Philippine lawmaker seeks to speed up naval upgrade program


The Philippine Navy's Desired Force Mix program. Photo c/o

A Philippine lawmaker has urged to immediately expedite the acquisition of more frigates and corvettes for the Philippine Navy (PN), as China continues its aggressive incursion in the Philippines’ 200 nautical mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

Representative Johnny Pimentel, who currently chairs the Philippines’ Lower House of Representatives Committee on Strategic Intelligence, said that the Department of National Defense (DND) should push forward its plans to acquire 4 more frigates and 12 corvettes as soon as possible, rather than waiting for several more years.

Rep. Pimentel was referring to the PN’s own Desired Force Mix strategy, which calls for the service’s massive upgrade that includes having a total of 6 frigates and 12 corvettes acquired or under construction by 2028.

The PN currently has 2 new Jose Rizal-class frigates and a single Pohang-class corvette, all coming from South Korea.

Rep. Pimentel mentioned that the House of Representatives is welcome to allocate more funds for the acquisition of new naval assets.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana confirmed that they are currently in the process of acquiring 2 new corvettes and 6 new offshore patrol vessels, while previous reports confirmed that the PN is also in the process of negotiating for more used Pohang-class corvettes formerly with the Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN).

The PN leadership was also in France as negotiations are ongoing for the acquisition of 2 new submarines, potentially from France’s Naval Group.

Sec. Lorenzana confirmed that the military modernization program is behind schedule due to COVID-19 pandemic affecting the government’s finances and the country’s economy.

[2] Foreign Policy Research Institute
[3] Global Security

Philippine lawmaker seeks to speed up naval upgrade program Philippine lawmaker seeks to speed up naval upgrade program Reviewed by Asia Pacific Defense Journal on March 29, 2021 Rating: 5

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