PH Navy to pursue modernization for better maritime security

By Priam Nepomuceno

May 13, 2024, 11:50 am

<p>PN chief Vice Admiral Toribio Adaci Jr.<em> (PNA file photo)</em></p>

PN chief Vice Admiral Toribio Adaci Jr. (PNA file photo)

MANILA – The Philippine Navy (PN) is bent on pursuing its modernization programs to better protect the country's vast maritime domains.

"We shall continue our strides to modernize, cooperate with agencies, collaborate with like-minded partners, and recalibrate our response relative to the developments in our security environment. All these actions are tantamount to our relentless commitment to protect our seas and secure our citizens' future now and in the years to come," PN chief Vice Admiral Toribio Adaci Jr. said in a statement Sunday.

The Navy chief's remarks came after the successful "Balikatan" military exercises where its frigate, BRP Jose Rizal (FF-150), fired its C-Star anti-ship cruise missile for the first time.

In the May 8 maritime strike exercise off Laoag waters, the BRP Jose Rizal fired its C-Star missile along with the NLOS (non-line of sight) surface-to-surface missiles of its fast-attack interdiction craft at a decommissioned naval tanker which eventually sank after being repeatedly hit by Filipino and American aircraft.

Under the ongoing modernization program, the Navy is expected to receive two brand-new guided missile corvettes and six offshore patrol vessels from South Korean defense contractor HD Hyundai Heavy Industries, and two landing dock platforms from Indonesian shipbuilder PT PAL within the next two to three years.

Three batteries of the Indian-made Brahmos anti-ship missiles are also expected to be commissioned anytime soon.

The PN is also expected to acquire additional brand-new anti-submarine helicopters to beef up the capabilities of the soon-to-be-delivered guided missile corvettes.

Last May 8, the PN, through its Office of the Naval Strategic Studies and Strategy Management (ONSSSM), conducted the Maritime Security Symposium (MSS) 2024 at the Novotel Manila Araneta, Quezon City.

Focusing on a paradigm shift with the theme, “Turning the Tides in the West Philippine Sea: Towards a Comprehensive Archipelagic Security,” the symposium was attended by a panel of experts and leaders who shared different perspectives and insights on maritime issues and concerns, especially the West Philippine Sea.

The MSS, a part of the PN's pre-anniversary activities, is an annual gathering that provides a platform for dialogues and discussions on maritime security-related concepts involving maritime sector stakeholders in pursuit of a safe and secure maritime environment.

The PN was founded on May 20, 1898. (PNA)