Navy programmed to get new corvettes, OPVs, MPACs under Duterte

Under the Second Horizon of Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Modernization Program, the Philippine Navy is programmed to acquire 2 new corvettes, 6 offshore patrol vessels (OPV), and additional multi-purpose assault crafts (MPAC).

“Sa Horizon 2 meron ‘yung dalawang corvettes, anim na OPVs pang external [defense] din kasi ‘to. So if we have that we can patrol ‘yung West Philippine Sea, even sa Pacific kung nasaan ang ating Philippine Rise,” Navy chief Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad said on March 11 over DWDD.”Tapos meron din tayong mga multi-purpose attack crafts, ‘yung katulad nung may missile.”

“So kung mapondohan lahat ‘to, I think magiging very credible ang ating Navy ‘pag dating sa maritime capability whether it is ships or whether it is aircraft,” he explained.

He added that the Marines will also be upgraded.

“‘Yung offshore patrol vessels, corvettes require two to manufacture. So ‘pag napirmahan ‘yung kontrata then darating pa ‘yan mga 2022. Magdadatingan na ‘yung mga bagong malalaking barko natin before the President relinquish his presidency,” he added.

“Hanggang sa Third Horizon [of AFP Modernization Program], 25 to 30 ships ang bibilhin ng Philippine Navy. ‘Pag nandiyan na lahat ‘yan – makakatulog tayo dahil alam natin na ‘yung Navy isesecure niya ‘yung dagat natin kahit saan mang lupalop ng Pilipinas meron,” he noted.

Aside from the OPVs, corvettes, and MPACs under Horizon 2 of AFP modernization, the Philippine Navy is also eyeing to acquire 12 units of hundred footer fastcrafts for maritime security in Mindanao. Vice Admiral Empedrad said that six fast crafts capable of staying at sea for 7 to 10 days can be delivered within President Duterte’s term if approved.