Your 1st for Philippine Defense

Austal leads Philippine Navy's OPV Acquisition Project!

SecDef Lorenzana confirms Austal is still the preferred OPV supplier for the PN

The Philippine Navy commissions its 2nd Jose Rizal-class frigate!

The Philippine Navy welcomes BRP Antonio Luna (FF-151), its newest frigate!

The Philippine Navy selects Shaldag Mk. V for Fast Attack Interdiction Craft!

The DND has awarded the FAIC-M Acquisition Project to Israel Shipyards

The Philippine Air Force wants more Black Hawk helicopters!

The Philippine Air Force asks for more Black Hawks to allow the retirement of their Bell UH-1 Huey fleet

The Philippine Army orders the Sabrah Light Tank System from Israel!

Israel's Elbit Systems was declared the winner to supply light tanks to the PA

The Philippine Air Force receives full order of Hermes 900 and Hermes 450 UAVs!

All 9 Hermes 900 and 4 Hermes 450 MALE UAVs have been received by the PAF!

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

First Hermes 450 UAV for the Philippine Air Force Scheduled to Arrive Soon

It is an exciting time for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) as the Horizon 2 phase of the Revised AFP Modernization Program (RAFPMP) has finally come early this year. But what is even more exciting is that fruits of the program can be had earlier than expected. This, considering  defense contracts of select few projects under the Horizon 2 phase were only signed a few months ago.

Actually, this is the air asset that was suppose to arrive on August 2018. This blog entry was pushed back as MaxDefense found out from sources from several government agencies and the military, that the Department of Budget Management was delayed in releasing the funds, thus the manufacturer cannot deliver as per original schedule.

The mystery aircraft is no other than the Elbit Systems Hermes 450 medium altitude long endurance unmanned aerial vehicle (MALE UAV), which is part of the Hermes 450 Unmanned Aerial System (UAS).

This is the actual Hermes 450 UAV that is bound for the Philippine Air Force, as shown during a demonstration and inspection in Israel recently. It would be applied with PAF colors and markings prior to delivery hopefully within the year.
Thanks to our source for allowing this photo to be posted in this blog entry.

The Hermes 450 MALE UAS:

The Elbit Systems Hermes 450 MALE UAS is one of the latest MALE UAS models being offered by Elbit Systems of Israel, and was designed to be lightweight but with high payload capacity, high performance payloads, minimum operator load, a highly autonomous system, with full redundancy design for safety, with future growth capacity, mobility and rapid deployment, and high maintainability.

It is capable of providing wide range of missions in support of intelligence collection, combat operations, search and rescue, homeland defense and security including low intensity conflicts and peacetime operations.

The system provides Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition, and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) mssions based on Imagery Intelligence (IMINT) method. This is focused on the operation of the Electro-Optical Infra-Red (EO/IR) payload which is capable of day and night operations.

It is also capable of providing support of firing units, which can be integrated to battlefield systems of offensive units like artillery, armored units, fighter aircraft, attack helicopters, naval vessels, etc), the Hermes 450 can provide accurate target reports, monitoring of engagements, detecting fall of short and providing calculated firing corrections, and assessing effectiveness of engagement via Battle Damage Assessment (BDA) capability.

Aside from Imagery Intelligence (IMINT) capability, the Hermes 450 is also capable of carrying other sensors include Synthetic Aperture Radar, Ground Moving Target Indicator, Medium Power Radar, and Automatic Identification System. Electronic Intelligence (ELINT), Electronic Warfare (EW), Communication Intelligence (COMINT) and COMMJAM payloads are also possible to increase the UAV system's overall capability in support of battlefield operations.

The basic Hermes 450 Unmanned Aerial System is composed of the following elements:

1. The Hermes 450 Unammed Air Vehicle (UAV) - which is the actual UAV;

2. Payload - which may include the EO/IR system;
3. Universal Ground Control Station (UGCS);
4. Ground Data Terminal (GDT);
5. Ground Support Equipment - which may include testing equipment, facilities, transport and infrastructure.

What a Ground Control Station may look like, which controls the Hermes 450 for flight operations, data gathering, and system monitoring.
Photo taken from Airforce Technology's website.

MaxDefense will be using open sources for its blog despite the availability of actual database on the system's capability, for security reasons:

The aerial vehicle is 6.1 meters long, has a wingspan of around 10.5 meters, a maximum take-off weight of 450 kilograms, and has a maximum payload weight of 150 kilograms. It is powered by a UAV Engines Limited R802/902(W) Wankel engine with an output of 39KW.

