Friday, September 6, 2013

Is the Philippine Navy experiencing fund shortage for it's new frigate program?

The cancellation of the option to purchase a third Hamilton-class WHEC from the US Coast Guard was announced by the Department of National Defense (DND) last week. Although this was not new since there was already an earlier announcement, the reason this time is different from the first.

Background:
Initially the DND decided to forego the purchase of another Hamilton-class vessel after it decided to instead use the ship purchase budget for capability upgrade for the 2 ships already in Philippine Navy (PN) service. These are the BRP Gregorio del Pilar (PF-15) and BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PF-16), both were stripped of their surface and air search radars, close in weapons systems, electronic surveillance measures (ESM) systems, tactical air navigation (TACAN) system, and other essential equipment before handing-over to the PN. The PN then installed new systems including additional light guns, a new commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) navigation and search radar, a new command and control suit with link with the Coast Watch System, VSAT and new satellite communications equipment and an Electronic Surveillance Measures (ESM) system. But the ships are still short on combat and surveillance capabilities, and the PN is contemplating of installing surveillance and combat systems that will increase the ship's war-fighting capabilities. But nothing much was done on this plan.


MaxDefense expected the USCGC Rush (WHEC-723) as possibly the 3rd PN WHEC.
Photo taken from USCG website.

Surprisingly the DND shifted back to the original plan of getting a 3rd Hamilton-class ship from the US, without mention of anything about the upgrade plan for the two ships already with the PN. This plan was also against earlier DND and PN statements on policy against buying "second-hand"ships, which according to them sealed the Maestrale-class frigate purchase plan's fate.

But again the new announcement to cancel the purchase of a 3rd WHEC is now directed on diverting the ship purchase budget to support the existing Php 18 billion budget for the PN's project for 2 brand new frigates.


Comparable Projects:
Previously MaxDefense brought out the issue of budgeting for the new frigates since there are doubts on what the PN can get based on comparable foreign warship project costs. For those unfamiliar with earlier MaxDefense blogs, please see these earlier posts for reference:

An In-Depth Look at the Philippine Navy Frigate Program of 2013
http://maxdefense.blogspot.com/2013/05/an-in-depth-look-at-philippine-navy.html

and

Proposed Designs Offered for the Philippine Navy Frigate Program 2013
http://maxdefense.blogspot.com/2013/05/proposed-designs-offered-for-philippine.html

Looking back on those previous assessments, it already shows that the PN budget is way lower than those of comparable regional frigate projects. MaxDefense provided some examples, but let us take another stab on the costing of the exemplified ships with the closest cost as the PN budget, as an update from last time:

Damen Schelde Shipbuilding's SIGMA-class
Based on earlier MaxDefense blogs, the Indonesian PKR Project based on Damen Schelde's SIGMA 10514 platform has the closest allocated budget as the PN at $220 million. But there are some information indicating that the Indonesian PKR SIGMA 10514 cost may only cover the hull, and the ship's mechanical and integral electronics systems plus technology transfer, and actual cost may reach closer to $280 million if including weapons and sensors. Also, the contract between Damen Schelde and Royal Moroccan Navy for 3 SIGMA ships (2 SIGMA 9813 version and 1 SIGMA 10513 version) was said to have cost $816 million as of 2008, or around $272 million per ship average although the 10513 version is expected to be more expensive than the shorter 9813 version due to the addition of an additional segment. Take note that the Indonesian PKR is slightly larger than those for Morocco.


Projected SIGMA 10514 frigate for Indonesia's PKR project.


Latest offer of Damen Schelde to Vietnam for 2 corvettes based on SIGMA 9814 was quoted by IHS Janes to probably reach $668 million, or $334 million per ship average, with one probably to be built in Vietnam and the entire contract may include technology transfer clauses.

(Note: The Damen Schelde SIGMA class is classified by a unique numbering system. The first 2 or 3 numbers signifies the length and the last 2 numbers signifying the beam, all in meters. Example: Indonesia's PKR based on 10514 means it is 105m length and 14m beam. Morocco's 10513 is 1m narrower than Indonesia's PKR.)

