BRP Antonio Luna (FF-151), the Philippine Navy’s new guided-missile frigate, joined two Indian Navy ships in a maritime exercise at the West Philippine Sea on Monday.
The BRP Antonio Luna, guided-missile destroyer INS Ranvijay (D-55) and guided-missile corvette INS Kora (P-61) performed several operational maneuvers off the northwestern coast of Palawan.
“Both navies were very much satisfied with the outcome of these interactions that focus on enhanced interoperability and collaboration,” Naval Forces West (NFW) acting commander Marine Col. Antonio Mangoroban Jr. said in a statement Monday.
The Indian Navy ships were deployed to improve maritime security coordination with partner nations such as the Philippines which India has had a long-standing relationship for 72 years.
Since 1998, regular visits by Indian navy vessels to the Philippines have highlighted the two maritime nation-states’ defense cooperation.
The exercise was conducted in a contactless manner in compliance with the prevailing pandemic guidelines and health and safety protocols were strictly observed.
After the exercise, the Indian naval ships are scheduled to call at Manila Port for replenishment.
Recently, BRP Antonio Luna participated in the 19th Southeast Asia Maritime and Cooperation 2021.
Since its commissioning, the ship has been participating in regular drills with foreign navies to improve its capabilities.
It is currently assigned to the NFW under the AFP Western Command and is the sister ship of the BRP Jose Rizal (FF-150), the country’s first missile frigate.
“As a newly-commissioned vessel of the Philippine Navy, BRP Antonio Luna is anticipated to be at par with her foreign counterparts and it is a breath of fresh air to see our modern navy partake in these maritime partnership exercises,” Mangoroban said.