The Philippines Department of National Defense (DND) has struck a deal to procure new anti-submarine torpedoes to LIG Nex1, a South Korean defense company that would supply the Philippine Navy (PN) with its K745 Blue Shark lightweight torpedoes.
The quantity was not specified, however it was estimated to be roughly P722.3 million (US$15 million).
The Philippine Navy has chosen the K745 Blue Shark torpedoes for use on its two Jose Rizal-class general purpose light frigates, which were built in South Korea. The K745 Blue Shark is the standard anti-submarine weapon of the Philippine Navy’s AgustaWestland AW-159 Wildcat naval helicopters, which will be operating from the frigates.
This would allow for commonality between the frigates and its complementing naval helicopters.
The torpedoes are being purchased by the DND through a Government-to-Government (G2G) acquisition process supported by the South Korean Ministry of National Defense (MND).
The K745 Blue Shark anti-submarine torpedo was developed for the Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN) by South Korea’s Agency of Defense Development (ADD) and then offered for export to other countries, with the Philippine Navy becoming the first export customer in 2019.
It has a purported range of 19 kilometers, a top speed of 45 knots, and a warhead that can pierce steel up to 1.5 meters thick.
It is directed by an internal navigation system (INS) and an acoustic homing seeker capable of passive or active homing.
Apart from torpedoes, the DND has granted a contract for 130mm chaffs to Rheinmetall Denel Munitions of South Africa, which will supply the Rheinmetall Bullfighter 130mm RF/IR decoy.
The DND has also awarded a deal to acquire 130mm acoustic anti-torpedo decoys to France’s Naval Group, which reportedly offered the CANTO torpedo countermeasures.
The Jose Rizal-class frigates, which are equipped with the Terma C-Guard countermeasure launching systems, will likewise utilize both decoys.