The Philippines Navy (PN) announced that President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the inclusion of two submarines in its acquisition list. These will be the first ever submarines acquired by the PN. According to the secretary of Department of National Defense (DND), they have not yet selected any supplier for submarines but the PN is preparing for it, including training of submarine forces.
PN is also advancing its forces for other upcoming assets, through steps like sending 28 personnel to South Korea for training and capability preparation for the Navy’s two missile-capable frigates which are scheduled to arrive in the next two years.
PN’s planned acquisition list includes the following:
8 new fast attack interdiction craft (missile-capable) with speeds of up to 40 knots
6 new offshore patrol vessels
2 new corvettes
2 refurbished Pohang-class corvettes, sister vessels of the BRP Conrado Yap acquired from South Korea
Aside from the fleet assets, PN is also expanding its naval shipyard capabilities to shipbuilding, which will be an important aspect as the Philippines seeks to establish a self-reliant defense posture. DND is currently seeking a PHP 29 billion (USD 558 million) budget for the Navy in 2020, up 4.3% from its current PHP 27.84 billion (USD 535 million) funding for its modernization effort.
(Source: ABSCBN News; Philippine Daily Inquirer)