PHL has right to develop submarine force: Russian envoy

Being an archipelagic nation, the Philippines has the right to develop its submarine force, Russian Ambassador to the Philippines, Igor Khovaev said on Tuesday.

During a press conference with select defense and foreign journalists in Makati City, Khovaev said submarines are necessary as the Philippines is an archipelagic state and needs a submarine fleet to protect its waters.

“We are ready to help your country to become a submarine (power),” he said, noting that Russian submarines are the best in the world.

“We are willing to help you like (what we did in) Vietnam,” he said, referring to Russia’s role in supplying the Southeast Asian nation with six Kilo-class submarines.

In October last year, the Philippine Navy, on its first-ever port visit to Vladivostok, Russia, inspected first-hand a Kilo-class diesel-electric submarine, the Komsomolsk-Na-Amure.

Kilo-class submarines have a surface displacement of 2,350 tons, a length of 73.8 meters and capable of speeds up 17 to 20 knots and can be armed with a variety of torpedoes, missiles, and naval mines. It has a cruising range of around 6,000 to 7,500 nautical miles.

Earlier reports said Russia is willing to provide advanced versions of its Kilo-class submarines to the Philippines through “soft loans”. PNA.GOV.PH