Some 23 ships from 19 navies have confirmed their participation in the International Fleet Review (IFR) to be hosted by the Philippines in May.
“Nineteen navies confirmed their participation in the IFR with 23 participating vessels,” Philippine Navy (PN) public affairs office chief Lt. Commander Maria Christina Roxas said in a message late Friday.
The number of participating ships and navies could still increase ahead of the deadline for registration of delegates on March 19.
Roxas, however, did not give specific details on the classes of ships that will be participating but Russia said it will deploy a submarine for the proceedings.
The IFR, to be held off Manila Bay, is the highlight of the Western Pacific Naval Symposium (WPNS), to be hosted by the PN from May 19 to 21.
PN flag-officer-in-command Rear Admiral Giovanni Carlo Bacordo earlier said the WPNS is a confidence-building measure.
“WPNS is a confidence-building activity. (This shows that) we are navies that (can) work together for a common cause. Hindi ‘yung Navies na kanya-kanya (This proves that navies do not just act on their own),” he said.
The WPNS aims to increase cooperation and the ability to operate together, as well as to build trust and confidence between navies by providing a framework to enable the discussion of maritime issues of mutual interest, the exchange of information, the practice and demonstration of capabilities, and the exchange of personnel. PNA.GOV.PH