Russia pledges assistance in Philippines submarine procurement

A Russian Navy Kilo-class submarine (Photo: UK Ministry of Defence)

The Russian government is ready and willing to assist the Philippines in building and operating its own submarines, the country’s ambassador to Manila said in a recent press conference.

Mr Igor Khovaev told local reporters that the Philippines, as an archipelagic nation, “has the right” to have its own submarine fleet for the protection of its territorial waters.

Mr Khovaev added that Moscow will be capable of providing submarines at “very competitive prices” and that a similar support package that included six Project 636.1 or Improved Kilo-class diesel-electric attack submarines had been offered to the Philippines’ ASEAN neighbour Vietnam.

The Philippine Department of National Defense (DND) is reportedly evaluating the Kilo-class, the French-built Scorpène-class, and two unspecified German- and South Korean-built submarine classes but is yet to make an official statement on which class will be selected.

The Philippine Navy plans to acquire two submarines under an ongoing modernisation programme.

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