To ensure that warships can fight any threats if needed, the Navy must acquire naval craft with proven and tested weapon systems.
This was emphasized by former Philippine Navy (PN) flag-officer-in-command Vice Admiral Ronald Joseph Mercado in a chance interview in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City Monday.
“Obviously (you should) go to systems that are proven, If you want our country to be defended well, sa mga tao at least they have that assurance na yung barko natin kayang lumaban,” he added.
Mercado was earlier relieved from his post as PN chief last December 19 by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana citing lost of trust and confidence on the integrity and leadership of the naval officer.
This was brought about the alleged fixation of the former on one company to supply the combat management system of the Frigate Acquisition Project (FAP), a contract won by South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries.
At the moment, Mercado is now assigned to the Office of the-Chief-of-Staff, Armed Forces of the Philippines on Special Duties.
He also clarified that when going about the FAP’s specification, the Navy gave more emphasis on performance.
“Yes, performance base, so that pag dineliver, we will judge it on the performance, patatakbuhin namin yan,” Mercado added.
The FAP contract, which is worth PHP18 billion, including the weapon systems and munitions, was won by South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries. It will be armed with a variety of missiles and guns capable of defeating the above-mentioned threats.
In regards to claims that he is pushing for a particular brand of combat management system (CMS) for the frigates, Mercado said that he was only standing for the original position of the PN regarding the equipment it wants for its ships.
He added that the system the Navy wanted is more proven and in use in many naval forces in the world. (PNA)
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