Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A clearer picture on the Strategic Sealift Vessel of the Philippine Navy

The absence of enough information regarding the Philippine Navy's Strategic Sealift Vessel (SSV) has left the public blind on what we can expect on the ship's capabilities, features and aesthetics. But the recently released Supplemental Bid Bulletin (SBB) # 4 by the Department of National Defense (DND) has brought in enough relevant information on the project, as well as some hints of future procurement plans of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), to the point that we can now somehow see a clearer picture of what the SSV really is.


The SSV is said to be smaller than the earlier MRV requirement, which was supposed to be awarded to a Korean manufacturer before based on the Makassar-class LPD.

Based on the Supplemental Bid Bulletin # 4 for the SSV project, here are the basic information of the ship's specification based on MaxDefense' interpretation (a copy of the SBB can obtained here:  http://www.dnd.gov.ph/DNDWEBPAGE_files/BAC/2013/SBB/august/SBB-AFP-PN-SSV-13-04.pdf)

Type: Landing Platform Dock (LPD)
Displacement: approximately 7,300 tons full load, subject to shipbuilder's design
Length: 120 meters minimum, subject to shipbuilder's design
Beam: 21 meters minimum, subject to shipbuilder's design
Propulsion: at least 2 Diesel engines coupled to 2 controllable pitch propellers, subject to shipbuilder's proposal
Speed: at least 13 knots cruising, at least 16 knots maximum
Range: 7,500nmi @ 13 knots
Crew: between 100 to 130 officers and men

Boats Carried: 2 Landing Craft Mechanized/Utility at floodable well decks, 2 RHIB or LCVP on Boat Davits
Passengers: at least 500 troops
Decks: Tank (? sqm minimum) and Truck Deck (800 sqm minimum)
Payload: 2,800 tons minimum

Sensors: Navigation, Surface Search Radar, Air Search Radar, EW Suite, Electro-Optical Fire Control System (all separate items to be supplied by PN), Combat Management System

Weapons: Primary: 1 x gun (possibly between 40mm to 127mm), Secondary: 2 x 30mm automated cannons port and starboard sides (EO FCS controlled), ? x machine guns (all separate items to be supplied by PN)

Aircraft Accommodation  Helideck capacity for 2 x 10-ton helicopters (based on Sikorsky Black Hawk), Enclosed Hangar for 1 x 10-ton helicopter (also based on Black Hawk)

Surprisingly, the SSV's basic requirements are similar to the dimensions of PT PAL's SSV offer. This has been posted before in earlier MaxDefense blogs about this project.

Besides the basic information of the ship, there are also more information that MaxDefense finds interesting to discuss with, and here are the following points:

1. Presence of floodable wells and helicopter deck with hangar.
These features, plus the general information of the ship's details listed above, confirms that the SSV is indeed a Landing Platform Dock (LPD), a small one though as compared to typical Western designs. Larsen and Toubro's query even included a clarification on the ship's type being labelled as an SSV when in fact the ship is an LPD. The dimensions indicate that it has similar dimensions as the Indonesian Navy's Makassar-class LPD, and surprisingly has almost the same details as the SSV offer made by PT PAL. But unlike the Makassar-class, the SSV will be smaller, lighter and may be simpler to reduce costs.


Floodable wells, like this one, are present on the SSV. An indication that it is not just an ordinary ROPAX vessel as some believe.
Photo taken from Australian Ministry of Defense website.


2. Use of Mild Steel per ASTM A131 for the hull.
A query by Stone of David highlighted this and request considering the use of a more sturdier material for the hull, although the PN insisted on mild steel. Actually mild steel can be considered an excellent ship hull material due to its high strength, sufficient ductility and low cost. It retains some strength after yielding and before failure, which is a good characteristic for ship hulls. It is also lighter, giving the ship a better power to weight ratio for efficiency, while retaining the required strength as compared to other steel hull materials.

3. Inclusion of 2 Landing Crafts Mechanized/Utility (LCM/LCU) and 2 Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats (RHIB) per ship.
The SSV program already included the provision of 2 steel-hulled LCU or LCM as well as 2 RHIBs that will be delivered together with each ship. This was unexpected although it is a welcome addition since it was assumed earlier that these boats will be bid-out separately and will require a different budget and program. Although this would also mean that the cost for these boats will be deducted from the budget allocated for the SSVs.


2 units of LCU or LCM, similar to those shown above, are included in each ship's cost and will be carried by the SSV. They must have a 25-ton load capacity and are steel-hulled.
Photo taken from US Navy website.


4. Boat davit capacity of 15 tons while RHIB at full capacity is only around 4 tons.
Several bidders like Stone of David, Larsen and Toubro, and Propmech highlighted the issue of having a boat davit with load capacity of 15 tons that will be holding the RHIB, probably because they believe this an over-design that relates to higher costs. Although the PN intends to place RHIBs on these davits, it is expected that the PN may also opt to fit the heavier LCVP in its place when necessary. Actually Stone of David's query already indicated the possibility of using the davits for LCVPs. The LCVP usually has an empty weight of around 9 to 9.5 tons and will require a higher capacity davit, on this case the PN insisted on a 15-ton capacity davit. 


MaxDefense believes that the PN would also embark LCVP on davits,like shown above mounted onboard HMS Ocean (L12), thus the requirement for 15-ton capacity.
Photo taken from thamesvessels.blogspot.com.


5. Payload capacity of deck turntables at 25 tons.
The turntable is required to be able to handle a 25-ton payload of around 7 meters long, which are probably armored vehicles from either the Philippine Marines (PMC) or Philippine Army (PA). Except for the PMC's few LVTH-6, the heaviest armored vehicles in both the PA (ACV-300) and PMC (V-300) only weigh around 14 tons. MaxDefense does not expect the incoming AAVs to use the turntables so it means that the SSV is built to accomodate larger and heavier armored vehicles should the PA or PMC acquire them in the future.


A vehicle turntable similar but not exactly the same as above, with a diameter of 7 meters and load capacity of 25 tons, will be available at the truck deck for easy maneuver of vehicles on the tight space.
Photo taken from Haynes-World blog.

