The Philippines coastguard plans to buy a surplus French Navy vessel to boost its off-shore patrol capabilities in the West Philippine Sea.
The first among several French ships likely to be acquired by the Philippine coastguard is the 26-year-old “La Tapageuse” vessel, the former French Navy vessel recently stationed in Papeete, French Polynesia, according to a local daily.
The 54.8-metre patrol ship, armed with two cannon and two machine-guns, is estimated at 6 million Euros and due to be received by April 2014, a coastguard official was quoted as saying.
In addition, the Philippines are in talks with the French government to finalize the purchase of four brand-new 24-metre and one 82-metre multipurpose vessels, a coastguard official added. These new ships would arrive in the first quarter of 2015, but the cost is not declared yet.
Meanwhile, the Philippine coastguard is set to acquire 10 multi-role patrol boats under a programme with Japan. Five of the boats would be made in Japan and the rest by shipbuilders in the Philippines.
This announcement was made after the Philippine Navy acquired a second-hand US Hamilton-class cutter for patrolling the South-China Sea.
Defense procurement is set to balloon in the Philippines with contracts worth approximately $2 billion awarded and in the pipeline in the first half of 2014. Against the backdrop of the Manilas first-ever defense exhibition, the ASIAN DEFENCE, SECURITY & CRISIS MANAGEMENT EXHIBITION & CONFERENCE (ADAS), July 16-18 2014, Defenseworld
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