Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Navantia Offers the Avante 1800 to the Philippine Navy - Just another offer for now

A Spanish news report released on the 1st week of August indicated a recent product offer from Spanish shipbuilder Navantia to the Philippine Navy (PN) for the Avante family of patrol vessel. It was said that a delegation from the company made the offer last July, specifically for the Avante 1800 series. It also described the ships as armed with a 76mm gun, 23-35mm guns, 12.7mm machine guns, an 8-cell VLS launchers for anti-aircraft missiles, 2 quadruple anti-ship missile launchers, and 2 triple torpedo tubes. More on the ship's specifications HERE.

Navantia's Avante 1800 corvette design.
Photo taken from Navantia's product brochure.

Although the news sounds juicy indeed, it is actually nothing more but just another sales pitch by Navantia, similar to the usual news we have locally and to boost company image in light of Spain's declining economy.

It should be noted that the Spanish government and Navantia have been monitoring the PN's modernization efforts for several years now, and this year alone it was reported earlier that Navantia has indeed made offers to the Philippine Navy and Department of National Defense (DND) that include the Avante 1800 patrol vessel and the Athlas 8000 landing platform dock (LPD). MaxDefense believes that the Avante 1800 is a standing offer for possibly several requirements of the PN, which may include Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV), combat corvettes, and frigate. Meanwhile the Athlas 8000 LPD is supposed to be an offering to fill the Multi-role Vessel (MRV) requirement of the PN which is now on-hold in favor of the smaller Strategic Sealift Vessel (SSV).

All these offers do not constitute a sale, but are just to assist the DND and PN in making the guidelines in formulating their required specifications, budget, schedule and probably list of involved proponents. But that is where all this matters. The offers made by specific shipbuilders usually depend on the initial information they receive from the proponent, which is the DND and PN.

South Korea reportedly offered the Incheon-class frigate to the DND and PN.
There might be changes in the offer to fit the tight budget the DND allocated.

Take note that South Korea already offered the Incheon-class frigate or its derivative by Hyundai Heavy Industries, while Singapore was also said to have offered a frigate design supposedly the New Generation Frigate design from ST Engineering. Both are full-fledged light frigate designs. But the issue is, why would Navantia offer a patrol vessel / corvette design to the PN when they are planning to purchase frigates?

ST Engineering's New Generation Frigate (right) is Singapore's offering to the PN Frigate Program, scale model shown at IMDEX Asia 2013. This is based on an enlarged Fearless-class patrol vessel.

It could only mean two things: either Navantia could only offer the Avante 1800 to fit the budget allocated by the DND, or Navantia is offering the Avante 1800 for another ship requirement of the Philippine Navy.

Looking back on previous announcements, the DND placed its "initial budget" at Php 18 billion for 2 brand-new ships with "frigate capabilities". There are lingering sentiments that this budget is not enough, even to a point that a recent editorial from IHS Jane's Defence Weekly by James Goldrick already indicated that the budget "...cannot be enough to provide sophisticated combatants...". Previous MaxDefense blog regarding the new frigate program provided some of the possible choices that may fit the DND budget, but as the Philippine peso continue to depreciate, the value in Euro or US Dollar decreases and will continue to erode the capabilities that may be included in the ships. 

Navantia possibly thought of maximizing the capability to provide "frigate capabilities" but using a smaller, cheaper platform to minimize hull cost. In comparison, Navantia's other Avante family ship class, the Venezuelan POVZEE Guaiqueri-class, is even based on the larger Avante 2200, but does not have heavy weaponry and sophisticated sensors. Navantia could have offered the same platform to the PN but the budget may not be enough for an up-armed Avante 2200.

Navantia could have offered the larger Avante 2200, which the Venezuelan Guiaqueri-class corvette was based, but it instead offered the smaller Avante 1800. Why?
Illustration taken from fav-club website.

Another possibility is that the DND and PN are on the lookout for a corvette or offshore patrol vessel design for a separate program that they will push for approval and purchase also within the Aquino administration . Previously the US Navy Sea Systems Command issued a Request for Information (RFI) to manufacturers for a possible Philippine Navy OPV requirement, and specifications released by the USN-SSC makes the Avante 1800 hit the spot. There were old reports in 2010 that the PN is actually looking to purchase up to 4 anti-submarine corvettes with a 2,000-ton displacement, and even in the PN's Desired Force Mix it indicated a requirement for ASW corvettes and OPVs. Initial submissions made by the DND for funding within the first 5 years of the revised AFP Modernization also include at least 2 OPVs. So it's not far-fetched that the Avante 1800 could be for other requirements and not the PN Frigate Program.