Hyundai Heavy Industry's Incheon-class:
Earlier information indicated that the price for the initial Incheon-class frigate for the Republic of Korea Navy (RoKN) costed $106.5 million for the hull made by Hyundai and a total cost of $232 million for the entire ship. It is still unclear if this includes Integrated Logistics Support (ILS) packages that is required by the DND/PN, and if Hyundai may opt for selected pricing premium for foreign clients like the Philippine Navy. It is expected that the amount does not include any form of technology transfer, although it is believed that the PN and DND are after this incentive.


Korea's Incheon-class frigate.

MaxDefense now expects the Philippine-offer price of the RoKN-standard Incheon-class frigate to be nearer to $250-$280 million. But the PN may always opt to remove certain items that may not be required, like RoKN-specific systems, and the land attack cruise missile Hyunmoo-3 option. The PN may also opt to replace some more-expensive systems with cheaper ones, like the installation of an OTO Melara 76mm Super Rapid gun instead of the larger and more expensive BAE 127mm Mk. 45 Mod. 4 gun.


So is there a funding shortage?

MaxDefense believes that the PN and DND may have found out that the budget they allocated for the 2 new frigates is not enough to get what they specified the ships to be capable of doing. MaxDefense sources say that the budget is already very tight as it is, and has not much allowance for the PN for additional systems that they may have overlooked. It is worth noting that the DND and PN already added Php 6 billion to the original Php 12 billion allocated for the 2 used Maestrale-class frigates without increasing the Php 75 billion allocated by the government for the Revised AFP Modernization Law for the first 5 years. 

Not only is the budget small, but it is also getting smaller everyday with the value of the Philippine Pesos falling against the US Dollar. The Php 18 billion budget for the frigate program was crafted early this year and was based on an exchange rate of $1 = Php42 ($214 million = Php 9 billion). Presently the exchange rate is around $1 = Php44.5 ($202 million = Php 9 billion), with the Peso down by more than 6% from its value a few months ago, and is still expected to fall in the next few months. It is expected that foreign shipbuilders and system providers will ask payment in US Dollars, and the PN has already lost $12 million per ship due to the declining value of the Peso.



Take note the exchange rate posted by MaxDefense on May 2, 2013 is at $1=Php41.19, while on September 6, 2013 is at $1=Php44.49, a sharp 7.5% fall of peso value already.
Photos taken from MaxDefense blog (top) and Bloomberg website (below).

Opinions and Options:
There are many ways to skin a cat, so they say. And MaxDefense sees three options for the Philippine government to solve this concern:

1. Increase budget allocation for the purchase of new frigate, to meet the budget as specified by the PN's frigate requirements.

This is actually the best solution, but the hardest to attain. The Philippine government may use Executive-sourced funding (so-called "Presidential Pork Barrel") like Fund 151 or Malampaya Special Account, which has been done before to fund AFP-related projects like the purchase of Hamilton-class cutters. There is even a growing consensus on both the government and private sector to use the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF, aka "Pork Barrel") to boost modernization of the entire AFP, so if that happens this might be another source of funding.



An infographic from ABS-CBN shows what Php 10 billion from Legislative PDAF can do for the AFP (photo shows only for PN). Such amount could have given the PN enough room for improvements on the new frigate requirement.
Photo taken from ABS-CBN News website.

In some way, the cancellation of the 3rd Hamilton-class ship was another way to increase funding, this time by realignment of defense project priorities. MaxDefense does not see this as a good option, as we support the purchase of more Hamilton-class ships that are made available for the PN.


2. Avail of soft-loans offered by specific countries like South Korea to fund the ship's purchase.

There were reportedly standing offers for the Philippine government to avail soft loans, the most well-known is the offer from South Korea to avail their goods. Although a downside is the limitations to using that to buy the specific country's products, these countries have likely a strong defense industry and wide product range that the PN or the entire AFP can choose from. The only problem with this is President Aquino's previous statement from SONA 2013 of not availing loans that will become a problem of the next administration.


