French defense contractor Naval Group chief executive officer Pierre-Eric Pommellet said during a press conference during Euronaval 2020 that Naval Group, amid the pandemic, has been in contact with Philippine authorities for submarine project.
“Another country were we’ve been very active during the [Covid] crisis is the Philippines. The Philippines is looking for submarines to increase their naval capacities and create a new submarine force,” Pommellet said as quoted by Navalnews.com.
“We’ve kept in close touch with the Philippines authorities during the crisis. We’ll see in the next weeks if this project moves forward. But of course, here again, Naval Group can demonstrate –we’ve done it in Brazil, in India, we’re doing it in Australia– the capacity to transfer production,” he added.
According to Naval Group, “Scorpene submarine is capable of carrying out all types of missions, such as anti-surface vessel warfare, anti-submarine warfare, long-range strikes, special operations or intelligence gathering. It is extremely stealthy and fast, and is equipped with a comprehensive range of weapons (torpedoes, missiles, mines).”
“Over fourteen Scorpene submarines were sold by Naval Group internationally. Naval Group is capable of adapting it to very specifics operational and industrial requirements, creating long term partnership of trust with navies throughout the life of the submarine, covering the whole spectrum of development and industrial sovereignty of each country and a user club that joins them under common interests,” it added.
In 2019, National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said that the Philippine Navy is considering Naval Group’s Scorpene.
In March 2020, Philippine Navy Flag Officer-in-Command (FOIC) Vice Admiral Giovanni Carlo Bacordo said acquisition and development of a submarine arm for the country is one of the priorities.
“Regardless of who sits here next, we have a long-term plan. The submarine is part of whoever FOIC sits here until we will realize that,” Vice Admiral Bacordo said.