It also has a cruising speed of 130 kilometers per hour, and a top speed of 176 kilometers per hour, maximum range of 300 kilometers, although depending on the line of sight conditions, a safe range of 150 kilometers from the UGCS is advised, although this can be extended depending on UGCS configuration. It has a maximum endurance of between 14 to 17 hours depending on payload configuration, while having a maximum operating altitude of 16,000 feet above sea level.

The Hermes 450 is currently being operated by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), as well as other export markets like the Azerbaijani Air Force, Brazilian Air Force, Georgian Air Force, Mexican Air Force, the US Border Patrol. It is also used by other ASEAN militaries including the Republic of Singapore Air Force, and the Royal Thai Army which received their Hermes 450 only recently.

The Republic of Singapore Air Force's Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Command also operate the Hermes 450.
Credits to owner of the photo.

The Philippine Air Force's Acquisition of Hermes 450 MALE UAS:

The acquisition of the Elbit Systems Hermes 450 Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) is actually just a part of the Philippine Air Force's Unmanned Aerial Systems Level 3 acquisition project, which has a larger scope of coverage which MaxDefense will discuss in the future. The Approved Budget of Contract (ABC) for this project is Php8,470,000,000.00 and is a Government-to-Government (G2G) undertaking between the Philippines' Department of National Defense (DND) and Israel's Ministry of Defense (MoD).

The PAF's UAS Level 3 Acquisition Project (see item #2) is among those approved for implementation within 2018 under the Horizon 2 phase of the RAFPMP. Here it is shown as part of the PAF's report on Horizon 2 phase projects.
Photo taken from MaxDefense sources.

While the specific quantity was requested by sources to be made confidential, what we can say for now is that the project involves at least 1 whole system of Hermes 450 UAS, with several Hermes 450 UAVs in it. Once delivered, the Hermes 450 will be the most capable drone in the AFP's inventory for at least the very near future. The PAF's 300th Air Intelligence and Security Wing (300thAISW) will be the operating unit for these assets, which already use other ISR platforms like the Cessna 208B Grand Caravan ISR, the Boeing Insitu ScanEagle 2 UAS, and the C-130T patrol aircraft in collaboration with the 220th Airlift Wing.

MaxDefense believes that the Hermes 450 UAS would be used by the Philippine Air Force for ISR missions within the country's land and sea areas, as well as for limited use in the country's Exclusive Economic Zone. The availability of multiple types of assets allow the AFP to have a platform that is best suited for specific missions.

MaxDefense believes that the rest of the Hermes 450 fleet and equipment will be delivered to the Philippine Air Force either late this year, or within the 1st half of 2019. By that time, MaxDefense believes that the PAF will already have sufficient number of operators, maintenance personnel, and data analysts to maximize the capability of the Hermes 450 in its war and peace time operations.

Elbit Systems has been offering the Hermes 450 to the AFP since 2010. It took them 8 years to succeed with a sale.
Photo taken from MaxDefense sources.

How Was Early Delivery Possible?

Even MaxDefense was surprised to find out that a deal that was signed in April 2018 can make an advance delivery of an initial unit by August 2018, merely 4 months after the deal was finalized.

It turns out that the Hermes 450 unit that the PAF will receive soon is a goodwill unit provided by Elbit Systems to the Philippine Air Force, and is actually already available even before the contract was signed. Initially it would be used as a training unit for future Hermes 450 and other future UAV systems of the Philippine Air Force, although it would also be used later on as an ISR platform like all other units coming in from 2019 to 2020.

Take note that August 2018 was the official target delivery date of the first Hermes 450 UAV unit and its associated operating and support equipment. But as mentioned above, it was confirmed to us by our sources that the DBM was delayed in releasing the funds to cover for the Letter of Credit (LOC), which is an important basis for the contractor to start the work. 

As of this writing, MaxDefense was informed that the funds has been released and the Letter of Credit opened, and it is now expected that Elbit Systems will now be able to make the first delivery of the Hermes 450 unit within 4 months, more or less.

The Future of UAVs Looks Bright in the AFP:

As mentioned earlier, the Hermes 450 is just one part of the PAF's UAS acquisition. More assets are expected to arrive very soon under this project including several Elbit Systems' Hermes 900 UAS, while the PAF is still looking at further UAS acquisitions in the Horizon 3 phase of the Revised AFP Modernization Program.