But for now, let us take the Avante 1800 offer as just that - an offer that does not mean a sure sale to the PN. MaxDefense will provide updates on the Philippine military modernization scene should relevant information comes in.

81 comments:

  1. PN needs real frigates equipped with modern weapon system and missiles. Avantia 1800 is just a corvette. Again, If PN have just allocated its budget for frigates w/ lesser or no weapon system at all. Even if its brandnew, it will really be a disappointment. Might as well this offer. I mean that's another evidence of poor planning or mediocre performance for AFP think tank. Like the attack helicopters, they all want us to jump and rejoice while they announce to acquire modern ships/aircraft for AFP. Then later we'll learn later that they are short of budget to buy what they had promised. I hope i'm wrong, Attack helicopter wid LUH budget then now Frigate with a budget size of corvette only? What happen to the TWG who recommended the specs and budget for these?

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    1. I agree, the problem with DND/AFP they want to Brand New ships & aircraft with a limited budget on top of that the specs they are requiring do not fit with their budget. I don't understand why is the DND/PAF wants to buy attack helicopter which primarily use for rebel insurgency when their battle cry is to shift to territorial defense. they should just allocate the budget for the AH to buying a "real" fully equip frigate. not a brand new frigate with limited weaponry and sensors.

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    2. Hi Joemel. The thing is, the corvette can have the same weapons and sensors capability as a frigate, but the frigate beats a frigate in size. The larger the ship, the more stores it has, endurance and range, sea-keeping, weapons load-out, and power capacity. It is worrisome that the DND and PN allocated only a minuscule budget for a frigate. We don't know what's really on DND's plans but the only thing possible is that somebody offered something that will fit the budget, and the DND is confident that it is enough.

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  2. I think navantia 1800 corvette is best cambatan ship for PN regarding for the budget DnD have. MK2 radar 3D n Control Fire Radar EO Mk 2 is the advance NATO technology that they still use untill now. For comparison please take a look for KCR SIGMA Indonesia, Nakhoda Ragam Class Brunai that already acquititon by Indonesia and Malay NGPV specs and unit price. And for studies please check out Fregate class 'PKR SIGMA Indonesia' n SGPV Gowind class Malay.....

    Thanks Max good note
    From:
    -Java Indonesia-

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    1. Hi Anonymous from Java, Indonesia. The Philippine Navy and Defense Department is well aware of latest systems on offer in the market. You may also want to check previous discussions in MaxDefense regarding comparisons of the PN's frigate program to the RMN's NGPV Gowind-class and TNI-AL's PRK Sigma-class ships. See here: http://maxdefense.blogspot.sg/2013/05/an-in-depth-look-at-philippine-navy.html and http://maxdefense.blogspot.sg/2013/05/proposed-designs-offered-for-philippine.html .
      Thank you for your support.

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  3. The USCG is going to retire their medium endurance cutters why don't we get some to use as corvettes

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    1. Hi Ramil, I think it will be a good start to have newer platforms than acquiring the old MECs from the USCG. The PN I know has an idea now on how much effort and money we have to shed if we continue to get older ships.

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    2. Hi Ramil, there are currently two classes of WMEC in USCG service: the Famous-class and the older Reliance-class cutters. The USCG is scheduled to replace the older Reliance-class ships first, which are older than the Hamilton-class. These are non-combatant types and are better off with the Philippine Coast Guard, but due to their age it would be better to look for other alternatives.

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    3. I agreed and now they're waiting for the French vessels La Tapaguese Patrol Vessel to arrive next year. Our PCG should think of acquiring the remaining three P400.

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    4. Hi Nes, actually the USCG's WMEC are larger than the French P400, but both can't be used as corvettes as they lack the characteristics to be one.

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  4. The avante 1800 IMO is an okay platform if you base it on its specifications. It may not really be a full fledged frigate but as the PN has required it will be a big boost for a light frigate program. It would be better to classify them as combat corvettes so that the PN can come up with a bettr frigate platform. But all the while I am hoping for the best for our navy.

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    1. Hi Paul J, no doubt the Avante 1800 is a good platform, but only if we're looking for a corvette or offshore patrol vessel. Since the PN has not yet announced its impending plan to purchase OPVs, then we can't assume that this offer is for that.

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  5. Hi Max, maybe you are right. The PN has been looking for ships with ASW capability and has or had considered the Minervas from Italy. They also issued a request for OPVs from the US. Surely the avante fits the requirements the PN wants. What would be the price difference between this and the SIGMA corvettes that Indonesia is getting?