6. Helicopter landing deck and hangar capacity requirement.
There is a requirement for the ship to have a helicopter landing deck for 2 helicopters, and a hangar capacity for 1 helicopter. The replies provided by the DND/PN indicated that the helicopters are 10-ton types, with a specific mention of Sikorsky's Black Hawk helicopter. Although the Philippine Air Force (PAF) currently has a single S-70A Black Hawk in its fleet (Presidential Wing asset), it is expected that the ship will accommodate navalized PN helicopters more than standard PAF ones. MaxDefense believes that the PN may have plans to purchase Black Hawks in the future as part of its Desired Force Mix multi-purpose helicopter requirement, and the PAF may also do the same.


The SSV takes the Black Hawk into consideration in its design, giving the helicopter a place in the PN's future.
Photo taken from US Navy website.


7. Replenishment as Sea (RAS) capable.
The SSV will be RAS capable, with both port and starboard sides having RAS stations for easy replenishment. The PN's Gregorio del Pilar-class frigates are capable of RAS, but this capability is currently not available with the PN, although there are some indications that the PN is trying to acquire such capability, possibly by taking replenishment from allied naval vessels in the absence of PN replenishment vessels. There is also a possibility of the PN acquiring replenishment vessels in the future, as indicated in its Desired Force Mix white paper.


A replenishment at sea (RAS) / underway replenishment (UNREP) capability is being sought for the SSV, similar to shown above.
Photo from globalsecurity.org.


8. Weapons and sensors systems costs are separate from the ship's budget.
The SSB mentioned that the weapons and sensors systems will be "owner supplied", meaning it will be provided by the PN separately. This removes the cost of these systems from the SSV's budget, and good thing considering that these systems may cost as much as the budget allocated by the DND. With these separated, shipbuilders would now have more room to provide a better offer, and is beneficial to both the bidder and the end user. 

9. Types of weapons and sensors for the ship.
Sensor types mentioned in the SSB include a surveillance radar, an air search radar, electro-optical fire control system for the secondary guns, a Combat Management System, and an Electronic Warfare (EW) suite. The presence of an option to place an air search radar feature will enable the ship to detect and track airborne threats like aircraft and cruise missiles. The PN may employ similar radar systems that they intend to install on other future PN combat vessels like the new frigate. The EW suite is an added feature that would be beneficial as it gives an added defensive feature for the ship from OPFOR attacks. As for the weapons, the SBB mentioned the presence of 2 units 30mm guns, both remotely operated with electro-optical fire control system (EO-FCS). Although not mentioned, it may be safe to assume the presence of a larger primary weapon, probably a gun system with a higher caliber the secondary guns, somewhere between 40mm to 127mm. Also like other PN vessels, it is expected to have manually-operated 12.7mm machine guns for self-defense against small boats and minor threats. No mention was made regarding missile systems or anti-missile CIWS though.


A 3D search radar, like the Thales Smart-S shown above, is not impossible to be mounted on the SSV.
Photo taken from Thales Nederland website. 
Two secondary guns, similar to the Mk.38 Mod.2 shown above but with a 30mm gun, is eyed for each SSV. These would be remotely controlled, and linked to an electro-optical fire control system.
Photo taken from Wikimedia.

10. The SSV are configured as possible flagships.
The SBB confirms the earlier press releases that the SSV will also serve as flagships and mobile government centers aside from being amphibious transport vessels. The supplemental bulletin acknowledge the presence of a Presidential Room as well as a War Room, which are instrumental for government functions including the presence of the President of the Philippines in cases of emergencies and needs that require him and other key government officials to be on the ship.

Besides the above-mentioned details, some other information on the ship includes:
- the ships are designed to accommodate future AAVs (probably based on the AAV-7A1)
- availability of water desalination system capable of producing 25,000 liters per day;
- provision for bow thrusters, possibly for installation in the future;
- LCU / LCM will be steel-hulled, empty weight of 70 tons, load capacity of 18 tons or 80 troops, armed with 2 x 50 caliber machine guns;
- SSV delivery will be on Manila's South Harbor Pier 13


The scheduled submission and opening of bids is on August 29, 2013, although there is still a possibility of moving it to a latter date similar to what happened to other DND projects. Until then, let us see who among the potential bidders could step forward and offer their services to the DND.




===================================
Updates:

August 29, 2013:
Of the 9 potential contenders for the SSV project, only 2 submitted their bids: PT PAL Indonesia (builder of Banjarsamin-class) and Daewoo-Daesun of South Korea (builder of Makassar-class). But after further examination, the DND only qualified the bid of PT PAL, while Daewoo-Daesun was disqualified. It is still a hanging project as PT PAL needs to pass the post bid qualifications, which may start soon.

More of the news here and here.

==========

February 3, 2014:
The Philippine Navy has already provided the Notice of Award (NOA) for the SSV project to Indonesia's PT PAL after passing the post-bid qualifications and inspections. PT PAL itself confirmed receiving the NOA late last month, and is expecting the signing of contract to follow soon following these developments.

More here.

97 comments:

  1. It seems these two upcoming SSVs with be part of the 10 ships to be integrated with the Coast Watch System being implemented with Raytheon.

    Some specs are revealed in the questions of qualified bidders from the CWS SBB http://www.dnd.gov.ph/DNDWEBPAGE_files/BAC/2013/AMEND/cwssbb.pdf :
    ...
    Enhancement of C4I
    a. Construction of a Network Management Systems Center (NMSC)
    b. Provide integration and connectivity (VSAT, Fiber optic, etc) to the following:

    Command Centers - 6
    Unified Commands - 4
    Naval Forces Operation Center – 6
    Maritime Research Information Center
    Coast Watch Centers – 3
    Coast Watch Stations and Island – 30
    Ships – 10
    Aircraft (Data link for real - time video transmission) - 3
    ...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The 10 ships indicated in the CWS requirement is an initial number, it could still go up in the future if the government decides to increase the number of ships capable of sharing information with the system. It was already indicated that the 2 Gregorio del Pilar-class frigates constitute the first 2 units.

