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Philippine, Russian navies consider submarine agreement

07 August 2018
The Russian-made Kilo-class submarine is regarded as a possible procurement for the Philippine Navy under its ‘second horizon’ modernisation programme. Source: Russian MoD

The Philippine Navy (PN) and Russian Navy are discussing the terms of an agreement to expand collaboration on diesel-electric submarines, state-run media in Manila has reported.

The Philippine News Agency (PNA) reported on 6 August that the two navies recently discussed the draft memorandum of understanding (MOU) through which Russia would look to meet the PN’s requirement to procure the subsurface capability.

Citing PN spokesman Commander Jonathan Zata, the PNA said the Philippines is looking at Russia as a “possible source” of submarines and that the pending MOU would enable Russia to provide the PN with submarine training to support military operations, maintenance, and sustainment activities.

PN officials have also been invited to Russian shipyards to observe submarine construction programmes, he said.

In late July, the Philippines Department of National Defense confirmed in comments to the PNA that it is currently conducting “market research and doctrine studies” in support of its submarine procurement programme.

In June, Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte said he had given approval to the PN to accelerate its submarine procurement to provide subsurface attack, patrol, and surveillance capability.

The acquisition was previously scheduled for 2023–27 under the Philippines’ ‘third horizon’ military modernisation programme but has now been moved forward to the 2018–22 second horizon.

PN officials have previously told Jane’s that the service requires at least two submarines and that the procurement was initiated in 2015 through the issue of a preliminary request for information (RFI). The PN has also established a submarine programme office that, as part of planning processes, is reviewing contemporary submarine designs and drawing up a concept of operations.

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