31 Juli 2013

Navy to Open Bidding for Brand New Warships

31 Juli 2013

PF-15 Gregorio del Pilar (photo : ed sy)

MANILA, Philippines - Despite having acquired two second-hand warships from the United States, the Philippine Navy is still keen on purchasing brand new frigates.

Philippine Navy flag officer-in-charge Vice Admiral Jose Luis Alano said the new acquisitions are still part of the Armed Forces of the Philippines' bid for modernization.

"(The frigates are still) part of the modernization program. (We are) now in the process of coming up with the final documents for the bidding," Alano said.

He added that five countries have so far expressed interest in joining the bidding namely the US, Israel, Croatia, Australia and South Korea.

DND bought two Hamilton-class cutters BRP Gregorio del Pilar (PF-15) and BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PF-16) the past year. While the Del Pilar has started its service under the Navy, the Alcaraz is set to arrive in Philippines on August 3 and will be commissioned by September.

Alano, however, said that once the bidding process has concluded, the Department of National Defense will determine the start of the new frigate project seen to boost maritime security.

DND had announced that the upcoming new warships will cost the government P18 billion, higher than the earlier P11-billion budget.

President Benigno Aquino III said in his fourth State of the Nation Address the primary necessities in education, health and jobs creation  will be the administration's priority. 

However, Aquino assured the troops that the plans to beef up the armed services will continue.

"To those who have doubts, let me stress that we will continue to strengthen the armed forces through honest and reasonable means. And I myself will do this as soon as possible," he said.


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