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LIMA 2023: Delivery of second batch of ‘Blue Sharks' for Philippines delayed

With a weight launch of 280 kg, the Blue Shark can hit targets at depths of up to 450 m and at a range of 6.5 n mile. The torpedo can travel at a speed of 45 kt. (Janes/Patrick Allen)

South Korea is prepared to deliver a second batch of Cheong Sangeo (K745/Blue Shark) torpedoes to the Philippine Navy (PN). However, Janes understands that the Philippines has delayed the procurement.

The deal was first announced in August 2021. At the time, the Philippines Department of National Defense (DND) said that the deal was reported to cost around PHP722.3 million (USD12.9 million).

A source with knowledge of the process told Janes that the documentation for the second sale batch was prepared in December 2022. “However, six months on, there has not been movement on the procurement,” the source added.

The source was speaking at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (LIMA) Exhibition 2023 held in Malaysia from 23 to 27 May.

Janes understands that the second batch of torpedoes is to equip the Leonardo AW159 helicopters in service with the PN and on the PN's two South Korean-madeJose Rizal-class general purpose light frigates. The torpedoes are being acquired through Direct Negotiation with LIG Nex1 under a Government-to-Government (G2G) acquisition process.

According to Janes data, the Blue Shark is a ship- and air-launched anti-submarine torpedo. Developed by South Korea's Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) for the Republic of Korea (RoK) Navy, the lightweight torpedo is available for export. The prime contractor for the torpedo is South Korean firm LiG Nex 1.

It is unclear how many torpedoes are to be sold to Manila in this second batch. LiG Nex 1 declined to comment to Janes about specific details of the order, citing confidentiality.

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