Diesel-electric submarines will be purchased by the Philippine government. It was reported by the Philippine media late last month.
According to Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, the submarines “will be acquired earlier than originally planned because of the rapidly-growing security challenges in the region.” It is apparent that he was referring to the worsening situation in the West Philippine Sea, otherwise known as the South China Sea where Beijing has transformed Philippine islands and reefs into militarized facilities.
According to a report by Philippine Daily Inquirer, Defense spokesperson Arsenio Andolong said that “the purchase of submarines had been moved from the military’s shopping list under Horizon 3 to Horizon 2. Projects under Horizon 2 will be implemented from 2018 to 2022, while Horizon 3 projects will run from 2023 to 2028.”
A symbol of power:
Andolong said that the Philippines will be joining the exclusive club of countries with submarines. In the navy, “ownership of aircraft carriers and submarines is a symbol of power,” Andolong added. There was no indication that the country has plans to buy an aircraft carrier. He could not say how many submarines would be bought but firmly stated that it would be more than one.