Philippines will "more likely" procure Russian subs: Lorenzana
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Philippines will “more likely” procure submarines from Russia.
“That is what the president wants, for us to buy (two) submarines,” he said in an interview with reporters in Camp Aguinaldo late Thursday afternoon. “Maybe, more likely we will acquire from Russia,” he added.
Lorenzana added that the Russian government is willing to provide soft loans for the submarine acquisition project for the Philippine Navy.
“If we do not have money Russia is willing to provide soft loan,” he said.
Lorenzana said Russia is offering its Kilo Class submarines to the Philippines. But Lorenzana added the Philippines is still looking at other countries who will offer submarines.
“We are still trying to look at Korea they have (submarines), maybe Europe, French... but Russia, they are willing to sell us their Kilo Class (submarines),” he said.
The defense secretary said the submarine acquisition project for the Philippine Navy, including its supplier may be finalized within the next 12 months.
“Maybe not within the year, maybe within the next 12 months we can finalize that because when it was signed it will take them four years to make it. So the delivery will come after the term of the president,” he said.
It can be recalled that last month, Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad, Philippine Navy Flag Officer in Command met with the chief of the Russian Navy, Admiral Vladimir Ivanovich Korolev during his visit to represent the Armed Forces of the Philippines at St. Petersburg, Russia.
Commander Jonathan Zata, Philippine Navy spokesman, said during the meeting, Korolev expressed support in the modernization program of the Philippine Navy particularly on buying its submarines.
“The chief of Russian navy assured his commitment to support the upgrade program of the PN in terms of training, maintenance and sustainment of future acquisition particularly the submarine acquisition project of the PN,” he said.
The submarine acquisition project for the Philippine Navy is part of the second horizon of the revised modernization program of the Armed Forces of the Philippine amounting to around 300 billion pesos.
The second horizon which is expected to run from 2018 up to 2022 was approved by the president last May. Robina Asido/DMS