The Philippine Navy (PN) frigate BRP Antonio Luna (FF151) took part Monday in a maritime partnership exercise in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) alongside the Indian Navy guided missile destroyer INS Ranvijay (D55) and guided missile corvette INS Kora (P61).
In an issued statement by the Naval Forces West (Navforwest) on August 23, it said BRP Antonio Luna met the two Indian Navy ships somewhere off the coast of Palawan, and together conducted numerous operational maneuvers at sea as part of the joint evolutions during the exercise.
The result of these interactions, which focused on improved interoperability and cooperation, was “extremely positive” for both fleets, according to Col. Antonio Mangoroban Jr., acting commander of Navforwest.
“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.
Recently, BRP Antonio Luna participated in the successfully concluded 19th Southeast Asia Maritime and Cooperation (SEACAT) 2021. Since her commissioning, the ship has been participating in regular drills with friendly foreign navies to improve the ship’s professional capabilities and self-assurance in carrying out its mandate. She is currently assigned to the Navforwest under the AFP Western Command.
INS Ranvijay and INS Kora were deployed by the Indian Navy to improve maritime security coordination with partner nations, such as the Philippines, where it enjoys a long-standing friendly relationship that has spanned 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 contactless manner incompliance with the prevailing pandemic guidelines and all necessary health and safety protocols were strictly observed. After the exercise, the Indian naval ships are scheduled to call at Manila Port for replenishment.