Aside from the Philippine Air Force, another active acquisition project of multi-tier UAV systems will be from the Philippine Army, which is looking at drones as small as the Orbiter 2, to as large as the Hermes 450. 

The Philippine Navy is also active in its plans to acquire Unmanned Aerial Systems, which could be launched from ships for use by the Philippine Fleet, or standard land-launched UAS for use by the Philippine Marine Corps. The PMC is already a confirmed user of the Super Swiper II UAS delivered in 2017 under its MITSS acquisition project.

MaxDefense will discuss more about these Army and Navy projects in the near future.

The Philippine Navy is seen here testing what appears to be a commercially-available Vertical Take-off and Landing (VTOL) Fixed Wing UAV, as seen on a helicopter deck of a warship.
Photo sent to MaxDefense by a community member, although was said to be first posted in the Defense of the Republic of the Philippines FB page by one of its followers. Credits to DRP and its original poster.


1. Unmanned Aerial System Level 3 Acquisition Project (Partial) - Hermes 450 MALE UAS

End User: Philippine Air Force (300th Air Intelligence & Security Wing)
Modernization Phase: Horizon 2 Phase of RAFPMP
ABC: Php8,470,000,000.00
SARO Release: N/A
Winning Proponent: Elbit Systems through Government-to-Government deal between Philippine Department of National Defense and Israel Ministry of Defense
Contract Price: Php8,470,000,000.00 for entire project
First post by MaxDefense: 08 August 2017

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Russian Improved Kilo-class Submarines for the Philippine Navy? Here's What We Think.

In a press statement released on 10 August 2018, Defense Sec. Delfin Lorenzana mentioned that the Philippine government, spearheaded by the Department of National Defense (DND) and the Philippine Navy (PN) are currently in discussion with Russia for the acquisition of "Kilo-class submarines", which they confirmed which would be financed by a Russian soft loan program for the Philippines.

Sec. Lorenzana also confirmed that there are also offers from France and South Korea, although he made it clear that he believe that Russia would be the likely source of submarines for the Philippine Navy.

If all goes well, Sec. Lorenzana believes that they could be able to close a contract with the Russian government within the next 12 months, and the delivery can be made just before Pres. Duterte steps out of Malacanang in June 2022. Previously the Defense Department and the Philippine Navy mentioned that they are after the acquisition of at least 2 submarines within the Horizon 2 phase of the Revised AFP Modernization Program, which runs from 2018 to 2022.

This actually is a surprise, since MaxDefense recently found out that the Philippine Navy and Department of National Defense are still in the process of getting information from all the potential suppliers with regards to the submarine product, inclusions, specifications, and support on making the PN ready for submarine operations. MaxDefense was also informed that so far, the PN's Technical Working Group on Submarine Acquisition Project has not yet finalized the submarine's technical specifications as well as the procurement requirements.

Readers may also want to see our earlier blog regarding our opinion on the Philippine Navy's readiness in having submarines in its fleet, just as a background of what we think of the program.

"Is the Philippine Navy Ready for Submarines? A Full Background and Review on the PN's Submarine Quest" - dated 15 July 2018.

Kilo-class Submarines:

The Russian Kilo-class is a family of diesel-electric attack submarines designed by Rubin Central Maritime Design Bureau, and were built by several shipbuilders in Russia although now it is built only by the Admiralty Shipyard in St. Petersburg. Originally called the Project 877 Paltus, the first submarines of the class were built for the Soviet Navy in 1980, and continued to serve until the USSR collapsed almost 30 years ago, and are now with the Russian Navy.

The Project 877 Kilo-class was also exported to several countries including China, Algeria, India, Poland, Iran, and Romania.

Improvements were made due to technological advancements which led to the arrival of Project 636 Varshavyanka, which is known in the West as the Improved Kilo-class. And since Russia is not producing the original Project 877 Kilo-class anymore, it is highly possible that what Russia is offering is the newer Project 636 Improved Kilo-class submarine which incorporates improvement over the older Kilo-class variants.

It was designed mainly for anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface warfare (ASuW), and also for offensive use against land targets. Also known as the "Black Hole", the Improved Kilo-class is considered as one of the quietest submarines in the world, a feature that is very important in keeping the submarine's stealthiness feature strong.

The Project 636 Varshavyanka, also known as the Improved Kilo-class.
Illustration taken and credited to website.

