Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana will visit five European countries to look into military equipment and platforms being sold by these nations.
In a message to reporters Wednesday, the defense chief said he will be visiting France, the Czech Republic, the United Kingdom, Spain and Portugal this September.
“Mag-canvass lang muna. Window shop kung meron silang gamit na kailangan at gusto natin na kaya ng budget. (We will just window shop at first to determine if they have equipment we need and if we can afford it based on our budget),” he said.
And when asked what particular equipment they will be checking, Lorenzana said they will be looking into diesel-electric submarines manufactured by France.
“In France, it is their submarines,” the DND chief said.
Using European-produced military equipment is not new for the Philippines as the country has acquired two AW-159s “Wildcat” anti-submarine helicopters and 13 AW-109 helicopters, 10 attack and three combat utility versions from Anglo-Italian manufacturer AgustaWestland (now Leonardo) and surface-to-air missiles from MBDA France, to name a few.
The missiles will be used to arm the Philippine Navy’s Jose Rizal-class missile frigates being constructed in South Korea while the AW-159 helicopters will be the country’s first anti-submarine platforms.
While the attack and utility AW-109s are being used by the Navy and Air Force for internal security operations and other missions. (PNA)