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    2. Let's just hope that these deals will go smoothly. As an archipelagic state, we need this kind of vessel to support the AFP operations. Likewise, it can also be use as floating hospital in times of natural calamities that often visit the couintry.

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    3. The project is timely and needed by the PN to support the operations of other Armed Forces. Being an Archipelagic state
      , it is mandatory to have sealift capability. Likewise, this kind of ship can be utilize as a floating ship in times of calamities that often visit the country.

      Delete
  2. Hi Max,

    Nice summary. In the MOPC night with the AFP CoS and service heads (as posted at Timawa), VADM Alano had confirmed that this is actually a two-stage bidding... something that was not actually announced (in the public releases, though). So the 1st stage could be opened tomorrow (29th).

    This is almost the envisioned MRV, except for a little draw down on the specs as well as removing the sensors, weapons and other ancillaries(such as mobile hospitals, AAVs, M35s) from the cost. Fitted-For-But-Not-With for now.

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    Replies
    1. Hi 49r,

      What is the "little draw down on the specs" between the MRV project and this SSV acquisition project? Thanks!

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    2. Thanks 49r, on the 2-stage bidding, it is actually expected since most of the bids done by the DND recently are 2-stages as well. The SSV is really the MRV, with the reductions made on the specs to fit with the reduced budget. My fear is on the PN's ability to secure funding for the additional items like the weapons and sensors. I do not worry on the AAVs since it was already given attention as a separate project. The mobile hospital can be easily secured because of its nature, even the civilian government agencies like PCSO and PAGCOR can make room for this.

      Delete
  3. Magandang update ito.

    1. Kulang yong P4 bilyon para ma kompleto ang proyektong ito dahil wala pang sensors at weapons suite na mahal. Pag nagastos yong P4 bilyon, potential SSV pa lang, hindi pa totoong SSV. Gagamitin muna siguro sensors/weapons ng PN na naka tago, or commercial equipment.

    2. Hindi rin kasama yong gagamitin sa floodable aft well. Gagamitin na lang siguro yong present inventory ng LCM, LCVP, LVT, MPAC etc ng Navy.

    3. Ang haba ng range kaya plano rin sigurong ipailalim sa mga US Navy operations na wala naman tayong nakatayang interes. Baka mapasubo pa nga tayo.

    Para sa akin pagsasayang pa rin ng DND at PN ng maliit na budget para sa ating depensang panlabas.

    Ang kakulangan ng Navy ang dapat punoan - wala tayong mga barkong matatawag na 'warship' na pwedeng pangsabak. Habang ang dami na pwedeng gamitin sa civilian sector na Ro-Ro, LCT, Passenger ships etc pag may emergency na.

    Saan tayo kukuha ng mga warships na pangsabak? Mag dedepende pa rin sa US Navy na iba namang interes sa atin? Pag mananatili tayong dependent, mawawala ang soberenya natin.

    Para sa akin, gamitin yang P4 bilyon na yan para sa mga warships, mga inayos na surplus para mas madaling dumating.

    At magplano na ng multi year acquisition of Philippine fabricated warships. Dagdag sa 2 frigates na hindi na aabotin ni PNoy ang pagdating after 2016.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is still unknown to us how the PN will secure funding for items that are part of the SSV but will be owner supplied. But for sure it would have its navigation and surface search radar by the time it is delivered. The LCU/LCM & RHIB will be delivered together with the SSV so there is something inside the floodable well deck. The expected ship's range is standard for similar-sized ships so it does not necessarily mean it would work under US Navy operations.

      The SSV is actually a very important investment by the government to the navy. It is the centerpiece of the AFP's plan to be able to deploy its soon-to-be formed Rapid Deployment Brigade in the future, which will be discussed by MaxDefense in future blogs. The ships are actually very important as well in moving the army and marines' heavy equipment since the PN's transport capability is now in its lowest from its peak in the late 1970s.

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    2. No use arguing with him max, its misplaced patriotism.

      1. Its a sealift, naval counterpart of the c130 herc. What the herc cant carry, the navy could and in huge payloads too. Sealift is critical in hauling that much people n material to places in need.

      2.Read again.

      3.Use us on USN Ops? Why would they? Do they lack sealift capabilities?


      Basically too much emotion yet too little thinking.

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    3. Musta Ano
      Libre tayo sa ating maling mga opinyon. Ito'y malayang palitan ng kuro kuro at kung talo huwag pumunta sa pagkukutya. Palagay ko trained ka sa kabilang forum.

      Kung may kunting isip ka unahin mo muna ang wala ka. Bakit ka pa bibili ng baboy kung may pansamantala kang mabibiling karne, para makabili ng gulok o riple na wala ka at mas kailangan.

      Pag nakapasok na ang kalaban sa lupain ng Pilipinas, guerilla warfare ang mas mainam hindi yong mga pormal na units na kailangan mo pang ilakbay. Ibig sabihin nandoon na sa lugar na inatake. Gustong gusto ng kalaban yang malalaki at mamahaling gamit at mas madali nilang tamaan.

      Basically wrong assumptions leading to wrong solutions. Mas kitid ng pagiisip.

      Pasensya na Max at kailangan ko lang sagutin. Ituloy mo lang mga good analysis mo at sana'y di ka madisturbo sa mga pumupunta sa pagkukutya ng kapwa pag hindi matanggap ang posisyon ng iba.

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    4. Matagal ng napundohan ang SSV program na ito kung ang utak natin as masyadong negative wala tayong mararating na magandang proyekto. Kita mo naman wala pa nga ang resulta putak na agad tayo ng kung anu-ano. Matagal na rin ang pagtitiis ng PN para matuloy ang programang ito.

