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France offering submarines to Philippines

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The French government is offering its high-performance submarines to the Philippine Navy to support its maritime activities.

French Ambassador Michèle Boccoz said the potential submarine deal was raised during her recent meeting with Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

The Philippine Navy has been looking for its first-ever submarine since last year, but the coronavirus pandemic hampered the search.

Boccoz revealed that the European nation was among those that submitted a proposal to Manila regarding a possible purchase.

She also remarked that the French government is always ready should the Philippines make a decision.

“France is obviously committed to working more closely with the Philippines… We are ready to work on that perspective with them,” she stated during an Indo-Pacific symposium.

“There is an ongoing discussion. There is a tender and there’s been a proposal. This is a normal discussion.”

‘Sea-Proven Submarines’

French defense firm Naval Group is pitching its Scorpene diesel-electric submarines as the Philippines’ first underwater vessels.

They are reportedly “sea-proven,” helping the navies of Chile, Malaysia, India, and Brazil guard their maritime territories.

According to Naval Group Asia-Pacific Vice President Nicolas de la Villemarque, France has the edge over other countries because of its ability to create a fleet of “state-of-the-art” submarines.

“The focus is not just the acquisition of the platform, it would be around the three pillars – the platform, the training, and the maintenance, and creating a squadron in the Philippines. This is what makes us different from our competitors,” he said.

Apart from France, countries such as South Korea, India, and Turkey have reportedly shown an interest in supplying the navy with advanced submarines.

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