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    1. You mean the SIGMA corvettes that the Indonesians ALREADY have since 2007, which are now called the Diponegoro-class corvettes? Price-wise it won't be fair to compare since the Indonesians ordered the ship almost 10 years ago. But capability-wise the full-capability Avante 1800 would be better than the Diponegoro-class.

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    2. Yess.... especially with Avante AAW on VLS configuration that offered to PN in full armament is much superior than Diponegoro class with Mistral, it will be longer and agile defence system to intercept ASW missile as well as to intercept air combat. About the sensors more or less I think both class in same level. Who said corvette is useless combatan ship!! if the specs like what avante has???!!! This ship is modern combatan ship class man in the area and it will boost your capability much much better maybe multyple not double to defense your territory

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    3. Actually you can't configure a ship as small as the Avante 1800 for AAW. To be classified as an AAW ship, it must be capable of wide area air defense, detecting aircraft or cruise missiles from long distances and engaging them to protect a wide area including other ships or territories. The VLS in the Avante 1800 could only carry short range AAM that could be used for self protection but not wide area defense. It also doesn't have the space requirements to carry more and taller VLS launchers to accommodate larger AAMs, and not enough space to accommodate generators and spaces to power up high-energy AAW suite. Nevertheless an Avante 1800 in complete fit-out is still more capable than the Diponegoro-class and is also a good surface combatant.

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    4. I mean SAM on Avante with VLS wether it's only MICA or Aster 15 I think its best configuration AAW for 0PV or corvette class have even its for self defense. Because for 'genuine' AAW ship is very2 expensive even for rich country for Singapore. Be realistic man.....

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    5. Max Im wondering if it would have been a good move for the PN if we acquired the Nakhoda Ragam class from Brunei. Heard that Indonesia got it for a fraction of the total cost. Would it fit the PN needs though its only a corvette?

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    6. The Ragams are already sold to the Indonesians.

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  6. DND should make the decision as soon as appropriate before the peso hits its all time low again

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    1. Don't worry, if my economy analysis is correct, we won't see an all time low for the peso soon.

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  7. Let's be realistic, The P18b allocated budget were just good enough for 2 multi- role corvettes. Based on specs, Avante 1800 fits the budget and can be a good asset for the minimum credible defense of the Armed Forces. But, I would, of course, want to see other countries with their good offer.

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    1. To be fair to the DND and PN, the budget they allocated (Php 18 billion) came from somewhere, its not just a number they just randomly guessed. The question is: what did they based the amount with? So far the only lead MaxDefense has is from the Koreans, but this is not even 100% accurate.

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    2. I read from somewhere (I think an article from Jane's) that part of the DND/PN's requirement is for the frigate to be built on local shipyard. That I think, if true, would considerably lessen the acquisition cost and would create a big enough savings in the budget to go to the other needed naval systems as radars, guns and missiles.

      Don't you think?

      -captdiegogarcia

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    3. It would help lessen labor cost for the hull & superstructure, but the ship structure itself does not make a warship expensive. The weapons, sensors, electronics, mechanical and electrical systems make the ship expensive. So not much savings can be made, it may even be more expensive since there will be some technology transfer that can be involved, or since local shipyards does not have the expertise to install warship technology, these shipbuilders will need foreign technical expertise and probably additional equipment just to install these items.

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  8. The real price of real Frigate is around 450- 550 million dollars a piece AFP is seducing only the public to coup up happ that the program continually forward, common sense only no Frigate a heavy load armament s in the price of 200hundred million. The DND and AFP also knows this but they reluctant to really give the real story that they want only the frigate with gun and if they have enough budget then they will install.

    So that people may think ofcourse frigate means complete armaments you know what DND will not that serious actually to procure the new frigate because as what is happenning now the US will be returning to the PH and they in negotiation of access to all US armaments and equipment that means the purchasing will be on hold again as their priority is those equipment from US and expecting from US govt. to approved very soon.

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    1. Access to all US armaments and equipment doesn't mean full control of them. Unless US opted to have something in return accessing our Base. Let's say if other party assumed about the 7 Perry frigates as a grant (free) not to buy them or a squadron of F16 on the way, I know wishful thinking Huh. Ignore all negative thinking about Gas vs. Diesel, lets our Gov’t find a way to allocate the fund thru Malampaya. I don’t understand why we bought two WHEC in the first place if at the end we could have an access to their armaments and equipment’s and after that we should just open our mouth “nganga nanaman”. The AFP modernization project must go on. About the corvettes our PN is in the market for 4 corvettes by 2015, total of 12 in 2020. If corvettes have to be done first because of fund so be it, as long as all the projects continues. One more days looking forward for MRV or SSV bidding and hope everything goes well.