      SSV/MRV/LPD at kung ano pang tawag dyan sa barkong ito eh depende na kompanya at military planners natin. Kung ang ibang bansa ang proyekto naka codename pagdating sa barkong pandigma dito sa atin literal pang naiintindihan ng mga tao. Ang pagnanais at paghahangad ng PN ng ganitong programa ay gusto nilang magbigay ng mas malawak at malayo ang mararating ng serbisyong hatid ng barkong ito. Kaya nga kung tanong mo bakit masyadong malayo ang range ng barkong yan? Eh angkop lang yan sa bansa nating watak-watak.

      Ilang bagyo at trahedya na ba ang nagdaan sa bansa natin kung saan isolated ang mga lugar dahil walang madaanan at tanging barko lang ang pwedeng maghatid ng tulong agad. Halos tali ang kamay ng PN dahil limitado ang barkong meron sila na maghatid ng mga serbisyo at tulong sa oras ng kalamidad. Meron barko pero kaya ba suongin ang mga alon na di mo akalain na dulot ng bagyo o masamang panahon. Kadalasang napapabalita tayo mismo ang nakikiusap sa ibang bansa na magpadala sila dito ng barkong may kahalintulad ng capabilidad. Diba mas nakakahiya? (nakiki usap tayo sa Amerika, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia at Singapore). kung paulit-ulit na lang ang sitwasyon natin. Pero kung di natin nakikita ang malaking aspeto sa pagkakaroon ng ganitong barko paano na lang tayo makapag responde ng mabilis sa oras ng calamidad? Paano na lang ang Pilipinas kung kitid ng utak ang uunahin natin.

      Basic services ang hatid nito. Daan at libong tao ang pwede nitong matulongan sa oras ng pangagailangan. Sa pag convert lamang ng malinis na tubig, serbisyong medical, paghahatid ng paunang tulong, general command and control pag may calamidad at presenya ng gobyerno natin.

      Double edge sword ang barko na ito. Wala mang armas na nakakasindak pero buhay ang sinasalba nito sa oras ng kalamidad. at kung gagamitin naman sa oras ng digmaan mobility at force mutiplier ito.







      Delete
    5. "Pag nakapasok na ang kalaban sa lupain ng Pilipinas, guerilla warfare ang mas mainam hindi yong mga pormal na units na kailangan mo pang ilakbay. Ibig sabihin nandoon na sa lugar na inatake. Gustong gusto ng kalaban yang malalaki at mamahaling gamit at mas madali nilang tamaan.

      --Basically wrong assumptions leading to wrong solutions. Mas kitid ng pagiisip."

      like i said its sealift, counterpart of airlift.

      And now that you mentioned it, imagine guerilla warfare on pag-asa island.

      i rest my case

      Delete
    6. Ano buti natanong mo.

      Sa Pag-asa, 30 corvettes covered by 3 squadrons of fighters and SAM, SSM batteries covering the West Philippine Sea ang kailangang minimal defense. Pati na rin syempre fortifications sa Pag-asa at ATGM's, Manpad's etc.

      Wala tayo mga iyan dahil inuuna ang mga meron na namang alternatives tulad ng mga commercial RoRo, LCT, passenger ships atc; at hindi inuuna ang wala tayo, mga SHOOTERS. Kaya balik tayo sa tapang ng Pilipino na kayang magsakripisyo, pero bigyan natin sila ng mga SHOOTERS.

      At yang SSV na yan hindi makakatulong sa depensa ng Pag-asa dahil ayon sa isang post dito, sitting duck sa potential adversary natin

      Napupunta ka kasi sa mentalidad ng mga ayaw magsakripisyo, gamitin na lang ang pera at teknolohiya, habang nakatago sa bunker na may joystick para lumaban. Medyo malas pa tayo ngayon at kulang ang ating pera dahil hindi ang Pilipino ang nakikinabang sa Pilipinas. Pero mas maswerte tayo dahil marami pang sangganong Pilipino na matatapang. Yan ang lakas natin na dapat palakasin at gamitin.

      Mahina kaso mo.

      Delete
    7. hahah,,,i laughed about GUERRILLA WARFARE IN PAG-ASA ISLAND!!!

      Delete
    8. Mr. Paul

      Mali intindi mo. In general yon.

      Sa Pagasa, basahin mo ulit sa taas o

      ''Sa Pag-asa, 30 corvettes covered by 3 squadrons of fighters and SAM, SSM batteries covering the West Philippine Sea ang kailangang minimal defense. Pati na rin syempre fortifications sa Pag-asa at ATGM's, Manpad's etc.''

      Klaro di ba.

      Delete
    9. WOW! 30 corvettes, 3 squadrons of yada yada yada. Wheres "guerilla warfare" on this? Reconsidering what you "thought" is supposed to be?
      --"Basically wrong assumptions leading to wrong solutions. Mas kitid ng pagiisip."

      Yeah id like "shooters" too. Isnt the navy doing anything about it? wait...they will bid out 2. Ohhh so they are doing something about it. Well i just have to wait for the supplemental bulletin (if ever they would release it) before i rant. I just learned guerilla warfare is best so PN better be ready rebutting my strategy. 30 is a magic number, blind melon is wrong.

      You shouldve stucked it out with guerilla warfare, at least youd be more fun.

      Delete
    10. guerilla warfare on pagasa - the PM and navy special forces deployed there will have to transform into syokoys so they can live underwater once the island is invaded

      Delete
  4. @Max

    Regarding the bow thruster - From what I understand it was an "as per design feature" meaning it was dependent on the design provided and not a "fitted for but not equipped with" situation.

    ginoginoako

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The query by Stone of David appears to point that there is no provision for bow thrusters, and the PN prefers to have provisions for it. Although the bidder, if chosen, may have the priority to provide the bow thrusters due to integration of their bow thruster design on the ship.

      Delete
  5. Big, slow, no anti-missile defense and no ASW weapons, in few words: is a sitting duck. At least upgrade the 30mm guns to Goalkeeper CIWS or install soft-kill countermeasures.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Let's see first if there is really no provision for anti-missile CIWS, since all the weapons systems will be procured separately from the ship hull's budget.

      Delete
    2. CIWS or soft-kill countermeasures can be the difference between life and death for at least 600 pinoy. They remember mention machineguns but don't mention CIWS or soft-kill?