3. Remove or reduce expensive line items within the frigate program for separate budgeting, but building the ship to be fitted for but not with these items.

This is a common practice for military systems either to save on costs, or if a new technology still under development is expected to be placed on a certain platform. On our case it's the obviously the former. The PN may opt to build the frigate hull according to their expected capability, plus all the important items that will enable the ship to be minimally capable. Some major line items that can be separated are the surface-to-air missile systems, half of the expected anti-ship missile numbers, torpedo systems, anti-ship missile hard kill systems, and one of two possible sonar systems. 

These can already reduce the cost of the ship by around 30%-50%, and can be purchased separately should funding be available. The PN is familiar with this concept and is actually a policy for their purchase of Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV), which has the option to be heavily armed in case of crisis or emergencies.


The Gregorio del Pilar-class frigates are actually examples of "fitted for but not with" ships. They have the capability to accept additional weapons and sensors when needed.
Photo taken from Philippine Embassy in Washington DC website.

A fourth option is possible, that is for the PN to decrease the specified requirements of the new frigate, either by decreasing its size, reducing the capability, or both, effectively making the ship more of a corvette or OPV rather than a frigate. But MaxDefense does not recommend this option at all as it does not make sense to do such option if the PN believes that they really need a frigate and not a smaller or less capable vessel.

143 comments:

  1. I think the Avante 1800 fits the budget.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. look's like the DND aiming to purchase 3 incheon's for me :D

      Delete
    2. The budget is not even enough for 2 Incheons. How did you come up with 3?

      Delete
    3. HAHAHA ,Max i read your blog again about the price of sigma and incheon ,, if the budget is not enough to buy 2 incheon ,, i think we need to go for 3 maestrale hahaha .. this will be good plan also hahahaa .

      Delete
    4. Buy a design of a frigate, and or design our own. This way we'd be reducing the costs of development costs charged by a foreigner. Yes of course we don't probably have an experienced local shipbuilding company which can design a frigate. But what we can do is hire engineers abroad to design here with the help of local engineers. Costs of the actual ship will be lessened etc.

      Or we can just hire Austral Philippines and ask them to design for us a 200M USD per ship aluminum or steel 100M long or longer, missiles and shit as long as it fits the budget with the specific tools of the trade we want. May not be a platform which already has passed sea trials if it floats and considered blue water cap its good enough for the PN having used old ships since the time of Marcos who despite having all the money in the world never even bought a frigate in 20 freaking years,

      Delete
    5. Not as simply that, you must consider designing cost for a whole new brand project actually is very costly and time consuming. Look at FREMM project and Horizonte project, you can compare the actual prices to design a new warships from the scratch. And Phil. sorry to say doesn't any capability at the moment to build such sophisticated modern Warships like SIGMA or La Fayette class.

      Delete
    6. If only for the hull, there is a strong chance that shipbuilders in the Philippines can build it. The problem would always be the weapons and sensor systems, plus the integration as there is no local experience on this matter.

      Delete
    7. Why not just get 2nos of OHP which has been offered to Philippines before.Taiwan is buying 2 Nos at USD 20 Million a piece and either overhaul the Gas Turbine or fit new Diesel Engine and provide additional armaments /missile system Fitting a new diesel engine to replace one of the gas turbine and overhaul the rest of the gas turbine engines and overhaul/retrofit the frigates are more cost effective and almost new which cost an additional 25 -30 Million each OHP .The total amount would not be more than USD 50 Milllion (including the tag price of USD 20 Million) each .This will cost our country USD 100 Million as against USD 400 Million. The savings can be used for the operational expenses (fuel and maintenance for the two frigates for the 10 years)

      Delete
    8. This is the problem for us filipino if we really want that our country is to be self reliant and also, that our own economy will benefits from it we need to add additional cost to every defense platform that we are acquiring so that to promote creating a job for the filipino not for the foreign country. As I understand bas on our modernization law it must our country to benefit from it for this $1.8B modernization program. Is a wake up call to our leaders. Hwag naman tipirin ang investment sa isang defense platform na ang makikinabang ay ibang bansa. Maraming filipino na walang trabaho. What do you think sir max nasan yung sinasabi na pagka nationalism dito?

