PH Navy says no nukes on board US submarine

By Chiara Zambrano, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 25 2014 02:44 PM | Updated as of Mar 25 2014 10:44 PM

MANILA - Philippine Navy spokesperson Lieutenant Commander Gregory Fabic clarified that there are no nuclear weapons on board the USS Michigan, the guided-missile submarine arriving for reprovisioning and rest at Subic Bay today.

Fabic said what is nuclear is the submarine's propulsion.

He noted that diplomatic clearance for the vessel's scheduled entry to port was already processed back in 2013.

The USS Michigan (SSGN 727) is an Ohio-class guided-missile submarine, homeported in Puget Sound, Washington.

Its commander is Captain Erik A. Burian, with a crew of 154 sailors.

The USS Michigan was keel laid on April 4, 1977, launched on April 26, 1980, and commissioned on September 11, 1982.

It is 560 feet in length, and was converted from a fleet ballistic missile submarine into a guided missile submarine.

According to Fabic, every foreign naval or air asset entering the Philippines must first seek diplomatic and military clearance, first by writing to the United States Embassy in Manila.

The Embassy will then forward the request to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), who will send the request to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for comment.

The request will then return to the DFA for the issuance of diplomatic clearance.

Fabic said even assets with nuclear weapons may enter the Philippines as long as they have secured the proper clearances.