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    3. @ Mareo2 just like the 2 WHEC that PN acquired, DND/PN still has not come to realize the importance of CIWS and ASW. to put it in simpler terms all the PN ship so far are just a big bulls-eyes target for OPFOR ship. and by the way I don't see the importance having an LPD ship, LPD is usually use for invasion, who is the PH going to invade? PH does not even have MBT all it has are APC, I don't see the logic of PN buying an LPD at this time maybe in the future. if their reason is the LPD going to use to bring relief goods during times of calamity then they should just purchase a real SSV not an LPD, DND procurement people does know how to prioritize item that are really needed. they are too ambitious in procuring items on a limited budget.

      Delete
    4. Imo....Base on our experience
      it's important for PN to have LPD as an achipelagic country to embark/debark and rolling your troops/PAF to the outer islands efficient and effective way for surveillance your border with other country and guard your small outer/remote islands which are close enough with other country or close with international sea/water, regarding to the huge payload that LPD can carry mean while PN can conducts, prepare and arrange the budget to acquaire of full armament combatant ship, fighter jet, etc to modernise military equipment.

      -java indonesia-

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    5. "LPD is usually use for invasion, who is the PH going to invade"
      If the PLA invade one or more of the outer islands, deploying small garrisons of infantry with land based anti-ship missiles, how pinoy get them back?

      Delete
    6. Hi mareo2, so far there is an indication of a soft-kill EW system, if the PN could get a hard-kill system based on its primary gun, for example the Oto Melara 76mm with Strales, that would be good. No indication yet though if thet's the case, or if a CIWS is included. Let's wait for further announcements.

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    7. @ mareo2 to answer your question of "how pinoy get them back" there's a simple answer to that, pinoy will ask the US to assist us in getting back the island, and with LPD specs that PH is acquiring no CIWS and counter-measures. it will just be a big target for the land based ASM.

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    8. "pinoy will ask the US to assist us in getting back the island"

      I seems that the Aquino administration is not only unwilling to expend enough money on the defense of their country but also unwilling to do the sacrifices that require give more than enough incentives to the US and their allies for go to war with the PRC in defense of Philippines sovereignty.

      Philippines Needs to Get Serious on U.S. Alliance
      By Brian Harding - August 28, 2013

      "...Facing increasing Chinese assertiveness in disputed waters and understanding that the Philippine Armed Forces are completely incapable of deterring the PLA, Philippine President Benigno Aquino recognizes that Manila's alliance with the United States is its only strategic asset. Yet, to date, he has been unwilling to wager the required domestic political capital to make the case that an increased U.S. military presence is in the Philippine national interest..."
      "...For the Philippines, a regular, overt U.S. presence would help deter potential Chinese threats to its sovereignty and make U.S. alliance responsibilities far more real. As it stands now, Beijing is skeptical of the seriousness with which the United States takes its alliance commitments vis-à-vis the Philippines—the United States putting skin in the game by funding infrastructure improvements to facilitate a more regular presence would change these assumptions..."
      "...Despite the Philippines facing significant, immediate threats (unlike Singapore and Australia) and having an exceptionally weak military (unlike Singapore and Australia), senior members of the Aquino administration have shown little willingness to work expediently toward a mutually agreeable framework like those the Pentagon reached with Singapore and Australia. Instead, Aquino's feet have just been stuck in the mud, unwilling to work to move past the political legacy that forced the United States to close its bases in the Philippines in the early 1990s..."

      http://thediplomat.com/flashpoints-blog/2013/08/28/philippines-needs-to-get-serious-on-u-s-alliance/

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    9. @mareo2 I have read this article before, but US-PH framework agreement is getting some steam with 1st round of talk completed 2 weeks ago and the 2nd round of talk currently being held in Washington. according to some rumor US is indeed getting impatient with slow progress of talks regarding temporary rotational presence of US troops and equipment here, that's why DOD Sec. Chuck Hagel has visited PH today to find out the seriousness of Aquino Administration on the US-PH Defense Framework Agreement.

      And BTW I rest my cased regarding the importance of LPD anyway DND/PN already has awarded PT Pal Indonesia for the SSV/LPD so there's no point of stating my case anymore.

      -Anonymous August 29, 2013 at 2:20 PM-

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    10. Hi mareo2, those posted on the editorial are of course the viewpoint of the Americans. There is also another viewpoint, which is the Filipino side, which usually questions the American sincerity in truly assisting the Philippines. There are concerns that instead of uparming the AFP, it might just get surveillance gear but the US may not support it getting offensive weapons like anti-ship missiles and MRFs.

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    11. Yes..USA not interested or modernising the afp because at the moment philippine govt. is still fragile. . They still not confident about the govt sincerity..US afraid that one of their weapon may hit themselves, its because
      they dont trust phil. politicians and communist minded filipino that maybe someday will replace the leadership and turn against them.

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    12. This is something far fetched, with the communist movement communist political fronts support from the public at all time low, it won't happen. Of all countries in Asia, the Philippines is the least expected country to go against the US, and even the Americans know about it.

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  6. Max how about ASTM A131 hull plate analisys from PN millitary 'fanboy' or other millitary forum regarding her surviveability compared with US lpd/lst or atleast singapore lst. Because 'the cost' is describe the type of the hull plate....more expensive like us product more sophisticated plate use, maybe 'special high tensile strength' plate use for combatant ship like indonesia sigma corvette or 'high tensile strength with face hardened' plate like us ships usually use for hulls. That type of plate discribe the surviveability/withstand (armour) from particularly fragmented projectile even bomb blasting standard like stanag standard for apc. But offcourse the us products's very very expensive maybe 5 times or 10 times from Indo or other country products because of 'the plate type'

    -java Indonesia-

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    1. High tensile steel, especially those with hardened plates are very expensive, I believe even the Makassar-class doesn't use this. The compromise can be on the proper control of damage and water once the hull is breached. I believe there is a portion of the SSB indicating that the ship must remain stable even if 2 compartments are breached but contained.

