French shipbuilder Naval Group announce the opening of a representation office in the Philippines to be operated in Manila. The opening signifies the first step of a long-term commitment of cooperation and partnership as it seeks to advance its serious interest in supplying the Philippine Navy’s first ever submarines. The Philippines, an archipelago with one of the world’s longest coastlines, is behind in the submarine race with its neighbors in the region. The creation of the submarine force is part of the Armed Forces of the Philippine modernization program aiming to protect the nation maritime sovereignty and interests.
The submarine procurement, which will feature an initial two units, was originally included in the 2023-2027 Horizon Three phase but was moved forward in 2018 to reflect growing requirements in the Philippines to secure its territory in the South China Sea. The plan to acquire submarines had already been approved by President Rodrigo Duterte in 2019 but funding remained to be a major hurdle. Having one of the weakest armed forces in the region, the Philippines is currently modernizing its military in the face of internal and external security issues. Naval Group aims to bring to the Philippines its breadth of experience and unrivalled technical expertise in ships and submarines with combat systems.
“The creation of the submarine force is a fantastic opportunity for us to develop long term partnerships with the local industry where there will be transferring of knowledge and technology that will also create hundreds of jobs for the program and beyond,” emphasizes Anne Clausard, Country Head of Naval Group.
“We are the only provider with previous experience in helping a country develop a submarine force from scratch and we stand ready to assist the Philippines Navy by providing the submarines but also setting up the training, facilities and supply chain required to operate a fully operational submarine fleet,” says Alain Guillou, Naval Group Senior Executive Vice President Development.
Naval Group, which is based in France, is a reputable naval systems provider and integrator with a history of more than 400 years in the defense industry. Partnering with more than 50 navies around the world, the company’s extensive portfolio opens many opportunities to address the entire range of Filipino naval needs from development of the naval forces to the constitution of a world-class submarine force. Naval Group has demonstrated in many countries such as in Malaysia, India and Australia its capability to support military capabilities and economic growth of its partners. The opening of the representative office enables them to identify synergies and partners to support the needs of the Philippine Navy.