Saturday, May 27, 2017

Plans afoot to invite Russian weapons manufacturers to invest in PHL

From the Philippine News Agency (May 27): Plans afoot to invite Russian weapons manufacturers to invest in PHL

 The government has plans to invite Russian weapons manufacturers to set up shop in Limay, Bataan.

"That’s one of the plans because we are converting the area of the Government Arsenal (GA) in Limay, Bataan which consists of 300 hectares and we are trying to develop that. There is now a bill in Congress, they have already been deliberating it to convert that it into a defense manufacturing complex that will involve other locators from other countries," Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, in an interview with PNA Exclusive in Moscow, Russia around 2 p.m. Tuesday (7 p.m., Manila time), disclosed.

The GA is tasked to manufacture bullets for the M-16, M-14 automatic rifles and .45 caliber pistols still in service with the military.

"If they can see that they can make a little profit there, then maybe, make a stepping stone to go into Southeast Asia to also cater to the nine other ASEAN nations. That’s why they’re very interested to deal with us through military relationship so that they can have this road into the ASEAN," Lorenzana said.

The DND chief earlier said the Philippines has plans of acquiring Russian weaponry.

"Yes, we have plans to purchase weapons from them. They have also very sophisticated and advanced weaponry. We will look into them, we have not decided what equipment but off the bat, we are looking, we would like to develop our submarine force so we will look into their submarines one of these days," he added.

"If we can buy submarines or if they are affordable for us, or if the Philippine Navy would be willing to go there because we will give it to the Navy to decide what kind of submarine they would like to purchase. That is one of the plans that the PN (wants) is to develop some submarine capabilities," the DND chief pointed out.

And when asked on where these vessels will be based, Lorenzana said that they are looking into that detail.

"We will look into that. We don’t have any submarine base yet in the Philippines but if we will purchase already then, we have to develop a submarine base to keep those submarines safe," the DND chief pointed out.

Another Russian-made weapon being looked into by the Philippines is sniper rifles and precision-guided munitions which can be used for the country's brand-new FA-50 "Fighting Eagle" jet aircraft and AW-109 attack helicopters.

"So one of the things that we are considering is the sniper rifles of the Russians, they have very good sniper rifles. They also have very good precision-guided munition that we can use with our FA-50s, and our attack helicopters. Those are the items. But we have to see more because sometime this year, there will be this defense exhibition that they are going to hold here and we will send some people to look into it," the DND chief added.

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