Salvage, submarine capability dev’t should go hand-in-hand: Navy chief

Salvage ship capability should go hand-in-hand with the Philippine Navy’s (PN) planned submarine acquisition project, Navy flag-officer-in-command, Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad, said Monday.

“What I am telling our Technical Working Group is when we talk of capability, they should plan out from the time of acquisition of the ship up to the time when we are going to retire it. We should know what expenses will be incurred from it. For example, when we acquire a submarine, we need a salvage ship in case something happens to it. We need some salvage capability (to aid the submarine and its crew),” Empedrad said in Filipino during an interview with DWDD, a radio station run by the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Salvage refers to the process of rescuing a ship, crew and its cargo from accidents in the high seas.

Empedrad also said that a lot of requirements still need to be met before the PN can operate submarines and these include the piers to moor or dock these vessels in.

Since the Navy’s modernization is equipment-intensive, the Navy chief said he is pushing for planners to acquire a software that would give pertinent information on how to maintain and operate its newly-acquired ships and platforms for its proposed 30-year service.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana earlier said that for an island-nation like the Philippines, its defense can be considered incomplete without a fleet of submarines.

Lorenzana noted that an effective active submarine force is a great deterrent for would-be aggressors due to its capability to travel underwater unseen, giving it the element of surprise.

The defense chief added that a submarine force is a great morale booster to the Armed Forces of the Philippines. PNA