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Saturday, August 24, 2013

The 4 Potential Bidders for the 3rd Bid to Supply 21 UH-1 Helicopters to the PAF

There are now 4 potential bidders that may take part in the 3rd re-bidding to supply the Philippine Air Force (PAF) with 21 used UH-1 Huey combat utility helicopters. These are the companies that bought the bid documents and are expected to submit a bid on August 30, 2013. Originally it was reported that 14 companies were interested in the project, but it is surprising that less than half made real intentions to join.

The PAF still sees the importance of having more UH-1H Hueys in its inventory, and it is expected that this type will be in service with the PAF for at least 10 more years from now.

MaxDefense made a brief summary as a preview of what these companies can do (click on the company names to access their official websites for further information):

1. RADOM Aviation Systems Ltd. (Israel);
2. Singapore Technologies (ST) Aerospace Ltd. (Singapore);
3. Stone of David Tactical Equipment (Philippines);
4. Vector Aerospace (Canada)

Here is a short summary of the said companies, below are MaxDefense' initial information about them:

Radom Aviation Systems Ltd. is an Israeli company, and according to their official website, the company "specializes in upgrade and modernization of military and civil helicopters and aircraft". It has been operating for more than 25 years, and is also said to be capable of supplying platforms that include the UH-1 series. It is worth noting that Radom submitted a bid for the 1st and 2nd earlier attempts for this project, although their 1st bid failed for not satisfying the requirements and lost on the 2nd bid to a US-based company. 

Israel-based Radom Aviation Systems Ltd. specializes in helicopter refurbishing and maintenance, including the UH-1 series.
Photo taken from Radom Aviation website.

ST Aerospace Ltd. is a subsidiary of Singapore Technologies (ST) Engineering. It is said to be one of the world's largest 3rd party aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) provider, and has previous experience in supplying refurbished UH-1H Hueys to the Philippine Air Force in the last decade. It also bought bid documents in previous bid attempts but did not submit a bid for unknown reasons. In their previous supply contract, ST Aerospace used US-sourced UH-1H and refurbished them before delivery to the PAF, so it may do the same this time should it win the bid. ST Engineering was also identified before as interested in supplying the Philippine Navy with 2 new frigates.

Singapore-based ST Aerospace is one of the world's largest MRO service provider, and has experience in supplying refurbished UH-1 helicopters for the PAF.
Photo taken from ST Aerospace website.

Stone of David Tactical Equipment is a Filipino company that specializes in small arms and personal protection gear, but is said to have contacts with foreign defense manufacturers through its mother company, Joavi Philippines Corp., including Israel Shipyards, IMI and others. It has also bought bid documents in the previous bid attempts but did not submit a bid also for unknown reasons. This company has been actively joining bidding programs of the Philippine military for some time now, recently also purchasing the bid documents to supply 2 amphibious transport vessels for the Philippine Navy.

Philippine-based Stone of David Tactical Equipment, has partners in the Israeli defense industries through its mother company, Joavi Philippines Corp.
Photo taken from Joavi Philippines website.

Vector Aerospace is a Canadian company that operates in several countries, and is said to be another leading MRO provider. They claim to have more than 2 decades of support experience for various Bell helicopter models including the UH-1 series. They also offer customizable upgrades program for the UH-1, which is useful considering that the requirement is to include supplying upgraded UH-1 helicopters besides the standard model. It is possible that Radom will use US-sourced UH-1H aircraft should they be chosen by the DND.

Canada-based Vector Aerospace also specializes in refurbishing and upgrade of Bell helicopters including the UH-1 series.
Photo taken from Vector Aerospace' website.

Similar to previous bid attempts, MaxDefense believes that not all 4 prospective bidders may submit a bid, so we expect less than 4 bid submissions by August 30, 2013 deadline. MaxDefense will be closely monitoring any updates regarding the bidding of this project, as this project has already been delayed after several promises by the DND to have the helicopters usable by the last mid-term elections. 

September 9, 2013: 
There were actually 4 more bidders for the Supply of UH-1 project: the 4 others beside those indicated in MaxDefense blog are:

5. Rice Aviation Services (USA) / Eagle Copter Ltd. (Canada) joint venture;
6. Serpenair Group Inc. (Philippines) / Bell Helicopters (USA);

Bid submission and opening date and only 1 bidder, a joint venture of US-based Rice Aviation Services, Inc. and Canada-based Eagle Copter Ltd. submitted a bid. This lone bid was found ineligible after failure to comply on documentation requirements. The DND then announced that they would enter into negotiated bidding with the interested parties.

