Interoperability a factor in acquiring major naval systems: Navy chief

By Priam Nepomuceno

August 24, 2018, 11:57 am

<p>Philippine Navy Flag-Officer-in-Command Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad <em>(PNA file photo)</em></p>

Philippine Navy Flag-Officer-in-Command Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad (PNA file photo)

MANILA -- When acquiring major naval systems like submarines, interoperability is always a key factor, Philippine Navy (PN) Flag-Officer-in-Command Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad said.

"Interoperability is a very important factor (in the) acquisition (or) upgrade. 'Pag bumili tayo (When we buy equipment, we must ensure that) we come up with (the necessary) technical specifications (that will) make sure that the interoperability with our (ships) will be taken into consideration," Empedrad said Wednesday.

In the case of the submarines that the government plans to acquire, the Navy chief said the installation of equipment that would allow it to coordinate and communicate with other Navy assets would be a priority.

"We can include (that in) our specifications. 'Yung communication (equipment that will be installed) will be coming from a proponent (supplier) that we already have in our inventory," Empedrad said.

Having this capability would ensure that there is no "miscalculation" among the submarines and other PN ships, he pointed out.

He reiterated that it is high time for the Philippines to have submarines in its fleet to beef up its capability to defend the country's vast maritime territories.

Earlier, Empedrad said government-to-government procurement is the best way to acquire submarines for the Navy.

He said Russians are proposing a "soft-loan" for their Kilo-class diesel-electric submarines. Despite the offer, however, Empedrad said nothing is final.

Aside from Russia, Germany and South Korea have also expressed interest to participate in the Navy's submarine acquisition program, he added. (PNA)