March 4, 2020 – The acquisition and development of a submarine arm for the country remain one of the priorities of the Philippine Navy.
“Of course, the Navy has a roadmap, that’s the advantage of having a roadmap. So regardless of who sits here (as PN flag-officer-in-command) next, we have a long-term plan. The submarine is part of whoever FOIC sits here until we will realize that,” PN flag-officer-in-command Rear Admiral Giovanni Carlo Bacordo said in a recent interview.
Bacordo made this remark when asked whether he will devout the same attention to detail on acquiring submarines as his predecessor, Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad.
This is the reason why the PN has already formed a Submarine Group, Bacordo added.
“The personnel there, the officers and the enlisted, they are the ones determining what kind of submarine do we need, they’re the ones crafting the required doctrines, they’re the ones determining how the Navy will be organized with the submarine (as part of its fleet), the training required,” he said.
While waiting for the arrival of the equipment, Bacordo said the officers and enlisted personnel of the PN’s Submarine Group have been going abroad for training on how to operate and man a submersible vessel.
“These officers and enlisted men they have been going abroad for training, they’ve been to (South) Korea, to France for all of this submarine training. So that when the submarines arrive, we can say that we are not starting from zero,” he added.
The PN is looking to acquire two diesel-electric submarine units as part of its efforts to modernize its fleet.
The Scorpene, which is being constructed by French defense manufacturer Naval Group is said to be high on the list of preferred submarine platforms of the country and was evaluated by naval and defense officials last year.