February 29, 2024

Submarine acquisition still part of PH defense plan, says PBBM

THE plan to acquire submarines for the Philippine Navy (PN) is not off the table, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. said on Friday, adding that there are offers from different countries not only for submarine acquisition, but also for domestic assembly and construction of naval assets.

“There is a plan. But it’s still being developed dahil ang commitment para mag-operate ng submarine is not a small commitment. It is a very large commitment because of the training that is involved, the equipment that is involved and the operational requirements that are involved are quite significant,” President Marcos said during a media interview following his attendance at the 125th anniversary celebration of the Navy in Manila.

“So, it is still part of our plan. But right now, we are in the middle of developing mostly our anti-submarine capabilities. So, ‘yun ang uunahin natin and then hopefully when the time comes and the conditions are agreeable then we might be able to acquire those submarines.”

Multiple countries made an offer not only for completely-built submarines, but also to build them here in the Philippines, said the President, stressing the importance of the offer particularly for the country’s defense and local job generation.

“If they are built here and we can actually build submarines here and provide those submarines to other countries then that’s another source of jobs, and of income and increased capability for our Navy.”

Last year, the Department of National Defense (DND) said that procurement of submarines for the PN was not a priority, stressing that it was focusing on the implementation of modernization contracts signed by the previous administration.

A defense official said that although submarines were on their wish list for Horizon 3, the Department is prioritizing the implementation of such contracts, “cognizant of the limitations in the resources available to the government.”