The Project 636 Improved Kilo-class submarine displaces around 2,350 tons when surfaced, is around 73 meters long, and has a crew of over 50 men.

It is powered by a combination of diesel engines and electric motors which allows it to travel to a maximum speed of 17 knots when surfaced, and more than 20 knots submerged. It has an endurance of around 45 days, with a maximum range of 7,500 nautical miles when snorkelling at 7 knots.

It is armed with six 533mm torpedo tubes which can launch most Russian-made torpedoes including the Type 53 21" torpedo family, as well as the Kalibr / Club-S family of cruise missiles.

Positive Aspects of Acquiring Improved Kilo-class Submarines:

MaxDefense believes that there are positive and negative aspects should the Philippine Navy pursue the acquisition of submarines from Russia.

The use of a soft-loan from Russia is actually a game changer here, considering the Philippine government is still trying to find ways on how to finance the acquisition of submarines after promising it to be made within Pres. Duterte's term. It appears that France, South Korea, and even other potential suppliers like Germany and Sweden are not able to match the soft-loan offer of Russia due to different reasons ranging from government policy to financial difficulty in doing it

The Kilo-class in general is one of the most successful diesel-electric submarines after World War II. Here it is compared to the West's most successful model, the Type 209 from Germany. Incidentally, TKMS of Germany is offering its latest Type 209/1400mod submarine to the Philippine Navy, while South Korea's DSME is also offering a license-built Type 209/1400 called the Chang Bogo-class.
Illustration taken and credited to NavalAnalyses website.

Allowing the Philippines to acquire submarines without paying for it outright actually means the Philippine Navy does not need to defer its other modernization projects within the Horizon 2 phase, including major projects like the Corvette Acquisition Project with a budget of Php28 billion, and the Offshore Patrol Vessel Acquisition Project with a budget of Php30 billion.

Another potential gain of the Philippine Navy here is the openness of the Russian government to export the Kalibr 3M-14E Club-S land-attack missiles, which gives the Philippines a tool for potentially hitting targets within the Chinese mainland itself as a deterrent against Chinese aggression on the Philippines. Russia also allowed Vietnam to have this weapon, which are also installed on their Project 636 Improved Kilo-class submarines. 

The Russian Kalibr / Club-S sub-launched cruise missile is among the Improved Kilo-class' trump card, which is available for export by the Russian government. The Club-S is available in both anti-ship and land attack variant.
Photo taken from and credited to Air Power Australia website.

This type of weapon is obviously unavailable if the Philippine Navy acquires submarines from France, Germany and Sweden, while South Korea may only be able to provide a similar capability several years from now since their Hyunmoo III sub-launched land attack missile has not been exported yet and may need decreased capability to meet the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) requirements.

MaxDefense believes that no doubt, the Improved Kilo-class submarines are among the best diesel-electric attack submarines in the market today, and would definitely be better than the Chinese-made submarines that it may face should the PN confirms its acquisition of the Russian submarine.

A Russian Improved Kilo-class submarine photographed by British military aircraft as it passes through the English Channel.
Credits to the original but unknown owner of the photo.

Negative Concerns on Acquiring Improved Kilo-class:

If there are pros on the acquisition of this type of submarine, certainly there are also cons.

First of, the Improved Kilo-class is also in service with the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN), which is, in all honesty, the most likely navy that the Philippines will defend itself from.

It means that the Chinese are very much familiar with this type of submarine, including its performance, its characteristics and capabilities, and probably even the similarity of its acoustic signature to their own Improved Kilo-class submarines. This gives them an advantage on how to deal with the Philippine Navy's own Improved Kilo-class submarines, as well as what to expect in terms of capability and weaknesses.

And being a submarine in service with the Chinese Navy, it also means that the chances of our submarine being accidentally targeted or hit by our allies is also high.

The US Navy is trained to fight submarines and ships designed and built by Russia and China, and the Improved Kilo-class is no different. Their anti-submarine units are trained to hunt submarines with similar physical shape, contour and shape, acoustic signature, and movement of the Improved Kilo-class. So even if the Philippine Navy's submarines have a distinct acoustic signature that differentiate it from the acoustic signatures of Russian and Chinese Improved Kilo-class submarines saved on their data base, accidental friendly fire during wartime or in emergencies are not impossible especially when data was taken by ASW operators with less experience on dealing with the type.