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    2. Sir Max the problem why would not give us those high technolgy defense equipment is because of our security issue and coup de tat history because we have only one academy as source of leadership for DND and AFP and IF think you know that and some issues that ammos being sold to our enemy. So what do you think?

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  7. All right we've had enough of this delay. This approval to buy this two Strategic Sealift Vessels (SSV). Means now!!

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    Replies
    1. Its long been approved that's why its being tendered for bidding. What we are just waiting now is who will build the ship.

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  8. I guess this is where the rubber meets the road . It's time to decide who's the builder . The PN & DND has established their basic requirements for their SSV project now its time to go to the next phase. Once they have started on the ships hull then , they can prioritize their intended list of equipments like sensors,communication defensive weapons and delivery system . So far , the PN & DND are on the right direction on their goal just need to step up the process . This procurement is already long overdue .

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    Replies
    1. Let's see what happens today, August 29th.

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  9. Nice read :) Can't wait to see whose gonna show up for the opening bid. Today hopefully

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  10. So basically, the Philippines are looking more in the lines of the Endurance class LPD or Makassar-class LPD. The others including the San Antonio class LPD are way above their price range and they can't afford it.

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    Replies
    1. There aren't even American or European shipbuilders who gave interest on this project, so definitely the San Antonio class is out.

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  11. Actually there is a big point in the acquisition of the LPD (SSV) and not prioritizing to get an interim real frigate. What the Phils need right now are assets to assert sovereignty over our EEZ and secure our fishery resources. Still, it seems that there is no state of urgency for our planners to address the threats on our 3 fronts. The budget for the 2 SSVs may fit for the acquisition of a 2nd hand frigate. Having a real frigate for now will give ample time for our sailors to train in handling modern weapons and sensors and make them ready for the light frigates that are still in the pipeline.

    Imo, the SSVs will be spending much of its time in ports waiting for troops deployment or worse waiting for another batch of repatriation of undocumented filipinos in Sabah. On tthe other hand, a capable frigate can spend much of its time in conduct of patrols in wps and at the same time train our men in otht warfare.

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    1. The problem with the PN is that they have many requirements that need to be filled, like naval transport and amphibious warfare capabilities. So while the PN goes for 2 new frigates and more used ships from the US, it is also embarking on ways to fill its transport capabilities. It has already reduced the cost from Php 10 billion to Php 4 billion for 2 ships to give way for more funding for the frigates. Let's see if the government will try to allocate more funds besides the Php 75 billion modernization fund between 2014 and 2016.

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    2. couldn't agree more, I share the same sentiment on why is PN is rushing to purchase SSV/LPD. as stated above surely the SSV/LPD will spend most of its time in its home port not just waiting for troop deployment but waiting for transporting relief goods in times of calamity.

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    3. The LPD can also become an ambassador of the Philippines to other countries, moving around the region while training PN crew similar to how the Singapore Navy operates their Endurance-class LPDs during peacetime. It can even be used in anti-piracy operations if necessary.

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    4. To add, the navy have long had a concept of a mothership serving smaller ships and replenishment at sea. The SSV/ LPD is a humble start for that concept. Sort of acts like a force multiplier, capability extender and endurance enhancer for our smaller ships. Currently only the 2 del pilar class can stay at station/patrol for long periods. Thus, the transit time from port to station are only a small portion of their time at sea. Imagine the jacinto class or smaller crafts being replenished at sea by the SSV/LPD. Instead of wasting time and fuel going back to port then getting back to station, they could be replenished at sea without wasting too much time and resources away from post. The smaller craft would then have closed the endurance gap of much bigger crafts that we don't have much but we critically need. We just need a system to effect the replenishment as our smaller crafts don't have built-in RAS capability. Maybe a medium helicopter can hoist down the supply. The Sokol have great payload if needed at sea in a pinch but I think the navy would opt for a navalized helicopter if and when it can. Like Sokol and the requirement for wheel landing gears for our helis means there is a logic in all our acquisitions. I never doubted the theoretical aspect of our military planning and strategies. I doubted the applications of these theories because of lack of funds for assets to implement - buboy

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  12. The SSVs on the date of delivery will just like be a civilian ro-ro having without weapons and sensors. It cannot provide a leap frog for the navy to handle and manipulate modern weapons like CIWS, modern sensors like air search radars and sonars.

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    1. The SSV's are not really meant to have all the weapons and sensors of a surface combatant, but there are indications that the PN will provide the SSV will some systems mostly for defensive purposes. It is not yet clear if who will install these systems, or if these systems will be installed by the time the ships are delivered.

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  13. http://www.interaksyon.com/article/69643/bid-documents-opened-for-p4-b-acquisition-of-2-navy-vessels

    Seven of nine bidders withdrew, Daewoo/Dae Sun and PT PAL submitted, Daewoo/Dae Sun disqualified.

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  14. @MAX
    apparently, 2 bidders were left and daesun was dropped (but will file mor). So what can you say about the bidding max? do you think we will have a rebid? the issues raised by SOD is valid.

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    Replies
    1. It's actually a bad news, from my point of view. If Daewoo-Daesun is permanently disqualified it means PT PAL has to meet all requirements. If it does not, then this becomes a failed bid.

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  15. Here are the published specs from PT PAl current LPD platform.
    Landing Platform Dock 125m – KRI BANJARMASIN - 592

    Owner : DEPHAN - TNI-AL
    Delivery : 2009 & 2011
    Total Produk : 2 Unit

    Spesifikasi :
    • Length Over All = 125 M
    • Length Between Perpendicular = 109,2 M
    • Breath = 22.0 M
    • Depth (Tank Deck)/Truck Deck = 6,7 M / 11,3 M
    • Draft : Max = 4,9 M
    • Displacement = 7.300 Ton
    • Kecepatan Maksimum = 15 Knots
    • Endurance days = 30 days
    • Cruisning Range = 10.000 Miles
    • Max Embarcation = 344 person (Crew 126; Troops 218)
    • Helicopter = 5 unit
    • LCVP = 2 unit
    The only discrepancy I can tell is when it comes to the " Max Embarcation "which is 344 including crew and troops . The PN specified requirement is at "least 500 troops". Does it mean the total of numbers of passengers ? Will this disqualify them from the bid or can the PN & DND including the manufacture work around this requirement ? What is your take on this Max.