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    2. As I said last time, the DND and PN may have received an offer for a frigate before that will fit the budget. But the only sure thing is the PN won't be getting those full-fledge frigates, but will probably get something light, like the Incheon-class.

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  9. Who wants to bet? The way Sec Del Rosario is making news again regarding the use of bases by foreign militaries clearly suggests that the govt realized that they made a very big budgetary allocation which wont materialize and the best way to get out of the problem is to ask the foreigners if we can use their assets instead. I can see that everything will be in limbo again...same thing happening again....Navy,Army,Airforce..wish you all the luck! (Reality check...we haven't seen one of the planned big ticket items even ended up with a real deal)

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    1. You find the budget allocation big? MaxDefense and majority of those watching the AFP Modernization closely, disagrees with you. It is TOO DAMN SMALL for a 5-year allocation. It would be closer that the government realized that its allocation is too small and won't buy anything much, that's why it has to call on American support.

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  10. Have you guys seen how much hits these blog has accumulated? if every each of us can only donate a thousand bucks.. that will be a whopping amount...dito pa lang yan ha....but sad to say we cant do it.

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    1. Do you think its fair for the donors to give their money while the government who takes our taxes don't do the right thing of funding for the defense needs of the country? The beat solution to our defense problems (and other problems of our country) is to address the main issue - corruption, bad governance and disunity. If only the government uses the funds correctly, I believe the AFP will be in better shape than what it is today.

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  11. With the Philippines, they need to stop looking for Brand new Frigates and Corvettes. With their tight Budget, their are very limited in what New Frigates and corvettes that they can afford. They instead need to look at 2nd hand Frigates and corvettes. At the same time, they need to learn all they can from the Hamilton class cutter before they get a complex multi Role Frigate. They need to build up their experience, skills and knowledge from operating the Hamilton cutters before they get a Multi Role Frigate such as the FREMM frigate, F-125 frigate or the Inchon class Frigate. While they are at it, the Hamilton cutters they are getting from the USCG, they can upgrade them to Light frigate Standard that is similar to the Columbia Navy's Almirante Padilla-class frigate and Malaysia Navy's Kasturi Class frigate.

    If the PN is still interested in getting a Corvette and a frigate. Look to Russia for the Steregushchy-class corvette, Gepard-class frigate or the Admiral Grigorovich-class frigate, which similar to what the Indian Navy has called the Talwar Class Frigate. As for getting corvettes, start talking to Turkey because they are starting to get rid of the D'Estienne d'Orves-class aviso and replacing it with the Milgem class Corvette.

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    1. Nicky,

      You're probable a retired US Navy or a well know defense analyst, you seems to know what's better for PN. I agreed with the light budget, but keep in mine that's all have to be done with bidding process which means the budget is set in the certain amount and is up to the supplier to push what they have to offer in regards to the specs what PN stated in their list. You always stated in any of your comments from different sources that the PN has no experience at all in regards with handling a frigate, just saying PN or Filipino are stupid enough to learn how to operate a machinery, excuse my language admin and co blogger. Just keep in mind before this get into materialized everything has to be in place including training of personnel, maintenance etc. etc. I'm not really sure about getting a corvette and a frigate from Russia; if they are interested enough they should join the bidding and lets see what they can offer.

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    2. Hi Nicky, actually the Hamilton is larger than the FS1500 frigate design (which the Kasturi and Almirante Padilla class share). As I said before, the Philippine armed forces will have difficulty in shifting to Russian-sourced equipment due to its long reliance to Western and American arms. The Philippines is not even in very close relations with the Russians. As for the D'Estienne d'Orves from Turkey, reportedly they are in beat-up shape and won't be fit for service.

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    3. @ Nicky I understand your an advocate of Russian made equipment as I read from your previous comments in this blog, but as Max stated the possibility of PH acquiring any equipment from Russia is very slim. as a US ally PH is "officially" required to purchase equipment from US or its allies like S.Korea, Israel and other EU countries. and in the first place the Russians seems to be not interested in selling arms to PH they don't even bother joining bids.

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    4. Here's the Reason, what you have and are getting from the US Coast Guard, can be built into a Light Frigate that is similar to Light frigates such as the Columbia Navy's Almirante Padilla-class frigate and Malaysia Navy's Kasturi Class frigate. If you look at how they are armed, you can follow their standard for Light Frigates as well.

      You just have to take what the US gives you and learn to use them before you go and buy advance Multi Role frigates. The Hamilton class Cutters can give the PN the much needed hands on basic and Intermediate Frigate experience. They can train crews for when the Philippines do get a Multi Role Frigate, you would have the experience from working on the Hamilton cutters.

