PHL needs P497 B for strong naval fleet

May 24, 2012 9:49 pm 

MANILA, May 24 – The Philippine Navy needs P497 billion to acquire modern frigates, corvettes, and submarines to make it "strong and credible" against external threats.

Lt. Cmdr. Nerelito Martinez, the Fleet's acting chief of staff for plans and programs, said with this amount the Navy could start strengthening its platforms for an effective defense against external threats.

Martinez made this statement in the April edition of the Phil Fleet, the PN's official magazine, obtained by PNA released Thursday.

The naval wish list includes six frigates for anti-air warfare, 12 corvettes for anti-submarine warfare, 18 offshore patrol vessels, three submarines, three anti-mine vessels, four sealift vessels, and 18 landing craft utility vessels.

Added to these are three logistics ships, 12 coastal interdiction patrol boats, 30 patrol gunboats, and 42 multi-purpose assault crafts that can be equipped with torpedoes and missiles.

Part of the envisioned force mix are eight amphibious maritime patrol aicraft, 18 naval helicopters, and eight multi-purpose helicopters.

"It may be costly at our current standards but it is not unrealistic," Martinez said.

The force mix, which the Fleet came up with during a strategic workshop last year, "shall be the basis of the Fleet in its force structure and capability development plans," he said.

"The Fleet shall refer to this force mix whenever new equipment acquisition, in any form, is proposed," Martinez said.

(PNA)

hbc/PFN

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