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    Replies
    1. This design is another derivative of the original design used in the Makassar-class. The PN requirement for flight deck is only for 2 helicopters, so PT PAL can shorten the flight deck in favor of a larger superstructure to accommodate more troops. The range is also larger than the PN requirement, so PT PAL can reduce the fuel tanks as well.

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  16. So we got it at P3,863,999,520 or $45 million per ship. not bad considering they'll come with LCUs and RHIBs.

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  17. http://manilastandardtoday.com/2013/08/30/indonesian-firm-bags-p4-b-navy-supply-deal/

    -java indonesia-

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    Replies
    1. Congratulations, you're country will surely be proud to have the opportunity to export large warships like this.

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    2. Thanks.....
      Greeting for all pinoy and pinay from Indonesia.
      We are Indonesian proud to become your close friend and your trust to our country to be part as a partner of your's military development

      Love you all
      -java Indonesia-

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    3. max is this final already? I thought daesun is still going to file for reconsideration? I dont have anything against PT PAL (I like their design actually) but just to make sure we are not jumping the gun and make false hopes again

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  18. The developments point to a failure of bidding if the Indonesian design is not accepted as the 'at least 500' requirement is way beyond the 344 capability.

    It could then pave the way for the DND and the Navy to study my alternative proposal of acquiring more Hamilton class WHEC's to convert into Multi Purpose Support Vessel, based on the concept of the Absalon Command and Support Ship of Denmark.

    With the present negotiations for more U.S. bases in the Philippines, it can put us higher in the line up for buyers of the Hamilton class WHEC's.

    The Hamilton class WHEC's as Multi Purpose Support Vessels will also address the need for more deterrence power as it has its own 76mm Oto Melara and sensors already. The possible P2 billion savings can then be used to uparm PF-15 and PF-16 into frigate capabilities.

    The proposal can be found in http://deftechph.blogspot.com/2013/08/hamilton-class-as-multi-purpose-support.html. As one poster has said, the 2 SSV's funded for P4 billion will be sitting ducks in the open seas, and another poster said that these P4 billion investment will most of the time be staying in the pier, not adding to the naval deterrence of the country. Another poster says to scrap it altogether and buy surplus warships instead.

    I think the proposal of Hamilton class WHEC's as Multi Purpose Support Vessels can be the appropriate middle solution. You can have additional lift capacity and at the same time have an additional 5 warships for naval deterrence.

    As to humanitarian missions, we already have the Ang Pangulo as an appropriate platform, maybe even for a flagship. If the calamity is a big one, we have the 2 LSV's and if we really need such a big lift requirement, the government can rent/commandeer the many commercial vessels we have. Even the rich UK had to do that during the Falklands War.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Rene, as pointed to you several times already, the Hamilton-class as a fast transport is not feasible due to several reasons:
      - unavailability of more Hamilton-class ships for the PN, the next WHEC that might be available for the PN is only available by 2014 or 2015;
      - if there will be Hamilton-class ships available, the PN would rather use them as frigates;
      - fast sea transport of troops can be done by commercial fast ferries if needed, which can be obtained second hand and cheaper than warships;
      - massive modification on the Hamilton will take time and may cost a lot, and may not be even possible due to the Hamilton's existing design can't have vehicle decks, and may even be detrimental to the ship's overall design;
      - an alternative to your solution are aircraft like C-130, which is currently used by the military as a fast troop transport.

      The SSV won't necessarily be sitting ducks because they are armed and have the necessary systems installed as indicated in the SBB, and if there is precious cargo it would likely be escorted by armed vessels. If the full capability of the SSV is done, it would even have better sensors and weapons suite than what is currently in the Gregorio del Pilar-class frigates that the PN have.

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  19. There more ways than one why we need the SSV's . As stated by Max & some contributors we are an archipelago with several thousand islands . We are surrounded by 2 vast sea lanes Western philippine sea ( China sea ) and Philippine sea . Majority of these major islands have ports but only few can accommodate big ships with a lot of cargo. This is where the LPD comes into play. They can launch men & equipments just beyond the horizon on semi rough seas via the well deck thru the LCM or AAV's . For a faster deployment they can use helo's thru the aviation deck. These are vital assets during typhoon seasons where places are hard to reach. In the military point of view Rapid Deployment assets are vital that at any given time you have the capacity to deploy your forces at a moment notice with greater flexibility . This would better suit the PMC current needs. To better paint a big picture the " Kalaayan Islands that the Philippines are occupying doesn't even have a decent port or pier only an airfield not even long enough to accommodate C130 cargo planes. My friends these are the reasons why.

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  20. If these ships are smaller than the Makassar class, why does it cost more?

    Makassar = 37.5 mil per ship

    SSV = 43.3 mil per ship

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Please cite your source as to where you saw the numbers. If you are referring to the amount that was paid to Daesun, the amount was for two (2) MRV plus Technology transferr/license to build two (2) more MRV. So you cannot simply divide the amount that Indonesia paid to Daesun as that was actually for 2 MRV plus the Technology Transfer.

      The additional 2 MRV that PT PAL made in Indonesia was paid separately by Indonesian government and was not included on the payment given to Daesun.

      ginoginoako

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    2. Good question. does anyone know why?

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    3. Because the price for the Makassar was almost a decade ago, so consider inflation and cost increases. Also, PT PAL is a state owned company so profit may be marginal for the TNI-AL's ships as compared to those for non-Indonesian government clients.

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    4. do we have technology transfer also here in the bid?

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    5. http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/indonesia/lpd-makassar.htm

      Daewoo International Corp, a major Korean trading company, announced 21 December 2004 that it had signed a $150-million contract to provide four warships to the Indonesian navy in what is viewed as a major step in boosting its presence in the naval technology business in Southeast Asian countries.