      Delete
  2. As i have said time and time again maestrale frigate is the best choice under our financial circumtances.

    ReplyDelete
  3. sa simula plng alm n nila n kulang pera para s 2 frigates kaya lng puro cla press release pampa pogi kesyo bibili nito bibili non pra lang me maibalita s mga kababayan natin. dapat naghanap n agad ng source for additional funds so that the frigate program moves on immediately. too much delays can cause our country an unimmaginable fate in the future.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Therr are many possible funding sources, the thing is, does the government want to increase the AFP's budget allocation as a whole? It's easy for them to allocate money to bogus NGO's but not with legitimate government organizations like the DND and AFP.

      Delete
    2. It all boils down to one. POLITICAL WILL. Bangladesh for example, we are superior to them in terms of GDP but their military might is far more capable than ours. People have this nature that a certain thing will not happen until it's already there.

      Delete
    3. feel sad today..if only i could get my hands on those politicians?..arrr!!!

      Delete
    4. I agree its really about "POLITICAL WILL" and I also agree that the problem with PH government is that they press release it first then wait for it to materialize just like the request for the EDA F-16's from the US and the Maestrale-class frigate.

      Delete
    5. para makatip gumamit na lang ng canyon kawayan.....

      Delete
  4. does the DND have a thinktank or they just thinkblank?? sorry folks im just getting impatient on the very slow progress of our afp modernization.maybe when the time comes when those aquisitions arrived...they r not modern anymore?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The DND can't even procure 21 USED choppers. sigh** I mean gosh, were they not thinking? considering the bid failed multiple times? Obviously, the problem lies with the DND not the bidders
      -.-

      Delete
    2. very well said. those people just keep on thinking, planning, bidding and what? nothings happening. maybe Pnoy should should use his emergency power to fast track those planned acquisitions.

      Delete
  5. Very well said but i think the Italians would not listen to Filipinos again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Business is business, even the Germans who got burned with the NAIA3 PIATCO deal is still trying to get deals with the Philippine government. That's why you can still see Fincantieri offering their goods to the DND because they are still trying their luck even after failing on the Maestrale deal.

      Delete
    2. Simple max, if no additional budget in my humble opinion is to go for corvett with ILS for operational sustainment and place this platform on strategic location where support maintenance is available during operation and really our gov't go for frigate it must allot additional budget.We just not buying a platform how the sustainment for long term?

      Delete
  6. Like what i had posted here before, the budget for the ssv should have been given to the frigates. We lose scarborough shoal already but the navy and the CIC still doesnt know what to prioritize. Hoy pnoy asan na sinabi mong ihanda na ang mga daungan at paparating na ang ating mga makabagong barkong pandigma.

    ReplyDelete
  7. In 2014, I believe DND's budget will rise ~10B pesos from 2013. Also, the US will grant PH an extra $20 million next year. Maybe funding for the frigates can be taken from those.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The DND budget has always been allocated for its day-to-day operations, not for purchase of new items or modernization of its assets. Even that budget is not enough to fund operation for dozens of MRF. The US aid is not for asset modernization but more for training and budget for exercises.

      Delete
    2. ahh..?the US giving alms to their long time ally. i just understand why they are treating us like this????,

      Delete
  8. 2 facts of afp modernization
    -too slow
    -not enough money

    ReplyDelete
  9. Can you tell us how the Indonesians, Thailand, Malaysia and most specifocally Vietnam fund their considerable military acquistions?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How? They allocate enough budget to it. Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam give importance to military because of their circumstances. Thailand and Vietnam have strong military history while Malaysia has strong will and pride to not bow down to anyone after being threatened before by the Philippines and Indonesia. Vietnam can easily allocate funds to the military because they are a communist country. Indonesia only started recently thanks to their president, former Army General Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, and with their vision of leadership of ASEAN. The Philippines? It's up to you to assess.