Operating a submarine not used by Russia or China greatly reduces the possibility of this unfortunate event to happen.

The Chinese Navy also uses the Improved Kilo-class submarines, 12 of which were acquired from Russia starting 1996. They definitely look similar to any other Improved Kilo-class, and may have a slightly different but definitely almost similar acoustic signature as any other Improved Kilo-class submarine, which may be a problem with regards to dealing with the Philippines traditional ally the US, as well as strategic partners like Japan and Australia.
Photo taken from Pakistan Defence forum.

MaxDefense also doubts on the ability of Russia to provide the Philippine Navy with proper or quality support on basing and basing development, training, maintenance, and others that are required for the Philippine Navy to have a working submarine group. The Russians aren't exactly world known for providing these services, as seen on most of their client nations, compared to how other European countries do it. 

Also, their methods and standards might be far from what the Philippine Navy is used to, which is primarily based on US military or Western methods and standards. What might be OK for the Russians may not be acceptable to the standards the PN is currently using.

While the Improved Kilo-class uses a totally different subsystem that is not compatible with Western systems being used by the Philippine Navy and its allies, this might be slight problem which can be overlooked by the benefits the Russians might be able to provide. Normally submarines operate on its own, and although there are times that the submarine may need to work together with other military assets of the AFP or its allies, this could be possibly remedied by installing stand-alone communications systems that may be compatible with what the AFP or its allies like the US are using.This is where the likes of India or Israel may be helpful.

Decision Making and Deeper Issues Within:

As mentioned earlier, it was actually a surprise that Sec. Lorenzana talked about the possible ordering of Russian submarines with confidence as if the decision was already made. But checking with our sources, it appears that even the Philippine Navy itself, probably except its leadership, were caught by surprise by Sec. Lorenzana's statement.

So questions here now are: does the Philippine Navy's own Technical Working Group (TWG) and Defense Acquisition System Assessment Team (DASAT) already confirmed that the best choice for them is the Improved Kilo-class? What does their own initial assessment of the different  submarines offer say? Are the technical specifications for the submarine even done as of yesterday? Did the Submarine Acquisition TWG and DASAT had a say when the government decided to go for a Russian solution?

All the questions above point on the participation of the PN's own TWG and DASAT teams, which, as far as MaxDefense's sources are concerned, appear to be non-existent. So if that is the case, what is the point of having these technical teams working to make assessments and decisions on what the AFP should acquire if there are people who decide on their own without getting to at least hear the voice of these technical teams?

Normally the AFP uses a system where it analyze the offers provided to them based on different parameters through a scoring system, and weighing the pros and cons of each system until they can find the best solution for their needs. Did the government even consider what the results of these analysis are?

It appears to MaxDefense that the decision to go for Russian submarines might be more of a financial and political decision rather than following the Philippine Navy's professional recommendation. That soft-loan offer appears to really have made the Philippine government discard whatever the Philippine Navy's technical groups have to say, since all their recommendation would go to waste if there is no money for the government to pay for the submarines.

Political decision was also very evident, due to the push of Pres. Duterte to have close political and military relationship with Russia. Despite the Philippines having Memorandum of Agreements with France, Germany and South Korea regarding the supply of submarines, it was very obvious that the government is championing the Russians, emphasizing the memorandum that the Philippines have with them when in reality it is not exclusive to the Russians. Just a few days ago, executives from Russia's Rostec and Rosoboronexport met Pres. Duterte to discuss improving working and business relations. These 2 Russian companies handle the export of arms and weapons including submarines on behalf of the Russian government and the shipbuilder/manufacturer.

Aside from Russia's Improved Kilo-class, Germany's Type 209/1400mod (top), France's Scorpene-class (middle) and South Korea's Chang Bogo-class (below) are among those said to be competing for the Philippine Navy's Submarine Acquisition Project.
Credits to original owners and sources of the 3 photos.

MaxDefense's Recommendations:

1. On Acquisition:
It appears that the government is really in a position where it would be difficult for them to finance the submarine acquisition project without any loan or financing assistance from the source's government or shipbuilder.

Thus, due to monetary concerns, it is very likely that the Philippine government will convince, or even coerce the PN's Submarine Acquisition TWG, DASAT, and even the Submarine Group leadership itself just to push them to agree on acquiring the Improved Kilo-class submarine from Russia.

