Fact checks on militaries

FACT CHECK: No PH acquisition of warship from Germany


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FACT CHECK: No PH acquisition of warship from Germany
There are no reports from either the Philippine or German defense departments regarding the supposed purchase

Claim: The Philippines has purchased a warship from Germany to beef up the Philippine Navy.

Rating: FALSE

Why we fact-checked this: The claim was made in a YouTube video posted on February 25 that has garnered 5,400 views, 1578likes, and 5 comments as of writing. 

The title of the YouTube video states: “Binibili ng Pilipinas ang pinakamalaki at pinakakumpletong barkong pandigma mula sa Germany.” (The Philippines is buying the largest and most complete warship from Germany.)

No official announcements: There have been no official announcements from any reputable sources regarding the Philippine Navy’s purchase of “the largest and most complete warship” from Germany. There are no reports from the Philippine Navy on its official website, Facebook page, and X (formerly Twitter) page. Likewise, there was no mention of the supposed acquisition from the German embassy in Manila and the defense departments of the Philippines and Germany.

In service with the German Navy: The video does not name the supposed warship acquired by the Philippines, nor does it provide other details about the alleged deal. It merely shows clips of German ships that are currently still in service with the German Navy, such as the F 263 FGS Oldenburg, a Braunschweig class corvette that was commissioned on January 21, 2013. 

Donations and purchases from Germany: The Philippine Navy currently has some vessels and equipment that were either donated by the German government or commissioned from German manufacturers. In March 2023, the Philippine Navy tested its newly-acquired Bullfighter Chaff Decoys that were installed on the BRP Jose Rizal (FF150) and BRP Antonio Luna (FF151). The Bullfighter was manufactured by the German company Rheinmetall and is a countermeasure system designed to deflect enemy missiles from their targets. 

Early this year, Germany also pledged to donate additional surveillance drones to the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) to support its operations in the West Philippine Sea amid ongoing maritime tensions with China. Berlin previously donated two Trinity F90+ drones to the PCG in 2022. The drones are able to provide high quality imagery and maps for reconnaissance and surveillance. 

No new purchases: As of writing, there are no reports of the Philippines purchasing warships or other artillery from Germany. Rappler had debunked a similar claim that the Philippines purchased its “largest and most technologically advanced warship to date” from Turkey. Katarina Ruflo/Rappler.com

Katarina Ruflo is a graduate of Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program. This fact check was reviewed by a member of Rappler’s research team and a senior editor. Learn more about Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program here.

Keep us aware of suspicious Facebook pages, groups, accounts, websites, articles, or photos in your network by contacting us at factcheck@rappler.com. Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time.

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