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Philippines To Buy First Ever Unit Of Attack Submarines From France For Maritime Defense

Philippine Navy Flag Officer in Command (FOIC) Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad expressed optimism that the Philippines will soon acquire its very first submarine.

The Navy Chief revealed that part of the “Horizon” modernization program of the Armed Forces of the Philippines is the acquisition of two submarines, preferably a Scorpene-class.

“We need submarines if we want to get the respect of other countries,” he emphasized.

He noted that it would cost at least PHP70 billion and President Rodrigo Duterte has already approved it in principle.

“Our only concern is where we will get the budget. But I think when Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana went to France, he was able to talk to his counterpart and I think they are willing to provide us with a loan package for a submarine program,” he revealed.

If the plan pushes through, the first-ever pair of submarines of the Philippine Navy might arrive in 2027.

Meanwhile, Secretary Lorenzana has revealed that the Philippines has come to a step closer to acquiring its first submarine after the signing of an agreement with France that sought to enhance both the country’s maritime defense.

Secretary Lorenzana said that the ‘Philippines’ signing of the Letter of Intent on Enhancing Defense Cooperation in the Maritime Domain with the French government could aid us in acquiring the Scorpene-class, diesel-electric attack submarine.

“Intent pa lang, non-binding ‘yun para makapagumpisa na ng planning. Ang binding ‘yung kontrata na (It’s only [a letter of] intent, it’s still non-binding but it will set the planning [to start]. The contract is what binds [the agreement],” Secretary Lorenzana said when asked about the matter.

Asked how it would help the Philippines in its maritime defense, Secretary Lorenzana responded that it would be crucial in the country’s acquisition of its first-ever unit of submarine.

“It would be helpful because they are selling us submarines, the Scorpene type,” he said.

Secretary Lorenzana and French Defense Minister Florence Parly signed the letter of intent in Paris last November 29.


The Defense Chief said the Philippine Navy regarded the Scorpene-class attack submarine as “one of the best submarines” there is.

The Scorpene diesel-electric submarine being offered by the French government to the Philippines will be manufactured by French defense contractor Naval Group.

Secretary Lorenzana managed to see for himself the submarine when he visited France last month after his trip to South Korea with President Duterte for the Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN)-Republic of Korea Commemorative Summit.

According to the official website of the Naval Group, the Scorpene is a 2000-ton, conventional-propulsion submarine “designed for all types of missions such as surface vessel warfare, anti-submarine warfare, long-range strikes, special operations or intelligence gathering.”

The Naval Group said its combat edge is highlighted by six weapon launching tubes and 18 weapons including torpedoes, missiles, and mines. It also has a top speed of 37 kilometers per hour.

Source: PNA
Philippines To Buy First Ever Unit Of Attack Submarines From France For Maritime Defense Philippines To Buy First Ever Unit Of Attack Submarines From France For Maritime Defense Reviewed by Yen The Explorer on January 28, 2020 Rating: 5

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