THE PROCUREMENT of submarines for the capability upgrade of the Philippine Navy remains hanging due to financial constraints.
“We are processing the procurement. We already presented it to the leaders of the Department of National Defense,” Philippine Navy Flag Officer-in-Command Vice Admiral Robert A. Empedrad said during the test firing activity of new missiles in Bataan on Nov. 21.
However, he noted, that it is not that simple to purchase such a vessel. “If you will buy a submarine, it will take six years for the delivery… It has lots of preparations and budgetary constraints,” he said.
Last June, the Navy and the Department of National Defense (DND) announced the plan to acquire diesel-electric submarines as part of its modernization projects for 2018 to 2022.
Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana, for his part, pointed out that purchasing a submarine also requires the development of a base.
“(A) submarine base takes lot of money too,” he said.
In the meantime, the Navy has been building up its fleet, along with helicopters and other military equipment.
“Next year, we are expecting the arrival Pohang Class Frigate, it is given to us by the Republic of Korea. But it has a weapon system on board already like torpedoes and gun system that will level up our training,” Navy Spokesperson Commander Jonathan Zata told BusinessWorld.
“We are also expecting on the first quarter of next year anti-submarine capable helicopter… It will complement yung existing fleet ng helicopters (that) this time, capable to detect underwater objects and targets,” he added.—Vince Angelo C. Ferreras