PH Navy eyes French-made Scorpene submarine: Lorenzana

By Priam Nepomuceno

July 25, 2019, 9:56 am

<p>Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana </p>

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana 

MANILA -- The Philippine Navy (PN) is eyeing the Scorpene diesel-electric submarine, made by French defense contractor Naval Group (formerly DCNS), as one of the possible submersible platforms for its submarine arm.

"Yes, the Scorpene is one of the platforms being evaluated by the PN," Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) Wednesday.

In September, Lorenzana is set to visit five European countries -- France, Czech Republic, United Kingdom, Spain, and Portugal -- to look into the military equipment they are selling.

Lorenzana said they would look at other diesel-electric submarines in their visit to France.

The Scorpene-class submarine features a diesel and an additional air-independent propulsion. The vessel can be armed with a variety of mines, torpedoes and missiles for a variety of missions. It also has a top speed of 20 knots.

Earlier, Lorenzana said that should the PN submarine acquisition program push through, it would be acquired through the government-to-government procurement scheme.

The DND is also looking into the proposals made by Russia, South Korea, Germany and France for the submarine acquisition program, he added. (PNA)