Philippine Navy needs P500B to upgrade war capability
By Jaime Laude Home Updated May 24, 2012 04:33 PM
MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Navy (PN) is need of P500 billion under its 15-year strategic development plan to upgrade its warfare capabilities.
Lt. Commander Nerelito Martinez, Philippine Fleet acting chief of staff for plans and programs (F5), in a published Navy journal this month, said the multi-billion funding would be used to bankroll its “Philippine Fleet Desired Force Mix” strategy concept.
Martinez said the newly-developed naval strategy calls for the acquisition within a 15-year-period of six frigates configured for anti-air warfare, 12 corvettes designed for anti-submarine warfare; 18 Offshore Patrol Vessels (OVs) that will compose the backbone for naval patrol.
To effectively address naval underwater and mine warfare, the Philippine Fleet planners came up with a proposal for the procurement of three submarines and three Mine Counter Measure Vessels (MCMVs).
For its amphibious, sealift and auxiliary services requirements the “Fleet Desired Force Mix” concept, Martinez said that the Navy fighting force should have four Strategic Sealift Vessels (SSVs) capable to move one brigade of Marines amphibious force or any ground force and its support system; 18 Landing Craft Utility (LCU), three Logistics Support/Replenishment Ship (LSS), three Ocean tugs, six Yard/Fire Tugs which would provide critical support warships in docking and undocking.
In Interdiction and Special Boat Operations (ISBO), the Fleet is also eyeing additional procurement of 12 Cyclone class Coast Patrol Interdiction Craft (CPIC), 30 Patrol gunboats, 42 Multi-Purpose Assault Craft (MPACs) and 24 Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats (RHIBs).
For its Naval Air Operations, the Fleet is also looking forward to the acquisition of eight Amphibious Maritime Patrol Aircraft (AMPA) needed for maritime air surveillance, 18 Naval Helicopters embarked aboard frigates and corvettes and eight Multi-Purpose Helicopters (MPH) embarked aboard the SSVs.
“Looking at the PN inventory of mission essential equipment, it is very discernible that majority of our assets particularly our vessels were acquired not necessarily because they fit into our strategy or operational requirement but because they are available as grant from the United States (US) or from our allies,” Martinez noted.
He added that current market research and assessment, the new planned procurement would cost the government about P497 billion.
Upon review of the Fleet’s capability during a strategic planning workshop held in May last year, taking into consideration of the Navy’s 15-year Strategic Development Plan, the Philippine Scenarios 2013-2022 and various restraints and constraints, to include the operating environment, capacity to acquire and maintain and timeliness, Martinez said the following questions came up.
These questions include what naval warfare capabilities the Navy need to develop, given the current resources limitations; types of vessels, aircraft and ancillary equipment must be acquired and how w big or small the Navy would be.
“It may be costly at our current standards but it is not unrealistic. With the establishment of this Force Mix, the Navy will have a ready list and working figure of what we really need in order for the Fleet to provide the minimum credible deterrence, a force and capability package for a strong and credible navy that this maritime nation can be proud of,” Martinez said.