January 3, 2014:
As posted on MaxDefense @ Facebook page, a notice of award was given to the joint venture of US-based Rice Aircraft Services and Canada-based Eagle Copter. A contract will follow soon. They are required to deliver the 1st batch of helicopters within 6 months or by around June 2014. Rice Aircraft Services-Eagle Copter JV got the contract through a negotiated bid after the bidding for this project failed 3 times in the past. More from the news HERE.

July 4, 2014:
The PAF received its first 4 UH-1 helicopters before the end of June 2014, and was able to present the aircraft during the 67th anniversary celebrations of the PAF. According to DND, 3 more aircraft are expected to arrive this July 2014, and that all 21 units will be delivered before the end of the year. 


  1. Here's the problem, why is the Philippines still using the UH-1, when countries are going to more modern helicopters such as the MI-17, MI-35, MI-28's, KA-50 & KA-27. It makes much more sense to go to Russia and at the same time it can build a creditable military in a hurry.

    1. Here you go. Will i would like you to enlighten someone about this eastern block heli's in which we do have a good example when it comes to this topic. PZL Swidnik (Poland) Sokol helicopter.This is typical eastern block helicopter got certified for already under western standards. The problem really is in the hierarchy of the AFP/DND not in the what ever helicopter itself. Why? noticed something last SONA? The helicopter (SOKOL) is doing well in the field but performing an altered role of VIP and SAR. One reason those VIP's love riding with SOKOL and per request coming from the Palace. Second, some unit already in 505th performing SAR which proven itself as a good platform. The Purpose of this CUH program was for the replacement of the UH-1 but Sokol came in under fire also by the President itself who love riding SOKOL and the helicopter never went to field combat testing evaluation. When the Combat Utility Helcopter (CUH)Program was in limbo already when the President criticized the helicopter. So whose fault is it? The VIP's who loves to ride this thing or the oldies in GHQ/DND that doesn't move on the UH-1 Mentality? Well its up to common people to judge this stupid mentality of the TOP BRASS and Civilian Bad ass inside.

    2. Here's the problem. The UH-1's are getting old and spare parts are starting to get harder and harder to source. Look at the Royal New Zealand Air force. They use to operate UH-1's and are now switching over to NH-90's. It's time that the Philippines do the same thing. Start looking to replace UH-1's with either Blackhawks from America or go to Europe for NH-90's, AgustaWestland AW101 or Russia for MI-17, Mi-35's. It just seems like the Philippines have a massive hard on for western Hardware when they don't realize that some of the western Hardware is going to cost them more than what they are budgeted for. They need to stick to a Budget and go with something that is going to give them more bang for the buck, even if it's Russian gear. Russian's are starting to make gear that is on par with India and western countries.

    3. PZL Swidnik W-3A Sokol was a surprise candidate by that time, given the Philippine Armed Forces was considered to be the one of the avenue of Western Block Suppliers. PZL Swidnik was then a Polish government owned company before it was privatized by the government and brought by Agustawestland which already own a minority share of 6-7% by that time. Swidnik was the lowest bidder for CUH program compared to the Big Classic Corporation that produces same capable utility helicopter considering the tiny amount the CUH Program. Cheap but Robust and very capable. To make the story short, Sokol is a good helicopter but the bruhaha can be summarized to be the fault of DND's part. First, the DND knows the PZL-W3A design was derived from Mi-2 which has a Soviet Block orientation. PZL-W3A design started at the height of Cold War area. Soviet Block helicopters has different approach and manner of operation when it comes to combat insertion and the whole operation itself. Second, the DND personnel was there at the PZL Swidnik Factory for Plant inspection and tour. Therefore, any matter of correction for specification released can be corrected/revised on time before the production started, (they can ask for bigger door version which is present also but that did not happen). Third, Old school officials and officers inside DND/GHQ seems to be under UH-1 drug and is still present up to this given time. This old timers do lack of an eye opener drugs, they know PAF was given a tiny budget for the CUH Program but now complaining about the purchased helicopter.Compared to other nations shelling out hundred million of dollars to a limited number of choppers.

      Before we make comparison of Helicopter unit for this particular program did PAF really graduated on this kind of problem? PAF already suffered the same mistake before on S-76, Was there any commotion by that time? I dont think so, why? Answer: Ahmmmmm. No one even care up to this date why, until a soviet block oriented unit was accepted.