      Delete
    2. hello MR. max...

      i am the one who criticized you before...

      did you remember my post...and what I'm telling you before???? GOVT. AND DND ARE ALL PLANNING.....NO ACTION


      PLAN PLAN PLAN.....and the last result...SHORT of FUND


      YOU AND SOME READERS talking here and planning what is best for our AFP modernization.!(saying..)is better to buy like this...is better to buy like that..!! (WHICH is GOOD but FUNNY right..?)


      Our government have no plan(95% percent)to modernized our AFP, ( One-1) of some reason:



      (DID it ever crossed your mind this reason..?)

      US bases will operate again in our country.(reality and facts.)THAT'S WHY THEY DON'T HAVE THE (FULL WILL)
      to equipt. the AFP.!



      we will keep DREAM DREAM DREAM.....DREAM DREAM DREAM...

      (ANG lyrics ng PHIL. ANTHEME natin ngaun!!!!!)


      hindi na ANG MAMATAY NG DAHIL SAYO...KUNGDI.......


      ANG MAHIMATAY SA KAHIHIYAN NG DAHIL SA CORRUPT GOVT. NGAUN........
















      Delete
    3. Hi. Ok lets try to dissect this:
      1. What is your intention?
      2. What do you want to happen?
      3. What do you want MaxDefense to do?

      I want to know this first because I don't know anything about what you want except that you are ranting at the wrong tree.

      Delete
    4. what i want?? as i say to you before...we(readers)including you!!are still dreaming for what is better for AFP modernization...

      my intention is:

      use your blog to criticized them(Govt.& DND)i know you have source: and ask them..in all the years of your life why until now they don't have the full will to equipt. the AFP.(despite of what happening in our country specially territorial conflict) and why they keep planning to buy like this etc.( equipment that they don't have the source or exact budget.)and later on they will say...we are out of budget!

      1. it should be:

      allocate the budget first before announcing the plan.( ganun ba talaga kabobo ang gobyerno?)so that they will not looking foooooooLs or liaaaaaaaaar.

      what i want to happen? and what MaxDefense to do!

      1. get their attention while enlightening us of your suggestion.

      yes! i know that I'm far away of your topic...but i hate to read dreaming comments...


      Delete
    5. lol! good retort Max! -buboy.

      Delete
    6. First of all, this blog wad made with an intention to provide opinions on different defense issues, and provide information (up to my capability and limitations) about the AFP Modernization and other defense issues in the Philippines and the region. If the intention of this blog is just to criticize, then MaxDefense won't be as successful as it is now. There are different channels for such criticisms and MaxDefense is also involved on those groups and means, probably contributing more than you have ever done.

      Although I want the AFP to get what they deserve, it is out of my hands on how they should decide and go forth although my opinions are always welcome for the decision makers to hear out. Do you really think this blog does nothing to help? Have you read between the lines on all the blogs posted here @ MaxDefense? The point that people read and know what is happening is already something MaxDefense is thankful since the readers are empowered to know, and make their decisions on what is happening. It is a small contribution by MaxDefense but is better than doing nothing.

      To point out your comments, yes there is a budget everytime they announce a project. The Php75 billion was placed and the AFP planned their purchases according to the budget.

      Delete
    7. The delays in the AFP upgrade is not the lack of budget but because of how they release the budget, and how the process is done. I believe one of our commenters have explained this as well (yes readers, your comments are also much appreciated in MaxDefense).

      As for getting the attention, it is happening slowly but surely. I believe you have seen several Philippine news reports pointing to MaxDefense and Max Montero as the source or giving points of view. There are people inside DND, AFP and national government who have heard the public's call to immediately upgrade and they are trying their best to get through the red tape of the entire process.

