MANILA – The French Navy (Marine Nationale) has committed to helping the Philippine Navy (PN) in developing its submarine arm.
"The French Navy committed to assisting the Philippine Navy in the creation of a submarine force especially in terms of training and project management," PN chief Vice Admiral Giovanni Carlo Bacordo said in a message to reporters Monday night.
Bacordo said this commitment was made during a bilateral high-level meeting between ranking officers of the PN and the French Navy in Paris on March 12.
The PN earlier said that it is looking to acquire two diesel-electric submarine units as part of its modernization plan.
Bacordo, who was head of the PN delegation in France, met with Admiral Pierre Vandier, chief of Naval Staff for the Marine Nationale.
"(The) PN and French Navy bilateral meeting enabled a high-level engagement between the two navies in terms of naval cooperation and other potential areas of interest. The visit of the PN delegation to France has been a successful and fruitful one. The bilateral talks provided significant input that is useful in the PN's thrust on capability development and modernization," he added.
Also, he said that the two navies agreed on the continuation of visits of senior leaders from the two sides and regular talks to shape future cooperation and participation in bilateral and multilateral naval exercises.
"By and large, the opportunity for interaction paved the way for the development of close and cordial relations between the two navies which could result in a strategic partnership in the maritime domain," Bacordo said. (PNA)