Philippine Navy eyes to have first submarines by 2027

by Inquirer | September 23, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Navy is looking to acquire its first-ever submarines by 2027.

Navy chief Vice Adm. Robert Empedrad said they had started to send personnel abroad in December last year for training ahead of the procurement of the submarines.

“As early as December last year, we sent personnel to France to train for our submarine acquisition program, which hopefully will have the first deliveries of two submarines in 2027,” he said in his speech in the ceremonial blessing for new amphibious vehicles and multi-purpose attack craft at the Navy headquarters in Manila on Monday.

The planned acquisition of submarines was already approved by President Rodrigo Duterte last May, along with two brand new corvettes, six offshore patrol vessels and eight fast attack interdiction craft.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said they have not yet selected the supplier for the submarines, but the Navy had started preparing for it.

“Wala pa namang napili, pero we have already a submarine force. Wala pang submarines, pero we are trying to improve their capabilities to run a submarine, para bago pa lang kunin yung equipment alam na ang gagawin. Para pag dumating yun, we can use them immediately,” he told reporters.

[We have not chosen a supplier, but we already have submarine force. We don’t have submarines yet, but we are trying to improve their capabilities to run a submarine so that when the equipment is delivered, we already know what to do. So when they arrive, we can use them immediately.]

The Philippine Navy has been preparing itself for the acquisition of upcoming assets.

Empedrad said they have also sent 28 personnel to South Korea to start training for the Navy’s two missile-capable frigates scheduled for delivery in the next two years.

“Our personnel are trained well for these new capabilities,” he said.

By Frances Mangosing, September 23, 2019