Being an archipelagic country, the Philippines needs a potent and modern naval force to counter various threats lurking in the West Philippine Sea.
In the recent Enhancing the Partnership with the Philippines forum, RADM Bertrand Dumoulin, Deputy, Admiral in Charge of Oceanic and Strategic Force (ALFOST) of the French Navy, discussed the advantages of a submarine force in the current security environment and underscored the importance for the Philippine Navy to build its own submarine force.
“The submarine has the ability to operate in total stealth, the submarines manage to provide the strength even against the strongest adversary because the adversary does not know where the submarine is, it can be everywhere, it is undetected,” he said. “It is able to carry out many various missions to collect intelligence.”
Stephan Meunier, Vice President Operational Marketing, Naval Group, pointed out that there are three pillars in developing submarine capacity for a country like the Philippines:
“One is equipment: a performing submarine with weapons. Second one is human resources: well-trained submarine crews and also motivated crews. The aim is safety, operational efficiency and, of course, credibility. The last pillar is called the support and organization: an efficient support system, technical availability, operational availability is also part of the credibility,” Meunier said.
For a submarine fleet to be a deterrent force, Loïc Beaurepaire, Corporate Country Director, Naval Group, said it must achieve autonomy in all aspects.
Beaurepaire said France will provide the technical know-how and technology to be sure that, again, it’s going to be only Filipinos who are going to do the cleaning of the metals, the workers, technicians, and engineers for the maintenance of the submarine for all the life duration of the submarine force.
“The Submarine Support System will be the Filipino-tailored organization dedicated to the training, in service-support and supply chain so as to reach sovereignty,” he said.