Russia willing to offer 'soft loans' for PH submarine acquisition

Russia willing to offer 'soft loans' for PH submarine acquisition

An offer the Philippines can’t refuse?

The government of Russia just gave  the Philippines an offer of “soft loans” it has no budget to buy its first submarines.

Department od Secretary Delfin Lorenza has disclosed that Russia is more than willing to accommodate the country in its desire to modernize its navy.
Russia's Kilo class submarine, inset id Defense Chief Delfin Lorenzana (Photo credit to owner)

The Russians are offering the Philippines its Kilo-class diesel electric submarines, which has surface displacement of 2,350 tons, a length of 73.8 meters and capable of speeds up 17 to 20 knots, as per wikipedia.

It can be armed with a variety of armaments such as torpedoes, missiles and naval mines and has the capacity to cruise at around 6,000 to 7,500 nautical miles.

In the ASEAN region, Vietnamn is known to operate six improved Kilo-class submarines for its navy.

"Kung wala tayong pera pahihiramin tayo ng Russia, soft loans (If we don't have the money, Russia will lend us soft loans)," the defense chief said.

"Soft loan" refers to financing with no interest or below market rate of interest.

The Defense chief clarified that it is still looking for other possible suppliers in Europe,  he noted that the country's submarine acquisition program, including possible suppliers, will be most likely finalized in the next 12 months or so.

"Maybe within the year, maybe within the next 12 months. Maybe we could finalize this. If this is approved, it will take them four years to make it, so it could be delivered when the term of President (Rodrigo Duterte) already ended," Lorenzana said.

DND has been saying that the Philippines being a maritime nation, its national defense is not complete without specialized underwater craft.

A submarine can be taken as a force multiplier and a great morale booster to the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the DND chief said to the reporters.

Originally the acquisition of a submarine is scheduled for Horizon Three of the Revised Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Program (RAFPMP), , which is expected to run from 2023 to 2028.

DND spokesperson Arsenio Andolong explains that acquisition of the country's first submarines will be brought forward to Horizon Two, with a budget placed roughly at P300B.

Horizon Once covered the years of 2013-2017 which resulted to the major acquisitions of three Del Pilar-class frigates, 12 FA-50PH light-lift interim fighters, two strategic sealift vessels, among others.

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Report from PNA

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