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Philippine, US navies up complexity of Exercise ‘Sama Sama' 2023 with anti-submarine serial

The torpedo launching system on BRP Antonio Luna . The ship deployed a torpedo as part of Exercise ‘Sama Sama' 2023 with the US Navy on 10 October. (Janes/Vinod Kumar CV)

The Philippine and US navies have increased the complexity of an annual bilateral exercise by including an anti-submarine warfare (ASW) serial in the drills.

The shore phase of the drills, known as Exercise ‘Sama Sama' 2023, is being conducted off the coast of Manila from 8 to 13 October.

As part of the ASW serial on 10 October, the US Navy (USN) deployed its MK 39 Expendable Mobile Anti-Submarine Warfare Training Target (EMATT), according to a statement from the Philippine Navy's Naval Forces Southern Luzon (NAVFORSOL) that was forwarded to Janes on 11 October.

During the serial, the target mimicked the acoustic signatures of certain submarines, which allowed the Philippine Navy vessel to jointly refine its ASW tactics with assistance from the USN.

The statement did not specify the Philippine Navy vessel that was involved in the ASW serial, but a NAVFORSOL representative Janes spoke to on 11 October confirmed that it was the service's second Jose Rizal-class frigate, BRP Antonio Luna.

As part of the serial's topping off, Antonia Luna also deployed a torpedo against the target, the representative added, confirming that this is the first time such an activity has been conducted in an Exercise ‘Sama Sama' drill.

Antonio Luna is one of the Philippine Navy's two South Korean-built Jose Rizal-class frigate. It has an overall length of 114.3 m, a 14 m beam, and a hull draught of 4 m.

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