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Submarine acquisition 'still part of our plan,' says Marcos

The Philippines is planning to acquire submarines after the development of its anti-submarine capabilities, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said Friday.

The acquisition "is still part of our plan," Marcos said in an ambush interview during the celebration of the Philippine Navy's 125th Anniversary.

"But right now, we are in the middle of developing mostly our anti-submarine capabilities," he added.

"So 'yun ang uunahin natin and then maybe, hopefully, when the time comes and the conditions are agreeable then we might be able to acquire those submarines."

Marcos explained that operating submarines is a very large commitment that will involve “quite significant” operational requirements such as training and other equipment.

He also disclosed offers from other countries not only submarine acquisition but also to build the vessels in the Philippines.

"Malaking bagay 'yun if they are built here and we can actually build submarines here and provide those submarines to other countries and then that's another source of jobs and of income and increase capability for our Navy," he said.

In his speech at the Philippine Navy anniversary, Marcos stressed the need to guarantee support for the modernization of the Armed Forces of the Philippines as the military is working on shifting its focus to external defense.

The President said he is hoping for the completion of the Horizon 3 of the AFP Modernization, which is focused on the naval aspect of the military operations, following the commissioning of two fast attack interdiction craft-missile platforms: BRP Gener Tinangag and BRP Domingo Deluana.

The Department of National Defense (DND) in October last year said the acquisition of submarines is not a priority of the government amid reports of offers from France. —KBK, GMA Integrated News