The Philippines must produce its own combat management system and other related defense equipment in order to protect its military capabilities.
“The only way we can do that is to make our own. We produce our own CMS, everything, so nobody will know about it,” Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said during Monday’s Senate hearing about the Frigate Acquisition Project (FAP).
He also admitted that as long as the Philippines sub-contracts ships and other military equipment from other nations, there is nothing the country can do to prevent others from knowing about its capabilities.
The FAP has a contract of PHP18 billion including the weapon systems and munitions.
Earlier, the DND chief said that using the Thales Tacticos CMS would shoot the price of the frigates by USD7 million per ship or USD14 million for the two vessels.
In Monday’s hearing, Lorenzana defended the decision of Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) to pick Hanwha as the supplier of the CMS for its two frigates over Thales Tacticos, the manufacturer preferred by former PN flag-officer-in-command Vice Admiral Ronald Joseph Mercado.
While acknowledging that Thales Tacticos is a good CMS brand, the DND chief said the Hanwha CMS being selected to fit the Navy’s first two missile-firing capable frigates are equally capable.
“We are not buying a lesser product. we are buying an equally capable product to be put into our ship(s),” he added. PNA