Filipino shipbuilder eyes bigger vessels for PH Navy
MANILA, Philippines–A Filipino shipbuilder, Propmech Corp., which had supplied the Philippine Navy with the small but potent multi-purpose attack craft (MPAC), is looking at building bigger defense vessels in its future plans.
Jon Osias, sales and operations manager, said Propmech has been working “very closely” with the Department of National Defense (DND) for self-reliance in defense hardware and equipment for the Philippines.
“Since we have built the MPAC in the Philippines already, what we’re looking into right now is the possibility of extending the length from 18 meters to about 32-meter boats with designs that can be purchased from abroad…That can be a start for local shipbuilding of maritime defense-related craft,” he said at an online press briefing.
There should also be partnerships with reputable international defense shipyards to improve the Philippines’ capability in building bigger ships, he said.
Aside from building more MPAC for the Navy in the future, Propmech is “definitely interested” in supplying larger vessels to the Philippine Navy for territorial defense operations, said Glenn Tong, Propmech director.
The Navy said it hoped to acquire at least 30 MPAC vessels for its fleet, but there is no ongoing procurement at the moment because of funding priorities.
The shipbuilder also sees a rise in repairs and demand for parts as the maritime industry shows signs of picking up after a challenging year in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Propmech has built 12 MPAC for the Philippine Navy in the last few years. These perform a variety of missions like reconnaissance, surveillance, troop transport, search and rescue, interception and interdiction, among others.
Other than the Navy, Propmech has also built vessels for other government agencies like the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, the Philippine Coast Guard and the Philippine National Police.
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