President Rodrigo Duterte is inclined to support to submarine acquisition program of the Philippine Navy, this was bared by Navy chief Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad on June 13.
“I remember the National Security Adviser (Secretary Hermogenes Esperon) told me that the President is very inclined to support our submarine acquisition program,” Vice Admiral Empedrad said over DWDD.
“Nagcreate na kami ng Submarine Group, we are already sending people abroad for training in preparation of the acquisition of submarine,” he said. “Kasi ang pag-acquire ng submarine it would take 7 to 10 years.”
The Navy chief that he is also supporting the submarine project. It can be remembered that Empedrad told a senate hearing in February 2018 that the future of naval warfare is submarine warfare.
“The trend now is submarine warfare because it is hard to fight an enemy that you cannot see. Mahirap kasi i-detect ang submarine,” he said.
“I just attended the future surface fleet conference in London a week ago, at ang trend ngayon is modern navies now changing strategy to anti-submarine warfare. A lot of countries are building their submarines so we have to develop also ‘yung capability pano sila i-detect,” he explained.
“So we buy submarines, we buy also anti-submarine ships,” Vice Admiral Empedrad said.
He added that the upcoming frigates being built by South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries and upcoming AW-159 Wildcat helicopters from Leonardo are all capable of anti-submarine warfare armed with torpedoes.
Earlier this week, Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the country is now looking for possible suppliers of diesel-electric submarines to beef up the Philippine Navy’s capabilities.