to be used on the new frigates being built in South Korea by Hyundai Heavy Industries.
Credits to original source of photo.

More details can be found on our older MaxDefense blog on the Pohang-class corvettes, which can be found below. Please note that prior to the ROKS Chungju, originally the South Korean government offered the older ROKS Mokpo (PCC-757) which is an older Flight II unit with some differences on design and subsystem as the Flight III units.

"Overview on ROKN's Pohang-class Corvettes, and Transfer of 1 ship to the PN" - dated 08 June 2014.

Another photo of ROKS Chungju (PCC-762).
Credits to original photo source.

Project Summary:

Pohang-class Corvette Transfer Project Lots 1 to 3

Note: Edited as of 20 August 2019.

* End User: Philippine Navy (Offshore Combat Force, Philippine Fleet)

* Quantity: 3 lots to support 1 Pohang-class corvette

* Modernization Phase: Horizon 2 Phase of RAFPMP

* Project ABC:
  - Lot 1: Php24,719,628.09

  - Lot 2: Php26,060,400.60
  - Lot 3: Php118,909,802.54
  - Other minor lots and expenses covered by remaining amount

Acquisition Mode: Public Bidding (Lots 1 - 3), Negotiated and/or Direct Procurement (others)

* Source of Funding: BCDA Income Remittances

* SARO Release: SARO-BMB-D-18-0013408 dated 07 June 2017, released 11 June 2017.

* Winning Proponent: 
  - Lot 1 - Logistical Requirements: Apo Philtrade and Trading Services Inc.
  - Lot 2 -  Weapons, Communications, Electronics, Information System (WCEIS) Requirements: STX Singapore
  - Lot 3 - Machinery and Other Related Repairs: Keumha Naval Technology Inc. (KHNT)

Product for Delivery:  assorted goods and services

* Contract Price: TBA
* First post by MaxDefense: 
13 July 2018 (on acquisitions through lots)

* MaxDefense Searching Hashtag: #PNPohangClassTransfer #PNPohangClass

* Status: All lots awarded. Ship handed-over and commissioned as BRP Conrado Yap (PS-39) on 05 August 2019. In active service with the Philippine Navy's Offshore Combat Force.

U P D A T E S:

13 July 2018:

As posted on our community's social media page:

The Philippine Navy's Bids and Awards Committee has commenced the bidding process for the requirements needed to activate the Pohang-class corvette, the former ROKS Chungju, which is being transferred to the Philippine Navy by the South Korea government.

There are 3 separate lots for bidding:

Lot 1 for Logistics Requirements with an ABC of Php24,719,628.09,

Lot 2 for Supply and Installation of Weapons, Communications, Electronics, Information System (WCEIS) with an ABC of Php26,060,400.60,

and Lot 3 for Machinery & Repair Works with an ABC of Php118,909,802.54.

The ABCs for all 3 lots are part of the Php250 million budget allocated for the Pohang-class Corvette acquisition project under the Horizon 2 phase of the RAFPMP.

All shall be delivered to Jinhae Naval Base in South Korea within 60 days from Notice to Proceed. Submission and Opening of Bid Envelopes (SOBE) is scheduled on 30 July 2018.

The PN should put this tender fast because failure to make this happen will result in further delays on the delivery of the Pohang-class corvette, and possible increase it costs for its delivery.


12 January 2019:
MaxDefense released a blog entry
, wherein we announced the name of the ship for the first time in public, which will be called the BRP Conrado Yap (PS-39). 

Aside from the press statement made by the Philippine Navy's Flag Officer in Command (FOIC) Vice Adm. Robert Empedrad confirming that the Pohang-class corvette donated by the South Korean government will be delivered by March or April 2019, MaxDefense was also able to obtain similar information from several defense and naval sources.

