PHL could acquire France’s first submarine, says DND’s Lorenzana


The Philippines is considering an option to acquire a submarine from France as part of the Philippine Armed Forces (AFP) multibillion-peso modernization program.

Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana has revealed that he will be planning a visit to Paris next September to possibly purchase military equipment.

“The Navy considers France as the source of our submarine [since] they or they [the French] are good at making them, ”Lorenzana said during an ambush interview at the French ambassador’s residence during the Bastille Day celebration on Sunday evening.

“France has been manufacturing this equipment for the longest time and it has good qualities,” added the defense chief.

If the submarine deals with France, other countries will pass, it will be the first time for AFP to have such a ship at its service and at its disposal.

100% available

At the same event, French Ambassador Nicolas Galey declared that France was “one hundred percent available” to establish defense cooperation with the Philippines like its partners in the Indo-Pacific region.

“We are happy that the Philippines clearly wants to play a bigger role in the region, [and] wants to share this with us. We are obviously 100% available to have the same type of cooperation with the Philippines that we have with other countries in the world and in this region like Malaysia and Australia, ”said the envoy.

“We are also an Indo-Pacific power, we have the second economic zone in the world thanks to the French territories of the Pacific and the Indian Ocean, New Caledonia, French Polynesia and Reunion Island… . This gives us a special reason and motivation to have a good cooperation with the Philippines, ”he said.

Besides 8,000 French soldiers, Galey mentioned that France also has naval bases stationed in the Indo-Pacific region.

Other necessary assets

Last year, during President Duterte’s visit to Russia, Lorenzana said the Philippine government was studying Russia’s purchase of a helicopter, trainers and submarine for the army.

He went so far as to say that a Philippine Air Force technical task force will travel to Moscow to study the plan and make a recommendation.

The Philippines are also considering South Korea and the United States to supply the submarine and helicopters respectively, Lorenzana added.

However, in subsequent talks, Lorenzana backed down on the Russian sub-question ahead of a Senate hearing, saying they could be costly to maintain.

At this point, however, it looks like all submarine suppliers are being considered, including Japan, because “we haven’t picked any proponents yet… so there’s still a chance for everyone to be picked. “.

Lorenzana also admitted that no memorandum of understanding or memorandum of understanding had been signed with any country.

When asked if France or Russia has the best submarine combat machine, Lorenzana replied that he was not a submarine expert to be able to make such an assessment.

He replied “yes” when asked if the army was still on a mission to solicit military equipment abroad.

“Our meeting in France would be a bilateral meeting between two defense ministers. We will discuss the best way forward for everyone, ”said Lorenzana.

AFP’s need for more modern equipment is accelerated in the face of China’s continued military modernization of facilities in the seven reclaimed areas of the South China Sea and West Philippine Sea.

The latest conflict to erupt was the June 9 alliance between a suspected Chinese militia ship and a Filipino fishing trawler in the Recto Bank / Reed Bank. The Chinese boat fled and did not rescue the 22 Filipino fishermen left swimming in the sea until a Vietnamese fishing boat saved them all.

A joint investigation has yet to deliver its findings.

Lorenzana said, however, that the disputed area in the WPS has been “for a long time … the fishing grounds of Koreans, Chinese and Vietnamese.”

“Maybe it’s just a word from the press that we’re going to allow it, but even if we won’t allow it, they will be there, we cannot suppress them,” he said.

“In fact, they have already created islands there in our EEZ [exclusive economic zone]. How can we remove them there? To our detractors, tell us how we can get them out there? Said the chief of defense.

Lorenzana explained that during the fishing seasons, “they have a lot of fishing boats. [in the area]. “

The defense chief said he was unaware of the implications of allowing requesting countries to fish in the disputed area.

“I don’t know what the implications are, are there any implications when they [President Duterte and President Xi Jinping] okay so that the Chinese can fish there? Lorenzana said.

After guessing what President Duterte may have been discussing with Xi, Lorenza said, “Maybe what the president [Duterte] said, it’s “we’ll let you go, the EEZ is ours anyway.”

Asked if the government’s position seems to adopt a policy of appeasement, Lorenzana replied: “We are not afraid of anyone. It is only because they are already [fishing] there at WPS, and they’re listening to us. But they have already said they are not honoring the arbitration award. So what can we do? “

He said from the start, the country should have convinced China to participate in the trial “so that we are two arbitrators, but they didn’t, only us went.”

“So from the start, the Chinese said,” Whatever the decision of the Permanent Court of Arbitration, we will not honor it. “

With the ANP

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