AFP eyes French-made military equipment for modernisation

AFP eyes French-made military equipment for modernisation

The Philippines has made its intentions known for a possible purchases of military equipment from France.

Over the weekend, visiting French Minister of State Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne said that discussions with the Philippine counterparts are underway for the possible Philippine procurement of French-made military equipment and material.

“Those discussions will continue… of course we have great expertise in a submarine and in the region, we established a strategic partnership with Australia and it’s a proof of the quality of our industry… France can establish (a) partnership in the region. The Philippines has to state what is the need, what they want and of course we will apply to fulfill these needs,” Leymone told journalists in Makati City.

The French made Scorpene-class conventional diesel-electric submarine was among those offered to the  Philippine Navy.The Philippines had earlier expressed interest in acquiring French or Russian made submarines as part of its modernization plans.

(photo credit to owner)

This developed as France has reiterated its commitment to continue “partrolling” and “cruising” one of the world’s busiest and highly volatile waters in defense of freedom of navigation and international law.

The French Minister of State was short of responding to questions on whether France will accept the challenge posed by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte for western powers like the United States of America, Great Britain and France to join him in challenging Chinese dominance in the South China Sea.

“France is very committed to promote and defend (the) rule of international law that’s why our navy is very often patrolling, cruising in the South China Sea and we will continue,” he said.

“And of course, freedom of navigation is at the heart of multilateralism, and we must ensure that freedom of navigation is effective. That’s why our navy, twice a year, cruises in the South China Sea, and we will continue,” Lemoyne said.

“France is not going anywhere, because we are part of the region. We have territories here; we have more than 1.6 million inhabitants, several islands with different statutes, vast exclusive economic zones and the responsibility that goes with the territory,” French Defense Minister Florence Parly said.

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Report from MB

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