      Going the Russia route would not be that bad. Look at India and the Indian Navy. They brought a Frigate from Russia called the Talwar Class Frigate. Which is based on the Russian Kirvak III frigate design. The Hull and weapons are Russain,and the electronics are Western. India paid Russia 1$ Billion dollars for the Talwar class frigate. If the Philippines did what India did with Russia, ya would have had a Multi Role Frigate like the Talwar Class Frigate within the 10 years instead of 15 to 20 years.

      As far as Corvettes is concerned, Most newer western corvettes are going to be out of the price range for the Philippines. Their only two options are either 2nd hand corvettes or source from Russia. The Steregushchy-class corvette would be my pick for the Philippines because of the price tag. If they can, wait for the USCG to start retiring the Reliance and Famous class cutters, get it from them. If not, talk to France and Turkey about getting their D'Estienne d'Orves-class aviso, which they plan to unload in the very near future. If the Philippines want a New Corvette, look at the SIGMA Corvette, the Milgem Class Corvette or talk to Israel about building the Sa'ar 5-class corvette for you guys.

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    5. Here's the Video on Navantia's Youtube page that shows the POVZEE Offshore Patrol Vessel, that Venezuela has. Here's the link
      Navantia: Avante 2400
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zUUFhTTkmsU

      This is a Patrol boat that the Venezuala Navy has as well https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59NOqAqoUOo

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    6. The Israelis and Koreans are very much into the AFP's modernization so let's just wait for a while. They are so far the best alternatives the Philippine government has from usual suppliers like the US and Europe.

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    7. I certainly agree with Max re: the Israelis and Koreans when it comes to affordable compact fast high tech stealthy surface combat ships . Also we need to consider the flexibility and the availability of these hardwares. We also have a good standing relationship with both countries. Hopefully there's enough viewers from the DND ,AFP & the Office of the President visiting and following this site for some good insights. " Not bad at all from a group of young inquisitive bloggers".

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  12. @Nicky, assuming you are correct, Phils. is on tight budget, do you think really we can't afford brand new? BTW - what is your citizenship? I guess your presumption is wrong - just read this link to update your resources. - http://www.timawa.net/forum/index.php?topic=34692.0

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    1. At the moment, if you look at what is being built right now. The Philippines are priced out of the Brand New Frigate & Corvette Market. If you look at the price tag for most New, right out of the dock Frigate & Corvette, the Philippines won't be able to afford them. As for my Citizenship, I was I'm Laotian American, born in Thailand in a refugee camp and live in America

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  13. What about the Saar 72 class corvette the Israeli is offering us, would that be suitable to our budget & requirements. Their claim is they can tailor made the weapons & technology package whatever suits the requirements . According to the source I read it has 21 days & 3000 nm capabilities with a crew of 50 plus 20 depending on mission module . The only concern is are we capable of managing & maintaining state of the art vessels.

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    1. I think for the Philippines, They should look at Sa'ar 5-class corvette. They would fit the Philippines very well and were designed by Israel and built by Americans.

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    2. Nicky and Oplan X, yes the PN received Israeli offers, as well as Israeli systems on ships supplied by other countries.

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  14. Max I know you know way much better than I am regarding ships. if we purchase a corvette say the avante, will it be possible to convert it into a frigate since ships now comes in modules like the sigma class. will it be cheaper in the long run.sorry for the ignorance

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  15. Regardless of what surface ships the PN would eventually get , my concern is the role and the strategy it will play on a grand scale. Given the fact that it would still be vulnerable to air or underwater threats. My point here is, it still need a comprehensive layer of support via land ,air and sea. The initial phase of the AFP to relocate its assets to Subic and Western Palawan would be a strategic and logistic advantage on their part. Then there should be a follow thru on building these bases to support these assets. One of them is an umbrella of air defenses , it could be a mixture of stationary and mobile SAM and of course MRF planes (F50). When it comes to ASW helo platform would be the alternative option for the time being until further fundings are available. Our advantage here is location and proximity of these "hot spots"which is just on our doorsteps. What this mean is a faster reaction time and the ready available assets that we could deploy at a given notice. If we could have these at our disposal then any territorial incursions could be prevented. The DND should also consider in beefing up the PCG assets since this is one of their primary mission. It certainly look like a tall order at this point but the most important part is the iniative and the determination of a united country to achieve this common goal for the preservation of FREEDOM AND SOVEREIGNTY.

