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Only brand new ships for Philippine Navy upgrade: DND official

InterAksyon.com
The online news portal of TV5

MANILA, Philippines - A ranking Department of National Defense official says the acquisition of second-hand frigates is no longer an option for the Philippine Navy.

Fernando Manalo, DND undersecretary for finance, munitions, installation and materiel, said recently that acquiring such vessels from foreign countries will ultimately be costlier than buying new ships.

Given this, Italian-made "Maestrale" frigates are no longer being considered for possible acquisition by the Philippines. "It’s no longer being evaluated," Manalo said.

The "Maestrale" was earlier touted by the DND as the next ships to be acquired for the Navy due to its credible missile and anti-submarine capabilities.

Five other countries have expressed intentions to sell modern frigates and offshore patrol vessels to the badly equipped Philippine navy: the United States, Israel, Croatia, South Korea and Australia. All vessels being offered by these nations are brand new.

The Philippines is in the market for two modern and powerful frigates in order to enhance its maritime protection capabilities, especially in the West Philippine Sea, where territorial disputes with China have arisen.

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