South Korea and the Philippines have continued co-operation talks aimed at meeting the Philippine Navy's (PN's) future submarine requirements.
South Korea's Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) announced on 27 May that the Assistant Secretary for Logistics and Acquisition at the Philippines' Department of National Defense (DND), Jesus Rey R Avilla, visited the Republic of Korea Navy's (RoKN's) Submarine Force Command on 12 May to discuss “various areas of co-operation” to enhance the PN's future submarine capabilities.
Among the issues discussed were the transfer of RoKN know-how on operating submarines, the resumption of the RoKN-hosted International Submarine Education and Training Program (ISETP) – which has been put on hold because of the Covid-19 pandemic – and regular navy-to-navy talks on submarines.
Avilla also visited the RoKN's submarine workshops and training sites, as well as DSME facilities. Moreover, he held meetings with representatives of South Korea's Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) and Export-Import Bank of Korea (KEXIM) to discuss the level of support by the South Korean government and a soft loan.
The shipbuilder told
that it has been offering Manila a “total solution package” since 2011 that includes DSME 1400PN diesel-electric submarines – an upgraded and modified version of the Nagapasa (DSME 1400)-class boats currently in service with the Indonesian Navy – along with crew training and a soft-loan to meet the PN's submarine acquisition project.
The latest development comes after Philippine Undersecretary for Finance and Material Raymundo DV Elefante and PN chief Vice Admiral Giovanni Carlo Barcodo visited DSME and the RoKN's Submarine Force Command in November 2020 to discuss the ‘total solution package'.
The Indonesia Navy's Nagapasa (DSME 209/1400)-class submarine KRI
during its handover ceremony in April 2018 at DSME's Okpo shipyard.