PH plans to invite Russian weapon manufacturers to set up shop in Bataan

May 26, 2017 - 3:36 PM
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A guard of honour fires a gun salute during the funeral of Mikhail Kalashnikov, chief designer of Izhmash Concern, a Russian firearms producer, in Mytischi outside Moscow, December 27, 2013. Photo: REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine government is planning to invite Russian weapon manufacturers to set up shop in Limay, Bataan, which is being eyed to be developed into a major center for arms production.

“That’s one of the plans because we are converting the area of the Government Arsenal in Limay, Bataan, which consists of 300 hectares and we are trying to develop that,” Department of National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana told Philippine News Agency in a recent interview.

“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,” added Lorenzana.

The Government Arsenal is an agency under the DND responsible for the production of basic weaponry and ammunition for the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and the Philippine National Police, among other law enforcement agencies. It is also into the sale and export of products in excess of military and police requirements.

The DND chief said that if Russian manufacturers “can see that they can make a little profit” in Limay, they then could make it “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,” added Lorenzana.

Earlier, the DND chief earlier said the Philippines was planning to acquire weapons from Russia such as sniper rifles and precision-guided munitions for the country’s brand-new FA-50 jet aircraft and AW-109 attack helicopters.

Lorenzana said the Philippines was also thinking of acquiring submarine from the world’s largest nation.

“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 said.

“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… the Philippine Navy (wants)…to develop some submarine capabilities.”