Author Topic: Navy Plans 50-Ship Maritime Force To Strengthen Claims On Disputed Seas  (Read 3619 times)

adroth

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Navy Plans 50-Ship Maritime Force To Strengthen Claims On Disputed Seas; BRP Jose Rizal Arrives
According to a Philippine Navy source, “we are not competing with anyone” but only trying to “regain some respect from other countries in the region, show the flag and protect our own interests in the South China Sea.”

Manuel Mogato Monday, May 25, 2020

https://www.onenews.ph/navy-plans-50-ship-maritime-force-to-strengthen-claims-on-disputed-seas-brp-jose-rizal-arrives

The Philippines plans to spend an initial P75 billion to build a 50-ship maritime force, including short-range missile-capable smaller and faster vessels to protect the country’s security interests in the disputed South China Sea, a senior naval commander said.

About 100 other support vessels and more than 30 fixed-wing and rotary aircraft are also being considered in the Philippine Navy’s force mix that could cost the government more than P100 billion in the long term.

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The Navy flag officer disclosed that at least four big-ticket items are in the pipeline under the military modernization program’s second horizon until 2023, to buy two corvettes, six offshore patrol vessels, two landing platform docks and eight fast attack interdiction craft.

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The Navy’s force mix plan will address these deficiencies, the flag officer says, adding that the acquisition will allow the Navy to retire its legacy ships, many of which are World War II-era vessels donated by the United States at the end of the Vietnam War in 1975.

The rest of the surface combat vessels will be acquired in the third horizon until 2028, excluding electric-diesel submarines that are very expensive.

“We have not abandoned the plan to acquire two to four submarines, but it will take time to train people who will man these vessels as well as build a base suitable for these sub-surface vessels,” the flag officer said, adding that they are looking at the experiences of Southeast Asian countries that operate submarines such as Vietnam, Indonesia and Singapore.

The Navy has been constantly reviewing its force mix plan after President Duterte approved in 2018 a revised modernization plan under the second horizon.

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Four more frigates will be acquired until 2028 under the Navy’s force-mix plan. The frigates will be armed with anti-air missiles and will be primarily an anti-air platform, but they also have ship-to-ship missiles.

Twelve missile-capable corvettes will be acquired for anti-submarine warfare. Two corvettes worth P28 billion are planned to be procured until 2023. A South Korean shipyard, which built the frigates, will be awarded the contracts.

At least 18 offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) will be acquired for exclusive economic zone (EEZ) patrols. Six are planned initially for P30 billion and will be awarded to an Australian shipyard.  Six more are planned until 2028 to join six existing vessels – three former Hamilton-class cutters from the US donated in 2011 and three former Peacock-class corvettes from the British Royal Navy stationed in Hong Kong, bought in 1997.

Eight Fast Attack Interdiction Craft armed with short-range missiles from Israel will also be acquired, but procurement of 40 of these ships will be spread out through 2028. The Navy has allocated P10 billion for the eight missile craft.

Acquisition of 42 smaller Multi-Purpose Attack Craft from Taiwan is also planned. There are already 12 operating in the Navy; three are fitted with Israeli missiles, the first-ever missile gunboats in the Philippines.

Two more strategic sealift vessels are also planned and will be awarded to an Indonesian supplier, which already delivered two ships – the BRP Davao del Sur and BRP Tarlac. The two ships will cost P5.5 billion.

The Navy also plans to build an aviation force with 34 planes and helicopters, including vertical takeoff and landing drones, designed for surveillance and anti-submarine warfare. Shore-to-ship and shore-to-air missile batteries are also planned.

The Philippine Marines, which is part of the Navy, has a different set of weapons upgrade plan, including amphibious assault vehicles, rotary aircraft, drones, mortars and assault rifles.

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tagalacion

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“We have not abandoned the plan to acquire two to four submarines, but it will take time to train people who will man these vessels as well as build a base suitable for these sub-surface vessels,” the flag officer said...

So, kick the submarine "can further down the road" and go for the low-hanging fruits towards a 50-ship fleet?  Is this fallout from COVID-19 or was this always the plan?

IMHO, as much as I'd love PN to have subs, we're better off focusing our meager resources on our surface fleet for now.  Subs can't wave the flag as effectively as guided missile frigates or corvettes in the face of continued Chinese misbehavior in the WPS.

Anyway, fingers crossed this pandemic doesn't delay the modernization another 25+ years the way the Asian Financial Crisis did back in '97.

adroth

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IMHO, as much as I'd love PN to have subs, we're better off focusing our meager resources on our surface fleet for now.  Subs can't wave the flag as effectively as guided missile frigates or corvettes in the face of continued Chinese misbehavior in the WPS.

"Flag waving" can also be accomplished by PCG ships.

If the PH wants to inflict pain, or to simply keep China looking over its shoulder for fear of punitive action, a submarine force is hard to match.

tagalacion

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IMHO, as much as I'd love PN to have subs, we're better off focusing our meager resources on our surface fleet for now.  Subs can't wave the flag as effectively as guided missile frigates or corvettes in the face of continued Chinese misbehavior in the WPS.

"Flag waving" can also be accomplished by PCG ships.

If the PH wants to inflict pain, or to simply keep China looking over its shoulder for fear of punitive action, a submarine force is hard to match.

Totally agree, Sir A.  I was thinking more along the lines of having to commit a massive investment to start-up a sub force on the one hand and the need to bolster surface asset numbers - especially with the need to decommission legacy ships - on the other, especially in the face of the potential fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.  This statement seems to say that PN had already made a decision, at least in the short term (i.e. within the next 10 years).

But if the new FOIC Bacordo is really committed to the push started by ex-FOIC Empedrad, then one never knows.  A refurbished ex-Chang Bogo for training purposes (for example) could be a good 'ask' from South Korea as long as they continue to get our business.

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Philippine Fleet Capability Development Workshop Concluded

https://www.facebook.com/ThePhilippineFleet/posts/4749324525093088

The Command thru the office of F5 conducted a 5-day PF Capability Development Workshop from July 6 to 10, 2020 aboard HPF Conference Room, Naval Base Heracleo Alano.

It was spearheaded by the Assistant Chief of Fleet Staff for Plans and Programs, F5, Cdr Darwin F. Nieva PN(GSC) and attended by the Plans & Operations Officers of respective Forces, Groups, Centers and Wing of the Fleet.

The workshop aimed to review and assess the Fleet capabilities in relation to the prevailing security environment. The output shall compose the PF Desired Force Mix which will be proposed for the 15-year programming of the Capability Plan of the Philippine Navy.