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    1. For quick solution PN must be procure Norway NSM missile which is can operate on land and naval platform for coast and littoral/sea defence with base price usd 1.000.000. And install your patrol boat, coevette and fregate with it like Norway did with their skjol 274 tone patrol boat....and like Indonesia did with their patrol boat and corvette which are installed with c-705 and c-802 missile...... imo

      -java Indonesia-

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    2. Hi Mr. Indonesian, the problem is these small platforms could only be effective in the archipelagic waters and borders near Taiwan and Malaysia/Indonesia (which are not really the highest concerns right now). For the West Philippine Sea/South China Sea the best platforms are larger vessels that could stay long at sea, could survive high sea states, and could carry larger sensors and heavier weapons. That's why the PN is giving importance to larger ships like OPV, corvettes and frigates right now.

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    3. If it is so....I'm speechless now. All I suggest is based on PN budget and best opportunity PN hase from all the offering and market availability with tight time span to response the china threat. And based on Indonesia, malay and vietnam experieence that I know. I think OPV or corvette like avante, sigma can operate on sea state 5 or 6 and it have 'realistic' price according to PN budget, that's common capability on the market.

      -java Indonesia-

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    4. Hi, that is where the problem lies, the PN is in need or larger ships but its budget does not permit it to have the numbers it needs. It can buy OPVs or frigates but very limited numbers. As for Indonesia, I believe the TNI-AL also wanted to have larger ships like the Sigma frigate although it also got the smaller KCR type missile boats to patrol the eqivalently massive archipelagic waters.

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    5. buy an Coastal Artilery like NSM or RBS first...
      then make about twelve corvette/frigate hull localy, after that PN can bid sensor & armament. a cheap way i think

      -axs-

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  16. THE ship is unquestionably reliable and strong even though this one is much smaller than the regular size frigates, and it can play a big role if its fully loaded. However, with the PN's budget i dont think we can afford this one if it goes $100m+ a pop. Heres what i think the navy is going to do. They'd buy some under-armed Frigate class ships then upgrade them later when the new budget comes. I think they'd go with the quantity first before quality. Yes this one is good but if you buy frigates you can give them better upgrades later than buying some new but small corvettes. I mean lets face it, the budget is really small but the territory is huge. Their presence in the water is much needed "immediately" than what they're really capable of doing "for now", then when the new budget comes then they can just upgrade the armaments . And I think we are looking for those ships to serve us for the next 50 years or so, so I think They'd choose more bigger and more reliable ships than this one.

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    1. I think this still fit the budget if it goes around $100m+ 4.3b pesos. This was our DND initial plan to acquire corvette. Combat corvette size 1800 tons slash frigate under 2000 tons range. There budget for 2 frigates around 18b pesos which a lot of peeps suggested is not enough and if this combat corvette goes around $100m+ each they could easily tap some of the Malampaya or the $75b AFP modernization or whatever take to get it done. I don't think buying the under arm frigate is a good idea, it's just doesn't make sense we already acquired two under arm WHECS it's now time to fully arm this two. Besides the controversial 8 Combat helicopter. Really you don't want to go to another head ache buying under arm frigates or corvettes and arm it later, they should get it fully arm what ever stated in manufacturer specs. I think Avantia 1800 is a reliable one to fit the budgets for 2-4, DND need to acquire a fully arm corvette or frigates whatever it takes. Common now no more of those word bukas na lang or "tomorrow" lol! We need to change our habit, if we can do it now "do it now" not tomorrow or later.

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  17. Philippine navy has two choices
    1.buy 3000 tone displacement frigate but big but with less weapons and sensors
    2.buy a lower displacement like this 1800 tone or 2000 tone but big but with complete weapons and sensors..... and me I chooce number two.

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  18. i agree with you NES...


    all we know here is.???

    We are all discussing what is better for our AFP but the reality is DND are all talking $HIT...as in NONSENSE..


    After MARCOS.........

    All i HEARD and SEE in our DND are....PLAN PLAN PLAN so that they have article to write and read in the news, but the summary is..? LOW BUDGET.......VERY FUNNY


    PITY TO MAXDEFENSE...HE discuss and fight in favor of DND but HE is BLIND for reality....DND are playing us!.


    To MAX MONTERO!!!

    since you are good in discussing?

    When did you saw that the DND buying EQUIPMENT with complete armaments for our own DEFENSE..?

    Even MARCOS TIME: Correct me if I'm Wrong!


    ALL OUR DEFENSES ARE by means of DONATION... (facts)


    And Since when PHILIPPINES learn from MISTAKE of: We are always invaded and bully by other countries?????

    SPAIN,JAPAN,USA,...AND BULLIES BY:...malaysia,taiwan, now CHINA..?

