Navy to acquire offshore patrol vessels via gov’t-to-gov’t deal

The Philippine Navy (PN)’s offshore patrol vessel (OPV) project will be acquired via the so-called government-to-government procurement approach.

“Yes, because we are availing of Australian government financing (for the project),” Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said in a message to the Philippine News Agency (PNA) over the weekend.

Government-to-government is an advantage as it does not require a large capital outlay and has sovereign guarantee aside from the equipment being acquired much easier and faster.

The OPV project aims to acquire six brand-new ships for PHP30 billion, a project that Australia-based global shipbuilder and defense contractor Austal has expressed interest to participate in.

Austal is offering a larger version of its 80-meter Cape-class patrol vessels being used by the Royal Australian Navy and Australian Border Force. Earlier, Lorenzana said the PN is preferring a government-to-government approach in acquiring the vessels.

“Government-to-government is (the procurement process being favored) by the PN,” the DND chief said.

The OPVs are part of Horizon Two of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Program and expected to replace the World War II corvettes and minesweepers still in PN service as of this time. PNA.GOV.PH