PHL Navy considering France for submarine: defense chief

National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana is planning to visit France in September in connection with the ongoing Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Modernization Program.

“I plan to visit France this September and look at their equipment kung mayroon tayong mabibili. France has been making [military] equipment for the longest time and they have good qualities,” Secretary Lorenzana said at the sidelines of French National day celebration in Makati City.

Secretary Lorenzana said that the Philippine Navy is considering France to be the source of upcoming submarine acquisition project, however, the defense chief said discussions are ongoing to formalize memorandum of understanding.

“The Navy is considering France as a source of our submarine,” the defense chief said.

At the same event, French Ambassador Nicolas Galey said France is ready to enter into defense cooperation with the Philippines.

“We are obviously 100 percent available to have the same kind of cooperation with the Philippines like the one we have with other countries in the world and in this region like Malaysia and Australia,” Ambassador Galey said.

During the visit of French Secretary of State to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne to Manila last month, he said France “have great expertise in submarine and in the region, we established a strategic partnership with Australia in submarines and it’s a proof of the quality of our industry but not only the quality, also the fact that France can establish strategic partnerships in the region.”