    The answer is (they never learn) if they learn from their mistake...?

    they will BUY..EQUIPMENT with complete armaments by ALL MEANS not to invade other countries but to depend our countries against all FUCKING BASTARD..!




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    1. Hi. This blog is intended not to side the DND as ypu believe, but to inform its readers of select defense issues according to what MaxDefense thinks. If you think the intentions here are futile, then I also don't see a reason for you to read the entire blog plus the commentaries as well. You don't have to pity MaxDefense or me because this is an extension of what I do, and I do not need your pity as well. Instead of openly criticizing Without giving any constructive solution, I would rather put my best effort of providing helpful insights not just to help readers learn, but also voice out my opinion according to my limited knowledge as part of my freedom to express.

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    2. The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand.
      Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.

      If you know your enemy and you know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself you will succumb in every battle.
      “To conquer frustration, one must remain intensely focused on the outcome, not the obstacles.”

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  19. I get your point mr. Max.. To enlighten us ..

    Pity not in a means of pity in your personal life..pity because you keep explaining to your reader ...many times again and again...

    We put it this way...

    Granted we know and you enlighten us already.....then what?
    Its nothing.....because your reader cannot buy those equipment....

    What i mean is.. Use your blog and address your explaination to DnD with a little criticism because i believe you have more knowlege than us regarding defenses..and i know you have connection to get their attention....as you said freedom of speech while in the other Hand you also educating us .

    Sorry...if i criticize you in my first comment..

    Maybe im just tired of DnD explaination and promises ...

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    1. Everybody is tired of what's happening with regards to the country's defense, but don't you think it is more tiring for those in the service? It's not actually the government that we try to help, but the people in the service, the end users. We try our best to use all efforts to push the government to improve our country's defenses, its efforts to upgrade and modernize, and give our troops the best weapons the country can afford. Also, the people in the DND could not do anything if the executive and legislative branches do not provide strong support. Just imagine, only Php 75 billion was released for 5 years. The DND has no choice but to tighten its shopping list to fit the budget. If the legislative could only release more, imagine what will happen.

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    2. the people in the DND could not do anything if the executive and legislative branches do not provide strong support.......(this is why?) i told you to criticize those fckin bastard..used your blog.

      if the DND personnel cannot do anything...how much more us.(your reader)?? can we do anything"?? i dont think so!..



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  20. Are we better off with modified Incheon class frigates? Just 4 harpoons and fitted with an OM 76 mm rather than the 127mm for commonality. Maybe a IAI Barak as a cheaper option to the RAM. If the FA-50 deal pushes through, maybe the Korean frigate would be a better option from a sourcing and logistic perspective. -WFC

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    1. The Barak was indeed offered to the DND for consideration not only on the frigates but also on other future warships as well as some of PN's current warships. Even without the FA-50 sale, the Koreans have been giving a better option as well.

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  21. Corvette is for offshore
    Frigate is for offshore and deep seas
    Dnd and pn need a ship for offshore and deep seas in one ship specs.which ship offer hit thit requirement.inchion class?navantia 1800? Saar 5?

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  22. I don't think they'll go more than 200 nautical miles to protect Spratley and Scarborough Shoal. Both ships can reach those islands and stayed for a maximum of perhaps 25+/-5 days for Corvette and Frigate 35+/-5. They both needed regardless of size or how long can stay, as long as they fully arm and capable to depend Philippines territory. Different case with Benham Rise, it should be patrol at all time more than 200 nautical miles if possible. I hope more acquisition so around the clock there's a rotational patrol of PN ships, subs along with PCG. Which ships? I would say they both needed w/ full armaments.

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  23. all I can say a ship which can defend its own self can defend its own territorial water and islands.

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  24. sir any news regarding the planned purchase of kai fa50?

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  25. Hi Max ,
    Any news on the bidding for those 2 frigate/ corvettes ? Aren't they suppose to decide before September ? " Do they still need further evaluations or should they just crack on !" Cheers.

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    1. As always, expect delays. The frigates are more complex than the FA-50 deal which is still stuck somewhere.

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  26. MANILA, Philippines - Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio on Thursday said government could use the "pork barrel" for next year to buy warships which could help deter encroachment by China in Philippine-claimed territories in the West Philippine Sea.

    "If we use the proposed P27-billion pork barrel fund for 2014 to acquire warships, the Philippines can buy 41 BRP Ramon Alcaraz types of warships. Fortyone harpoon firing ships are more than enough to keep intruders out of our maritime zones in the West Philippine sea that is if we have the political will," he said.
    I hope the govt will consider these..

