The Philippine Navy is eyeing to acquire 12 100-foot fastcrafts with pin-point target accuracy worth 8 to 10 billion to help secure maritime territory in Mindanao.
Navy chief Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad said on March 11 over DWDD that the proposal has no allocated budget yet as it is not included in the programmed Second Horizon of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Modernization Program.
He said that the proposal still needs to be presented with the senior AFP/defense leaders and President Rodrigo Duterte.
“‘Yung instruction ni President na ‘pag may terrorista na dumadaan sa Mindanao palubigin, pero kulang pa ‘yung ating kakayahan na gawin ‘yun, pero kung mabili ko ‘yung 12, makuha natin ‘yung 12 barko ay lahat ng choke points sa Mindanao will be taken care,” he said.
He said these proposed fastcrafts are hundred footers. He said current assault crafts of the Navy are small and can only stay at sea for one day. He also noted that current hundred footer patrol boats of the Navy are ageing and few are operational.
“Itong speed boats base sa technical specs namin, makaka-stay siya ng dagat 7 to 10 days tapos ‘yung weapons system niya pin-point accuracy, ‘pag tinira mo ‘yung gumagalaw na bangka or craft sa dagat kahit maalon tatamaan talaga,” Vice Admiral Empedrad explained.
He also noted that monitoring of maritime areas is now good because of monitoring stations, he said the factor lacking now is the interdiction. He said with the 12 fastcrafts all of Mindanao’s waters can be secured from terrorist activities.