The Philippine Navy (PN)’s anti-submarine vessel, the BRP Conrado Yap (PS-39), for the very first time detected an American submarine with its sonar while patrolling off Palawan waters in November last year.
“For the very first, the BRP Conrado Yap was able to detect submarine while passing and (patrolling) off Palawan waters. This is the first time for the Navy (after a long time to have an asset capable of detecting submarines). It is very exciting,” Navy flag-officer-in-command Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad said in the vernacular during an interview Wednesday night at Acero Hall, Bonifacio Naval Station, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.
Empedrad, however, said they have yet to publish a submarine detection report.
The BRP Conrado Yap is the former Republic of Korea Navy “Pohang”-class corvette, “Chungju”, which was formally turned over to the PN and commissioned last August.
The detection of the foreign submarine was the first after the decommissioning of anti-submarine assets acquired in the early 1950s or 1960s.
The ship is armed with two 76mm Oto Melara automatic guns, two Oto Breda 40mm light cannons, depth-charge racks, and two triple torpedo tubes and surveillance systems like radar and sonar.
It measures 88.3 meters long, with a beam of 10 meters and draft of 2.9 meters with displacement at 1,216 tons full load and is rated for a crew of 118 personnel and can sustain operational presence for 20 days.
BRP Conrado Yap’s combined diesel or gas (CODOG) propulsion configuration of motor transport unit (MTU) diesel engines and LM2500 gas turbine with controllable pitch propellers (CPP) enable the ship to move to a maximum speed up to 32 knots to a distance of 4,000 nautical miles.