Skip to comments.Philippine contract for Italian warship purchases almost a done deal
Posted on 09/17/2012 8:32:49 PM PDT by JerseyanExile
Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin on Tuesday announced that the defense departments plan to procure a warship from Italy is nearing contract signing.
The procurement aims to boost the countrys posturing in defending its territorial waters especially amid the conflict in the West Philippine Sea.
Speaking to the media after defending the Department of National Defense's P120.3-billion budget at the Senate, Gazmin said the procurement plan is ongoing, but admits that the lack of funds are hampering the speedy modernization of the countrys armed forces.
It is in the stage of short of signing We are looking at that very seriously. Of course, as stated earlier we have to consider the sources of funds, Gazmin said.
Right now, as stated by the good senator, we just have to look for funds when we talk about the P75-billion budget for the first five years, Gazmin added, referring to the P75-billion budget for the AFP modernization program for the next five years.
Gazmin added that the government has been sourcing funds from sources other than the General Appropriations Act. We are in the course of planning all these things. We are just awaiting for the much needed funds, the defense chief said.
Senate finance committee chairman Sen. Franklin Drilon noted that the government can only fund about P5-billion out of the proposed yearly P15-billion allocation for the AFP Modernization Plan.
According to Drilon, the government is doing its best to provide the budget, including the possible sale of excess land in military camps and military-owned establishments.
Sources revealed that the Philippine Navy has placed in its procurement plan the purchase of at least two Maestrale class missile-firing frigates.
If the same warships were referred to under the AFP procurement plan, the "Maestrale class is composed of eight vessels, all of which were built by Fincantieri S.p. A, Riva Trigoso, except for Grecale, which was built by Fincantieri S.p.A. - Muggiano, La Spezia.
It is primarily designed for anti-submarine warfare, however the ships are highly flexible so they are also capable of anti-air and anti-surface operations. Ships of this class have been widely used in various international missions and during normal operations of the Italian Navy.
It may not look like much, but the purchase of these frigates would be a major step forward for the Philippine Navy, whose current most heavily armed warship is an un-upgraded WW2 vintage destroyer-escort. They currently have no missile armament in their surface fleet.
They're also purchasing several surplus Hamilton cutters (one is already in service), but those had their fairly extensive weapon systems ripped out in the 1990s as the Cold War ended. Apparently they're trying to budget enough funds to re-arm them, but who knows how long that will take.
A REAL American president would give our allies some warships out of our mothball fleet. Wouldn’t cost nothin’.
Just make sure an Italian captain doesn’t sail it to the Philippines. It will probably end up at the bottom of the ocean.
So we have no reserve to fall back on? Who is running Fort Fumble these days?
It’s a good start, but for what they’re up against, “you’re gonna need a bigger boat”.
These cutters are excellent ocean-going vessels that saw service in Vietnam, and they got the first one for free. The problem is that the cheap Pinoy sob's haven't budgeted the funds to get that ship equipped with missiles or even a helicopter, so the thing's an oversized PT-boat.
The demolition of the mothball fleet began in the 1990s, and continued unabated into the early 2000s. Funds were diverted from maintenance on the reserve fleet to others parts of the Navy budget, and what few ships remain tend to be rusting away at their piers, and are not vessels that can be realistically be brought back into service. A few years back, some people snuck into the naval yards where the mothball fleet was being stored - the pictures they took were little short of shocking - it reminded one of the decaying hulks of the Russian Navy after the fall of the Soviet Union.
There is a good article on the decline of the reserve fleet here.
why did we destroy these ships? it doesn’t make sense to me. They could have been sold or even given to friendly nations