PH interest on submarines brings DND exec to South Korea
MANILA, Philippines—A Philippine defense official recently visited a South Korean submarine production facility in South Korea as the two countries sought to boost different areas of defense cooperation.
Jesus Rey Avila, assistant defense secretary for logistics and acquisition, visited submarine builder Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) facility earlier this month, the DSME said in a statement.
The DSME said it has been offering its 1,400-ton submarine to the Philippine Navy.
The planned acquisition of submarines was already approved by President Rodrigo Duterte in 2019, although there is still no funding for it.
The Navy has not yet selected the supplier for the submarines, but it has started preparing for it.
In a separate statement, the Department of National Defense (DND) said Avila also held bilateral meetings with his South Korean counterpart, Vice Minister Seo Hyeung Jin of the Defense Acquisition Program Administration of the South Korean government.
The two officials discussed possible areas of cooperation, like procurement of corvettes and submarines for the Navy, the DND said in its statement on Monday (May 31).
Seo invited Avila to visit South Korea again later this year for the 24th Joint Committee Meeting on Logistics and Defense Industry Cooperation.
South Korean defense contractors have supplied military equipment to the Philippines in recent years. Hyundai Heavy Industries built two frigates for the Philippine Navy at P16 billion. The PAF’s 12 FA-50 light fighters were previously procured from Korea Aerospace Industries for P18.9 billion.
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