Based on the FOIC's statements alone, the assigned officers and crew members of the ship will be departing for South Korea before the end of January 2019. MaxDefense sources added that there are still possible delays, although the full deployment of all crew members to South Korea will definitely be completed before February 2019 ends.

The Pohang-class combat corvette ROKS Chungju (PCC-762), which was transferred to the Philippine Navy and will be named BRP Conrado Yap (PS-39).
Credits to original source of the photo.

The blog entry can be accessed through the link below, or through our main website.

"Finally, PN's Pohang-class Corvette Coming Home Before Mid-Year, to be named BRP Conrado Yap (PS-39)" - first posted 12 January 2019


13 January 2019:

So who is Capt. Conrado Yap?

As early as 2018, it was already floated by the Philippine Navy that the ship should be named after gallant Filipino military leaders or men that served in the Korean War as part of the Philippine Expeditionary Forces to Korea (PEFTOK). Another option was to name it after famous Filipino generals, leaders, or chieftains.

In the end, the final choice as approved by the Philippine Navy was BRP CONRADO YAP (PS-39).

As early as 3rd quarter of 2018, MaxDefense already received information from our sources that the most likely name to be used on the former ROKS Chungju is BRP Conrado Yap (PS-39). This became the basis of the illustration we requested one of our contributors to make. Take note "addition to the Fleet in 2018" was written on top as it was anticipated before that the ship will be delivered before December 2018.
Thanks to one of our contributors and a MaxDefense community member for providing this illustration to us last year.

Capt. Conrado Yap O-1914 Philippine Army, is considered as the most decorated Filipino soldier during the Korean War. He posthumously received a Philippine Medal of Valor, the country's highest military honour, as well as a US Distinguished Service Cross, for gallantry in action as part of the Tank Company, 10th Battalion Combat Team (10th BCT), Philippine Army. They fought the China People's Volunteer Army's 44th Division  in the Battle of Yultong in South Korea during the Chinese First Spring Offensive in April 1951.

 Capt. Yap was born in Zambales, and is a member of Philippine Military Academy class 1943.

This isn't the first time that the name "Conrado Yap" was used in the Philippine Navy ship. Prior to the Pohang-class corvette, the Philippine Navy has the BRP Conrado Yap (PG-840) , the lead boat of the Conrado Yap-class fast patrol boats, which were also transferred by the South Korean government to the Philippines in 1993.

Capt. Conrado Yap was the commanding officer of the Tank Company, 10th Battalion Combat Team (10th BCT), Philippine Army. Considered as the most decorated Filipino soldier in the Korean War, he was killed in action during the Battle of Yultong against the China People's Volunteer Army's 44th Division.
Photo taken from Wikipedia.

A photo of Capt. Conrado Yap with an M4 Sherman medium tank of the Philippine Army. This appears to be taken in Manila before deplyoyment to Korea.
Photo taken from the AFP historical photo collection of Lt. Col. Francis Neri's Facebook page.


13 February 2019:

MaxDefense released another blog entry, this time discussing the departure of the crew members intended for the BRP Conrado Yap (PS-39).

While the ceremony was held on 13 February 2019, the flight of the PN crew to South Korea will be made at a later date, probably in the next week.

From the send-off ceremony this morning.
Photo shared by a MaxDefense community member who wish to remain anonymous.

The crew will undergo training and familarization on the ship, both in operation and maintenance. MaxDefense also received word that the crew will also cross-train with the ROKN’s active-service Pohang-class corvettes as part of the program.

Currently the ship is drydocked in South Korea as it undergo repair and refurbishing works prior to transfer to the Philippine Navy.

According to the PN’s Flag Officer in Command, Vice Adm. Robert Emperdrad, the BRP Conrado Yap (PS-39) could be home by March or April 2019. 1-2 months of training would be sufficient based on our opinion, referencing from training deployments made by the PN in the past.

Good luck to the men and women of the BRP Conrado Yap (PS-39)!

