• The PH Navy will soon acquire diesel-powered submarines
  • The planned acquisition has been moved to Horizon 2 from Horizon 3
  • DND said other countries will now start respecting the PH Navy

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of National Defense (DND) has confirmed the Philippine Navy could acquire submarines sooner than originally planned under the ongoing Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) modernization program.

This after President Rodrigo Duterte finally approved Horizon 2 of the Revised Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Program (RAFPMP) which now includes acquisition of diesel-powered submarines originally planned under Horizon 3.

Horizon 1 of RAFMP ran from 2013 to 2017. The initial program resulted into the purchase of 12 FA-50 jet fighters from South Korea, three Navy frigates, two strategic sealift vessels, among others.

The second phase, Horizon 2 will run from 2018 to 2022 and has a budget of around P300-B while Horizon 3 will follow next in 2023 until 2028.

At the press briefing on Wednesday in Cubao, Quezon City, DND spokesperson Director Arsenio Andolong said all three major services – Army, Air Force and Navy – have put in their respective requests and were approved already.

“And in the Navy, you will find this interesting, aside from the two frigates that are currently being constructed we will also purchase additional… and we will have corvettes and submarines,” Andolong said.

DND is rumored to be interested in Russian Kilo-class sub| Image capture from video by PH TV via You Tube

While still uncertain how many submarines will be acquired, Andolong said it will be more than one, although they really wanted four but that would entail huge amount.

“We will be joining the exclusive club of countries [with submarines]. In the Navy there are two symbols of force projection, symbol of power — those are the aircraft carrier and submarines,” said Andolong.

The Defense official noted that having submarines will prove to be cost effective in terms of defense aside from the fact that it is hard to detect and can sink an aircraft carrier if a threat comes close.

“If they know you have submarines, they will start to respect the Philippine Navy,” Andolong added.