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  27. Hell Max,

    Been browsing for the longest time on the different insights and views concerning PN and its initiatives. Am tempted to provide comments on the moves by some local shipbuilders on the subject of the PH Government acquisition of OPV and Frigate class with so huge budget allocations. Anyways, i got information from this shipbuilder in marivelez bataan who is known to build GWT ships and high-end yacths who finally decided to have a paradisgn shift to build Off-shore-partol vessels to mature later to something big like the utopic proudly PHL made Frigate. The construction model is basically the same as the presented modular approch where, the ship platform is PHL made and other necessary components like, navigation, weapon, radar system and heli support are foreign supplied via transfer of technology concept. The big surprise of all is that the budget for a LOADED SYSTEM PLATFORM of PHL build OPV and/or Frigate class is 1/4 the price of the PN budget for acquiring internatioinal OPV vessel. YUP that huge disparity of price consideration.

    I believe actions are being done now to formalize the foreign associations/partnership and is looking forward to provide options to the PHL Government to help augment the shoreline defense initiatives of the country. In the final analysis its time to fully support the SRDP projects of the government and save huge amount of tax payers money....will get more details...

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    1. Hi Boeing, I believe you're pointing at Herma Shipyard, correct? Actually I will find it surprising if they can build a combat vessel with just 1/4 the price of foreign made because it would be very difficult. Can you clarify your info if its just for the hull? MaxDefense estimates that more than 1/2 of the PN's budget for the frigate may go to mechanical, electrical, weapons and sensors systems if the PN goes "loaded", or the PN may opt for "fitted for but not with" systems in a flexihull that can carry added systems when money is available in the future.

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  28. Hello Max,

    The shipbuilder is not HERMA, there is another outfit there in Marivelez who has been quiet for so such a long time. He's known to build super yachts and ships for the high-end entities and individuals local and international. He's a close friend and we share the common aspiration of creating the first proudly PHL made OPV.

    He is actually a regular participant in ship building training and seminars in France. He is a Naval Architect and decided 2 years ago to expand to defence contractor outfit for our countrys SRDP campaign.

    I have seen the international standard costings of OPV and validated the domestic price and its 1/3 of the international acquisition costs. The price difference of local build vs foreign is tremendously huge because, the modular design of vessels are layered with renenue spread bec of diff entities participating in respective field of expertise. The finish vessel is loaded with so much spread and the end user or client pays the huge amount.

    With our SRDP it is hoped that we can save much and generate local employment as well. Building OPV is better than FEDSHIP class because of its uncompromisable pedigree of construction materials and the ultra-high standard service requirments of these fedship vessel owners. OPV on the other hand is simple in construction but the essnetial system components are dfficult to secure and comply most especially the navigation, radar and weaponry system. But end of the day, the ship platform is proudly PN made and the rest is modular meaning its PN's defense and navigational requirement that will be selected and deployed.

    Cant say more need to heed confidentiality issues ha ha..one of these days i might invite you in a heli ride to visit our yard and give me your insights to help PN and our government to patronize our OWN Filipino Craftmanship.

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    1. Hi Boeing, thanks for your inputs, really happy to know that groups like you and your friend are taking advantage of the government's thrust for SRDP.

      What are the lengths of your friend's OPV designs? As much as I would like to ask for details, I'll leave the thing to your own discretion to allow some peek on your friend's shipyard capabilities.

      From my own point of view, try to woo the PCG first. They are in a better situation for funding due to their nature as a civilian agency.

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  29. To our our govt. we need actions right now before it's too late..ano ba? the chinese are already knocking our door pa-tulogx2 pa rin tayo??

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  30. ..oo nga.. kunin na ntin ang mga frigate offers ng mga companies na yan bago pa mawala ang mga offer na yan.. pra d maulit yung nangyari sa deal ng dnd pra sa already-made 10 attack helicopters.. eto ksi nabasa q sa isang article.. ini.offer sa dnd ng isang company ang mga attack choppers which is pasok nman sa chopper requirements ng dnd at idideliver nlng agad pag nag close ang deal ksi ready made na nga ito matapus mg back.out ang pakistan sa deal.. medyo lampas lng sa budget.. pinag.isipan muna ng dnd kung bibilhin nla.. nung napagdsisyunan na ng dnd na bibilhin ang helicopters eh ang sabi ng company eh binili na daw ng pakistan at wala na clang choppers.. kaya hayun, nwala na ang chance na magkaroon tayu ng attck helicopters.. wag na ksi kayung magpatumpik.tumpik pa..

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  31. so what are the anti ship(missile,torpedo) capabilites?

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    1. Navantia could fit in any model according to client's preference.

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  32. I think we should improve our patrol capabilities first before we go on with much larger projects like frigates.

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