By Anne de Bretagne
NEWS HAVE IT THAT the Philippines is considering including submarines in its naval acquisition plans.
Well and good! But just to give an idea of the time frame required to possess a [second hand] sub: Malaysia began FORMALLY negotiating for the acquisition of 2 submarines from Armaris of France and Navantia of Spain in 1998 (although informal negotiations had been going on two years beforehand) and signed the 1.084 billion euro deal in June 2002.
[By the way, the deal provoked controversy when people who were involved in the deal filed a lawsuit against a friend of PM Najib Tun Razak, who was defence chief at the time, had been designated as the main negotiating agent for the deal. The purchase was made without going through a tender.]
The first submarine KD Tunku Abdul Rahman (shown in pic), a Scorpène class, docked at Port Klang on Sept 3 2009. And so all may know, the Malaysian Royal Navy announced that it may acquire more submarines in the future.
It is easy to surmise that the funds that were used to finance the acquisition was derived mostly from converting resources extracted from Sabah into solid cash.
NOTE that the first submarine KD Tunku Abdul Rahman (shown in pic), a Scorpène class, docked at Port Klang on Sept 3 2009, eleven (11) years after the formal negotiations began or seven (7) years after the contract was signed.
We are speaking of pure hardware acquisition here but the time frame has not included the submarine culture development which began in earnest for the Malaysian Navy in the mid-80s (when they began sending officers and crew for submarine training to the UK Royal Navy) or more than 20 years before they got delivery of the first sub. So, if the Philippines is contemplating developing sub culture, better start now because there is no way the navy can be on top of the situation by 2020 (which is the target date I read that the navy was considering...)
Incidentally, the Malaysian submarine base is found within spitting distance of the southern Philippine province of Mindanao, right in disputed Sabah territory... Coincidence? Not a chance!