French shipbuilder to open Manila office in bid to supply submarines to PH Navy | Global News
Close  

French shipbuilder to open Manila office in bid to supply submarines to PH Navy

/ 05:58 PM November 26, 2020

MANILA, Philippines—French shipbuilder Naval Group will open an office in Manila in early 2021 as it seeks to advance its serious interest in supplying the Philippine Navy’s first ever submarines.

The office opening would be the first step in fulfilling “a long-term commitment of cooperation and partnership in developing naval capabilities” for the Philippines, said the French defense contractor in a statement.

ADVERTISEMENT

Among the catalogs that the Philippine Navy was taking a close look at is the Scorpene diesel-electric submarine which is manufactured by Naval Group.

Pierre-Eric Pommellet, Naval Group CEO, was quoted by Naval News in October as saying his company was in “intense discussions” with the Philippine government for the submarine purchase.

FEATURED STORIES

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, who had shown inclination towards the French submarines a few times, signed a nonbinding defense cooperation agreement with his French counterpart, Florence Parly, in 2019 for a possible deal to purchase submarines.

The Philippines’ interest in acquiring submarines had made it to the news in recent years. In 2019, then Navy chief Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad said that the Navy had started to send some of its men to France for training ahead of a possible submarine deal.

The plan to acquire submarines had already been approved by President Rodrigo Duterte in 2019 but funding remained to be a major hurdle.

The Philippines, an archipelago with one of the world’s longest coastlines, is behind in the submarine race with its neighbors in the region. Having one of the weakest armed forces in the region, the Philippines is currently modernizing its military in the face of internal and external security issues.

Naval Group said it aims to bring its “breadth of experience and unrivalled expertise in ships and submarines” to Manila. It listed Malaysia, India and Australia as customers.

“We are the only provider with previous experience in helping a country develop a submarine force from scratch,” said Alain Guillou, Naval Group senior executive vice president for development.

“We stand ready to assist the Philippine Navy by providing the submarines but also setting up training, facilities and supply chain required to operate a fully operational submarine fleet,” he said.

Anne Clausard, country head of Naval Group, said the creation of a submarine force is “a fantastic opportunity for us to develop long term partnerships with the local industry where there will be transferring of knowledge and technology that will also create hundreds of jobs for the program and beyond.”

TSB
Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Defense, Florence Parly, France, French, Lorenzana, Military, Naval Group, Philippine Navy, Scorpene, submarine, training
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.


© Copyright 1997-2021 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.