That done, they really have no choice if you look at it based on history, since this is exactly what happened during the Frigate Acquisition Project when the Technical Inspection Acceptance Committeee (TIAC) and Project Management Team (PMT) were coerced by certain DND officials and by the PN leadership to agree with the shipbuilder's program and design changes. And it can simply happen again this time to the Submarine Acquisition Project's TWG and DASAT.

So, if that happens, all they have to do is accept the plan to acquire the Improved Kilo-class submarine, but make sure that these submarines would be thoroughly checked and inspected throughout the manufacturing phase in Russia to maintain quality, as well as improving the submarines by making modifications to make it capable of accepting communication and data transfer to what the Philippine Navy and AFP in general uses.

Since the Philippine Navy is ultimately looking at acquiring more than just 2 submarines, they can let the current administration pass, and acquire the submarines that they really want after Duterte's leadership expires. These Improved Kilo-class would still be beneficial for the Philippine Navy in the long run, being a similar platform used by their potential enemy, and a platform that can actually be a real deterrent to the Chinese or any other aggressor.

If they believe they are very satisfied with the Improved Kilo-class submarines and would like to acquire more, then make it happen. But if they believe they need a different submarine to complement what they already have, then we just hope the new government would support what the Philippine Navy's Submarine Group has to say.

Can the Philippine Navy's Submarine Group hold on to their requirements and findings despite strong pressure from the national government, the defense department and even from their leadership to accept Russia's offer? We'll find out later on as the project proceeds as expected.
Credits to a MaxDefense source for providing the SG's insignia.

2. On Maintenance and Training:

Since Vietnam is also a user of the Improved Kilo-class submarine having acquired 6 just a few years ago, it is wise for the Philippine Navy to improve its ties with Vietnam, and get them to agree on a training, maintenance, and cooperation agreement for the Improved Kilo-class submarines.

Vietnam has decades of experience in dealing with the Russians, and are very proficient in making sure they get to have a maintenance facility in their own land. Thus it is expected that Vietnam may have the expertise too, or will have them soon, in maintaining the submarines without too much reliance on Russian shipyards.

A similar agreement with India would also be beneficial, being another Kilo-class submarine user and a potential strategic partner of the Philippines in the future.

Aside from that, Vietnam is now building its own submarine rescue ship, to provide support for their fleet of Russian submarines. The rescue ship are expected to be completed soon, and are designed to exactly fit the requirements of the Improved Kilo-class. While the Philippines should plan on having its own submarine rescue capability, a tie-up with Vietnam on this regard is a good investment while also strengthening relations with our neighbour.

A similar agreement may also be made with Singapore, which also has the capability, and allow the Philippine Navy to have options in case of emergency.

Vietnam also operates the Improved Kilo-class submarine (top) and is building a submarine rescue ship (above) to support their fleet of submarines in case of emergencies.
Photo taken from NavyRecognition (submarine) and (submarine rescue ship)

3. On Dealing with the US and other Partners:

Once the Russian submarines are already with the Philippines, the US has no choice but to accept the reality. The decision to buy Russian submarines may not be a strong reason to degrade the 1951 PH-US Mutual Defense Treaty as well as other defense agreements, but it is expected that the US may have the option to impose their Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) policy, which they would impose on US companies dealing with the Philippines, or investing and contributing to the economy of the Philippines. So far the Philippines has not been exempted by the Americans on this policy.

Implementing CAATSA or not, it is expected that the US will continue to work together with the AFP, and may even ask for access to these Russian-made submarines.

The Philippine Navy and the AFP in general should use its wit in this regard. While it is inevitable that the Americans may have access to Philippine submarines, the PN should be forceful enough to get the Americans to share their library of acoustic signatures especially for warships and submarines of the Chinese Navy and the China Coast Guard. This enables them to immediately know everyone in the region without doing the hardwork themselves.

The Philippine Navy should also ask for the assistance of the US and its strategic partners in training on submarine operations, which is expected to be different from what the Russians would be teaching them. This allows the PN to get the best of both worlds, and applying them for their benefit.


1. Submarine Acquisition Project

End User: Philippine Navy (Submarine Group)
Modernization Phase: RA 10349 Revised AFP Modernization Program HORIZON 2 (still to be confirmed due to vagueness by the Philippine government on this)

ABC: Php20,000,000,000.00 per submarine based on PN's previous proposals

First post by MaxDefense12 June 2018

Philippine Navy Modernization Projects

Philippine Air Force Modernization Projects