Fact checks on militaries

FACT CHECK: No reports of PH acquiring German-made frigates


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FACT CHECK: No reports of PH acquiring German-made frigates
German shipbuilder ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems has not confirmed any plans to offer its MEKO A210 frigate designs to other navies besides the Royal Australian Navy

Claim: The Philippine government is buying two German-made MEKO A210 frigates.

Rating: FALSE

Why we fact-checked this: The YouTube video bearing the claim has over 5,005 views and 129 likes as of writing.

At the 0:31 mark, the video’s narrator says, “Sa isang makabuluhang pag-unlad na naglalayong palakasin ang mga kakayahan sa pagtatanggol sa dagat, ang Pilipinas ay nagtapos ng mga plano upang makakuha ng dalawang mabigat na barkong pandigma ng MEKO A210 class mula sa Germany.” 

(In a strategic development to strengthen its maritime defense capabilities, the Philippines finalized its plans to buy two Meko A210 class warships from Germany.)

The bottom line: MEKO A210 is a frigate design developed by German naval vessel provider ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS). According to a Naval News report, TKMS unveiled the new frigate design during the Indo Pacific International Maritime Exposition 2023

Jonathan Kamerman, a senior naval advisor at TKMS, told Naval News that the company intends to offer its MEKO A210 design to the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).

TKMS has not issued any press release about any plans to offer its MEKO A210 to other navies aside from RAN.

No official reports: There are also no announcements from the Philippine Department of Defense and the Philippine Navy regarding any plans to MEKO A210 frigates from TKMS.

Current frigates: The Philippine Navy currently has two missile-capable warshipsBRP Jose Rizal, which the country received in 2020, and its sister ship BRP Antonio Luna, commissioned in 2021

Rising tensions in WPS: The YouTube video containing the claim was posted several weeks after the Philippines, Australia, Japan, and the United States conducted a maritime cooperative activity to “uphold the right to freedom of navigation and overflight, and respect for maritime rights under international law” in the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone. 


Rappler has recently debunked several false claims on the supposed acquisition of military assets amid ongoing maritime tensions between the Philippines and China. 

China continues to reject the 2016 Hague ruling invalidating its claims over the entire South China Sea. Last month, Chinese ships used water cannons against Philippine vessels in the West Philippine Sea. (READ: Foreign governments stand with Philippines after latest incident in Ayungin Shoal) – Lorenz Pasion/Rappler.com

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