August 6, 2018

Russia to Help Philippines in Submarine Operations & Maintenance

The announcement that Russia will train some Philippine naval personnel to be future submariners opens many opportunities for cultivation towards eventual recruitment by Russian intelligence (by GRU?). Significantly, prospective Philippine submariners may need to stay in Russia for several lonely years in order to be properly trained.

More officially Russia might hope to sell a Kilo class conventional submarine to the Philippine Navy.  Kilos are now the only full sized conventional submarine class that Russia operates, builds  and sells. However Kilos may be too large, at 2,325 ton (surfaced), for the Philippines' first sub.

A smaller alternative? Russia, has, in the past, produced the 218 ton (surfaced) Piranha (NATO designation "Losos") mini-submarine. A modernized Losos may be adequate for training and be useful as a first Philippine sub (for a few years).

Compared to the Kilo China may also be offering the cheaper, smaller 1,850 ton (surfaced) S20 submarine.

Many different submarine types and sizes may possibly be availabe from European, (especially) South Korean and (less likely) Japanese firms.

DRAWING FROM XINHUA ARTICLE

China's Xinhua news reports August 4, 2018, along the lines - The Russian Navy has agreed to help the Philippine Navy in submarine training, maintenance  and sustainment of future subs as the two countries seek to strengthen their bilateral military ties. This was announced by Philippine Navy spokesman Commander Jonathan Zata on Saturday August 4, 2018.

Zata said that the commitment was made at the meeting on July 29, 2018 in St. Petersburg, [Pete comment - this is where Russia bases some Baltic Fleet submarines and builds them at Admiralty Shipyards].

China's Xinhua further reported that the Russian and Philippine navies, on July 29, discussed a future draft MOU for deepening bilateral security cooperation. No specifics were published although broad issues like humanitarian assistance, disaster response training and regular port visits of Russian naval ships to the Philippines were mentioned.

Apparently Russian warships have made four port visits to the Philippines since Philippine President Duterte came to office in June 2016. From that time Duterte has generated many new approaches to Russia and also China.  

Russia expressed its appreciation for the upcoming port visit of a Philippine naval vessel to the Russian Pacific Fleet Base of Vladivostok.

Pete

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