The blog entry can be accessed below, or through our main website page:

"Philippine Navy sends-off Crew of Pohang-class Corvette BRP Conrado Yap (PS-39)" - first posted 13 February


13 March 2019:

Further information provided to MaxDefense indicated that the sailors from the Philippine Navy's Offshore Combat Force that were sent to South Korea last month was just the first batch, while majority of PN personnel to man the BRP Conrado Yap (PS-39) will only be leaving for South Korea next month.

Also, it appears that the expected delivery of the Pohang-class corvette by March or April 2019 is not possible anymore, and the new delivery schedule points closer to June 2019. It is still possible though that the formal hand-over of the ship to the Philippine Navy can be made by April or May 2019, although this remains tentative and fluid.

Meanwhile the PN's FOIC VAdm. Robert Empedrad confirmed in a lengthy interview with DWDD Katropa Radio that his visit to South Korea on 17-19 May 2019 together with Defense Sec. Delfin Lorenzana includes a visit to the BRP Conrado Yap and the Philippine Navy crew training on it. 


24 May 2019:

As posted in our community's social media page:

Finally some initial, publicly available photos of the Pohang-class corvette, the future BRP Conrado Yap (PS-39), which is still in Busan, South Korea.

Philippine Navy Flag Officer in Command Vice Adm. Robert Empedrad and Philippine Fleet Commander Rear Adm. Giovanni Bacordo visited the ship, and the men and women of the PN that will be assigned on the ship as part of their trip to South Korea. Apparently the ship will be sailing home by July 2019.

Photos taken from Inquirer's Frances Mangosing's Twitter page, as shared by the Philippine Navy.


02 August 2019:

As posted on our community's social media page:

Since its already in the news, might as well be more broad on the information released by the Philippine Navy.

Aside from being the hand over and sailing date, August 5 is also the formal commissioning into Philippine Navy service of the Pohang-class corvette formerly known as ROKS Chungju, which will now be called BRP Conrado Yap (PS-39). It means its officially PN property when it leaves South Korea.

And since the Tarlac-class LPD BRP Davao del Sur (LD-602) is on its way to South Korea, we just hope that the Philippine Army will make use of the chance to use the vessel to ship the K136 Kooryong MLRS and all its associated components, support vehicles, and ammunition (which sources said to be several dozen 20' containers worth) to the Philippines.

With LD-602 escorting the newly acquires PS-39, there seems to be a strong chance that the corvette won't fire up its gas turbines and would again be traveling to the Philippines with its diesel engines at a snail pace of around 14-16 knots. LD-602 runs at 16 knots maximum.

The trip back to PH is actually the best time to use and test the LM2500 gas turbine engine which can propel the PS-39 in excess of 30 knots, making it the fastest ship in the PN at the moment. Based on previous test results made by the PN on the ship, it is still capable of going to 32 knots.

This is faster than the 2 new frigates being built by Hyundai, which are rated at 25 knots at 85% engine power.


05 August 2019:
The Philippine Navy officially received the Pohang-class corvette ex-ROKS Chungju from the South Korean government, and was commissioned into Philippine Navy service as the BRP Conrado Yap (PS-39).

Photos from South Korea were made available by Inquirer's Frances Mangosing through her Twitter account. All photos below are credited and owned by her.

The BRP Conrado Yap (PS-39) during commissioning ceremonies at Jinhae Naval Base in South Korea. Photos all credited to Ms. Frances Mangosing.


06 August 2019:
MaxDefense received from our community members an illustration of BRP Conrado Yap's ship logo. It shows a shark wearing a sonarman's headset crushing a submarine with its jaw.

In comparison, the old logo of ROKS Chungju is similar in design concept, which can be seen below:

Credits to original source of the photo, which is a website from South Korea.

The logo actually identifies the ship's anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capabilities due to the availability of a hull-mounted sonar, anti-submarine torpedo tubes and depth charges.