      Lesson here in this CUH program. You will get on what you have paid for. Want a branded goodies share PAF a larger chunk of budget. Thats it. By the way re-educate/rehab those bad asses inside the DND/GHQ because there's no other way to brought them to modern age mentality.

  2. There are advantages & disadvantages of why the PAF are still using UH1 . The important thing is do they benefit more or less in acquiring the Reconditioned UH1.

    The Huey's has been the backbone of the AFP COIN aviation operations for the past 30 years. Which means they are more familiar with the maintenance & flight operations of this aircraft. The UH1 has the largest inventory in their non fixed wing aircraft as well as the western airforce allies in the world which means there would a lot of support from these sources for parts ,supplies & technology. Mixing western & eastern technology will not benefit the PAF at this time because of cost and time . This was also reiterate by Max from a previous topic . These reconditioned Huey will augment their current inventory of CUH in their counter insurgency operations as well as for civil defense during calamities.
    Now for the "cons" the only reason which is justifiable at the current state is the chance for the PAF to actually update its hardware towards the 21 century. Perhaps not with the CUH arena but more for aerial artillery support (gunships) air medivac & SAR helicopters but that would be for a different discussion . A well maintained UH1 will get the job done for ferrying troops in & out from a hot LZ as proven in the past.

  3. geeshhhhh let's get this procurement done and over with lol

    1. Agree!

      I don't know why others try to paint this bad and instead pushing for Russians...

      Its very obvious for me the purpose of these helis that's why they are not new. Their cheap! And usable! And they can buy plenty! And will serve the PAF well!

      What's these fascination about Russians vs UH and why these people think they know better than the PAF?

      Or maybe these people just wants to see Russian hardware upclose? And wants the PAF to buy it for them. Still I don't know why we have a lot of these in forums thinking they possess all internet knowledge that would solve our military modernization problems. Get real!


  4. Back in1940 1950 early 1960 US sell to us jets coz at that time there is no insurgency. US is very sensitive about there military hardware being use in mass killing. Thats why US prefere to retire their F4 PHANTOM JET AND F14 TOMCAT JET instead of selling it to us.
    So my analysis is this US wont sell us weapons for internal conflict they might sell us weapon for external defense. So we buy to russia weapons for internal conflicts insurgency like attack helicopters utility choppers armored persomel carrier main battle tank assault rifles

    1. i agree but our politicians and some generals are idiots.

  5. Sorry to be off topic but with the current situation in the west where the U.S. is supposedly ready to strike against Syria regardless of Russia and China's opposition towards this move, are we in any danger of hostile action from China? or from Russia via China and NoKor?

    And how does China fit into this conflict in Syria anyway? What reason does China have to oppose NATO aggression against Syria other than just because Russia is opposing it too? Unlike Russia, Chinese economy will not be affected by Syria's downfall whatsoever.

    I'm just worried that China might do something stupid here in the far east just to alleviate some of the attention from the west. It doesn't have to be something major but probably just probing attacks or some "misfire" incident..

  6. Great blog! The information you provide is quiet helpful. Tactical Supply RealCat Arms – Guns, Ammunition, and Accessories.

  7. seriously we need attack helicopters.

    1. and use them against greed politicians.

    2. hahaha..great comment you got there.. yes.. we should first "attack" greed politicians in our country..

  8. The country should revive the Huey II upgrade program. It's cheap, at 2004, the price is $3M per aircraft. Considering inflation at 5% per year, it brings the price to still less than $5M per piece. Work can be done here meaning more jobs and expertise developed and preserved. It's very cost effective, in terms of operational and maintenance cost and overall investment. It's proven, PAF pilots are familiar with the system, and we have a lot of Hueys which can be converted into one. It's payload has been increased and it can transport more than 10 people plus crew. And it suits the PAF's requirement. The PAF will basically get an almost brand new and modern aircraft with the upgrade.

  9. Let's see 20 refurbished UH-1's for $28 million USD or 5 Huey II's for the same price. That's a tough one.

  10. how about equipping the hueys with UH-1B Armaments to Blow The hell Out Of Mindanao and focus on getting their hands on the US-Made Apaches?

  11. Does anybody know of somebody interested to buy 5 Huey Bell 205 UH-1H helicopters from South Africa. 3 Normal and 2 Super Huey's

  12. Does anybody know of someone interested to buy 5 Bell 205 UH-1H Huey helicopters. 3 Normal and 2 Super Hueys from South Africa

    1. Hi Lorencia, no word regarding a South African offer except for a possibility of looking at its AW109 LUH.

  13. Updates are posted for January 3, 2014. Please see above. Thanks.


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