      The latest vessel is said to have cost around $30 million. KRI 592 Banjarmasin is able to load more helicopters, from three to five helicopters. In addition, the ship speed is also higher than the South Korean-made warships, namely from 15 knots to 15.4 knots.

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  21. Max, in the absence of specific press release of the actual approval of the fa50 by our chismoso and super eager military, I'm suspecting there are problems with its actual approval. Even the KAI top honcho is here but no signing. Projects of.this kind If approved gets feel good press releases immediately. My suspect is the timeframe. We want it earlier than the KAI can commit. You got inside info? It's already September and no contract - buboy

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  22. the news answered my question: http://www.interaksyon.com/article/69819/second-crash-has-paf-rethinking-p18-9-b-korean-fa50-jet-option

    As I was suspecting, the good-as-approved or approved in principle was just over-eagerness. There is still no contract signing for FA-50 even with the KAI top honcho in town. Anyway, I got my inside info on this as well why its dragging along so slow. :( oh well, cant blame the military for trying.

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  23. defense department should look in the the zero zero ejection seat in the fa-50 coz all crash of the t-50 pilot not eble to eject which result of their death. report say chute deploy but the seat with pilot remain inside the the cockpit.

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  24. post link please. nevertheless, it still crashed even if the pilot was able to eject. root cause should be established first - buboy

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  25. newsflash... china is building on Scarborough and FA50 is being held up in congress

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  26. China is starting to drop concrete blocks in Bajo de Masinloc! I'm 100% sure they are already donep lanning on building a garrison there. We should buy this ship now, send it there, and let the people there pick up all those concrete blocks for our own use, or better yet, hide building materials inside those strategic sea lift and then drop it there at start fortifying the place. It's so near mainland Zambales. We should never allow China to build anything there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. but what do we expect from our incompetent leaders. whose thinking is not concerned about the country's defense priorities but their pockets and families and businesses.

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  27. Hi Max!

    I've been reading your blog for quite sometime now and yeah I find it good! I subscribed...

    I have a question... Is it possible that PN would be an LPD centric navy? I mean that our fleet group would be based on LPD's....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ricky. LPD's are incapable of medium to high intensity surface & ASW combat. A balance between small and large surface and subsurface combatants, and transports, auxiliaries is the best route. Let the LPDs be used for its original purpose, which is to transport troops and equipment.

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    2. Ah I see... thanks Max... what I meant was that they would be the center of our fleets escorted by frigates, corvettes and subs in the future... Like how the USN uses their Supercarriers...

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  28. just build a base off mindanao then you would save on these landing platforms. we need attack helicopters, patrol boats. insertion helicopters. tanks.

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    Replies
    1. LPD's are mobile. How would these bases pick-up the tanks and troops from where they are? How would they land on the conflict area?

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  29. Sir Max baka malaki bagay makuha eto kaysa bibili bago.

    The Dutch JSS Multi-Purpose Support Ship: For Sale?

    http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/dutch-order-multi-purpose-support-ship-06113/

    http://www.nisnews.nl/dutch-news-agl.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Where is the logic?
      The two SSV has a budget of $90M. The yet to-be-completed Dutch Joint Support Ship will cost $485M!! That's even more than our budget for two light frigates/heavy corvettes.

      NL wont be selling those ship for a bargain.

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  30. any update if the ldp projct has been awarded to pt pal? anyone?...

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    Replies
    1. As of now, not yet. Post bid qualifications is still ongoing.

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  31. To those critics who criticized the 2 SSVs program: the situation in Zamboanga is just one of the many scenarios that the SSV is useful. SSV can be a troop and materiel carrier as well as carry out humanitarian and medical missions --- buboy

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  32. we want all this buildings now! we have plenty money,the malampaya fund alone now amounting to 130 billion.why not use some of this money,our country need protection now and we can not wait longer,we want it now,there are many countries who are willing to sale their new warships if you have money.we need frigates,and we need this lpd,s we need the spyder missiles and we need the jets now.why it takes so very long for the mean time if they can purchase the maistrale class now the better for they can use it right away and stay there in west phil sea for six months,just send supply boats for their needs.west phil.sea must be secured and the batanes group of islands and the seas near this islands

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  33. HI Max, any development on the SSV, FA 50, Attack Copter , Motion Simulator, Air Surveillance Radar, UH1H, and M113 Acquisition, RPG 7, 81mm mortar, Assault Rifle with optics projects?

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  34. Hey max so does this mean each ship can operate 3 helos at once?

    It's a stupid question but if 3 helos arrive at the same time, that means the one has to get in the hanger first until the last one can land. thanks

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  35. pt pal get the deal. congrats!

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  36. well done: http://www.bumn.go.id/pal/publikasi/berita/pal-indonesia-siapkan-kapal-perang-untuk-filipina/

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  37. does these ships include simba mistrals?

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  38. Needs 127 Millimeter / Five inch gun on the foredeck so that the 500 PHILIPPINE MARINES carried on board can be given Naval Gunfire Support for Amphibious Landings.

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  39. Urban Aero Systems is engaged in Aero Boats and Flight simulators, assembly and marketing.
    Helipad Design
    Inflatable Boats in India

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  40. Medyo mabagal yung speed na 13 knots cruising lalo na kung isa sa main purpose nito is to send relief goods to disaster affected areas. If the ship meets waves carrying strength of about 4 knots, magiging 9 knots nalang ang cruising speed ng ship which is equivalent to only 16 km per hour. Ok pa rin yung present requirement nya of only 13 knots cruising speed kung parati tayong hindi nagmamadali pero kung nagmamadali na tayo magiging sakit ng ulo yan in the future. But i think we have planners with brilliant minds in the AFP at naisip cguro nila that we will be having enough number of C-130's in the future that can quickly supply any disaster affected areas with their needed relief goods. The Philippine Navy is growing stronger and i won't be surprised if the Philippines will soon be having an Attack Submarine Fleet. Let us all be patient. It will soon come. Keep up the good work.

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  41. its a great ship. i hope i can see by my eyes.

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