MaxDefense hopes that these subsystems, which were identified by the Philippine Navy's inspection team in 2017 as "working but obsolete" may be addressed properly to maximize the ship's capabilities.


13 August 2019:

On 12 August 2019, the BRP Conrado Yap (PS-39) together with the Tarlac-class landing platform dock BRP Davao del Sur (LD-602) left Jinhae Naval Base on their way to Manila, the Philippines.

Both ships delayed their trip to the Philippines due to a tropical storm along the way. 

Photos taken from the Philippine Navy's official Facebook page.

Due to the presence of LD-602, it is expected that the travel to the Philippines may not be quick, as the couple are limited to the LD-602's 16-knots maximum speed despite PS-39 having the capacity to run twice the speed at 32 knots using its gas turbine engines.

MaxDefense was hoping that the PS-39 to use its gas turbine engines as part of tests on the ship's capability, despite already doing so while in South Korea.

Based on the photos above, it appears that the navy grey paint scheme of the Philippine Navy is darker than the paint scheme used by the Republic of Korea Navy.


20 August 2019:

The BRP Conrado Yap (PS-39) arrived in Manila on 18 August 2019, a 6-day trip from South Korea. But actual official arriving honors and ceremony will be made today 20 August 2019 in Manila's Pier 15. 

Photos below are from PTV News, Philippine Daily Inquirer's Frances Mangosing, and from other sources.

Credits to all original sources of these photos.

Defens Sec. Delfin Lorenzana was the guest of honor for the ceremonies, which also coincides with the arrival of BRP Davao del Sur (LD-602) after a successful trip to Vladivostok, Russia, and Jinhae, South Korea.

During the ceremony, Sec. Lorenzana mentioned that he wanted the ship to be used to patrol in the Sulu Sea and Palawan areas, where Chinese ships were noted to have entered Philippine territorial and archipelagic waters without consent from the Philippine government.

Sec. Lorenzana also mentioned that the South Korean government is willing to provide two (2) more retired Pohang-class corvettes to the Philippines, which is another story that we will be covering separately.

The Philippine Navy also confirmed that PS-39 would be used to train navy personnel in ASW operations, especially in preparation for the upcoming delivery of the Jose Rizal-class frigates from South Korea in 2020.

Among those what MaxDefense noticed was the removal of a machine gun mount in the midship section of the ship ahead of the RHIB nest. See photos below for reference.

Top photo was during ROKN service while bottom was during arrival ceremonies as PN ship PS-39. Credits to original owners of the photos.

It would be noted that the RHIB installed by the Philippine Navy is longer and larger than the one used by the ROKN, making use of a new deck crane which was found to be needing replacement during the inspection in 2017.

The longer RHIB means the PN need to remove the machine gun mount to accommodate the boat. There are no signs of the PN moving the mount somewhere else along the midship section.


With the ships already delivered and formally classified as an active service ship of the Offshore Patrol Force, Philippine Fleet, MaxDefense officially consider the Pohang-class Corvette Transfer Project of the Philippine Navy as COMPLETED.


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First edit and release: 04 August 2019
Copyright MaxDefense Philippines


  1. ...thanks God for another achievement for our Phil. Navy, hope that our govt. consider acquiring 2 more retired pohang-class corvettes from rokn. although its not enough, maybe it enough for now to fill the missing gap left when PS Gregorio Del Pilar drydocked for repair and upgrade. thanks Sir Max for the info. you make our AFP proud.

  2. I hope the next corvettes to be given and alloted for us by the SKN is in Category Batch III or IV Pohang class vessels these are most modern and heavily armed type of corvettes...

  3. Without having to tell South Korea after receiving the last of the three Pohang corvette, the PN should remove the aft 76 mm guns and replace it with 4- ASMs. There is no need of a second main cannon on corvettes. Even frigates carry only one main cannon. Those extra three 76 mm cannons will be better served if it was installed on the Tarlac class for its own protection.


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