Philippine Navy Discussion and Updates


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ELAC SONAR GmbH, a German supplier of hydroacoustic systems, announced that it completed sea acceptance tests of the HUNTER hull-mounted sonar for the Philippine Navy's Gregorio del Pilar-class frigates on 27 July 2023.

HUNTER 2.0 is a hull-mounted sonar carrying out anti-submarine warfare (ASW) in active and passive modes in shallow and deep waters for panoramic detection of submarines and other objects. The system features a forward-looking mine avoidance mode as well.

Not much other information is given in this article, like on which of the three frigates (or maybe the whole class) the new sonar system

It is also unclear why a sonar will be installed, while the vessels do not have/get anti-submarine weapon systems.
Here we can find some more details about the upgrade program of the Gregorio del Pillar class.
It's much easier to add anti-submarine weapons later than add a hull-mounted sonar. Could be an ASW helicopter.


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To answer @Sandhi Yudha's question, it is applied across the whole class of three ships with Hanwha as the prime systems integrator. Given the extensiveness of the upgrades (CMS, RESM, sonar, countermeasures, 3D radar (integration)) , it seems unlikely that it will stop at better sensors.

They have supposedly requested for used Phalanx CIWs and the class has the capacity to install anti-surface and anti-submarine weapons back in the day.


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Jockeying for position among the three prospective proponents seems to have intensified in the last 3 months.

First the announcement of Navantia interest and offer of the S-80 in August, repeated visits by the French (both Naval Group, government) on NG's offer of Scorpene, and finally, Hanwha Ocean's recent announcement that they have changed up the offer, from the initial Type 209 based Jangbogo-I class to the newer KSS-III derived Jangbogo-III.



The Bunker Group

From this, the budget for submarine being prepared is between USD 1.5 bio to 2.0 bio. However that's including budget for supporting infrastructure and training. This could means as Philippines has to build everything from scratch, the amount that will be available for the subs could be USD 1.0 bio to USD 1.3 bio. Considering they could spend 500-700 mio on building infrastructure support and training regime.

If they aim for two, we're potentially looking USD 500-650 mio per subs only. So I don't know what kind of Scorpene, S-80 or KSS-III that will be created. They also say the submarine will come on later part of next budget cycle program. Means they seems put priorities on other assets first.