      Delete
    8. to paraphrase what budget sec. butch abad said on the news - it isnt the money which is the problem but how the dnd and afp goes about planning and procuring the necessary materials. it seems these institutions are going through growing pains in procuring items in a professional, efficient and transparent way.... another effect of the martial law legacy that pervades even decades after it ended. And to further confound it is the 'shock' of coming face to face with the state of the art in military technology after decades being in the 'stone' age.

      Delete
  10. 2 maestrale frigate is worth 12 billion so 5 billion remaining in 18 billion budget use it to buy addition upgrade like phalanx ciws one for each maestrale or electro optic remote operated gun each one or two.

    ReplyDelete
  11. hi max , who do you think will win in this bidding ?? i think that the south korea is the best choice we have . plus we already purchase 12 jets to them , maybe they can cut the price :D . but still business is business for korea i think :D

    -Renzo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. those jets is still on the process. lets cross our fingers..

      Delete
    2. MaxDefense opinion is to cancel bidding, and go for negotiations with the Koreans. This is to cut time, and get the best deal. Anyway the budget is already there and it's quite tight so there's probably less chance that the bidders will go way lower than Php 18 billion.

      Delete
    3. Most of us have been (keen) observers on both local and international defense procurement, and it's really a frustratingly long process.

      Moreover, bidding has become a 'necessary evil' for this admin to retain it's full transparency level. However, this has dragged all acquisition process.

      Also, there are observations that this admin is very hesitant on 'pulling the triggers' on big ticket items.

      All currently on-going and processed bids were funded by previously released allotments (NHAP, AHAP, SSV, UH-1). No SARO on new items had been observed, yet. Big ticket items would also need MYOA from DBM, so to DBM -- show us your commitment.

      Delete
    4. Hi 49r, frustrating, isn't it? If you go for bidding, it looks transparent but it delays everything, so delayed that it feels stagnant. You go for negotiated deals, it would be faster but the public doubts and accuse you. Then here's the PDAF issue, drums beating loud for reforms. Bad timing for upgrade programs for the military.

      Delete
    5. Max , i have a idea but please analyse/correct it ,, the incheon is the cheapest and better frigate in the bidding ,, some of them are corvette like avante and sigma ,, the philippine navy have a large number of corvette in their fleet but it's not that modern like avante ,,
      1. the PN have 9 corvette in their fleet , those corvette can be upgraded to have torpedo tubes to become ati submarine and just add CIWS for defense .
      2. if the DND change their mind and purchase the 3rd cutter , we can also upgrade these cutters to match modern frigate's of other countries
      3. let's have a govt. to govt. deal to korea like what they did in FA-50s , the korean's sold their weapons cheaper like russia and stronger like US .,
      if you see any bad side in my idea please correct me

      -RENZO

      Delete
    6. @Renzo -- not Max, but I'll try to provide some answers.
      #1. PN doesn't technically have 'corvettes', but offshore patrol vessels. Aside from hull sizes and displacement, it's the electronics and sensors -- radars and sonars; propulsion systems and weapons that define functionality and capability of ships. Currently we have 3 Jacintos, which are the most modern (circa 1980s), 6 WWII-PCE's and 2 WWII Auk-MSF -- both classes with old WWII weapons. All three classes, however, are devoid of mid and long range air and surface radars, as well as sonars. Additional upgrading/investment on the WWII ships doesn't really makes much sense anymore since their hulls and engines/speed are no longer suited for modern combat.

      What would really be interesting is for DND/PN to negotiate in the acquisition and hot transfer of at least a couple of Pohang corvettes at friendly prices, to cover some capability gaps while waiting for the delivery of the new-builds. The Pohangs have weapons that matches that of the del Pilars, and already have anti-submarine capabilities -- sonar and weapons, although only has about a third of its range, and has no helicopter operations capability.

      It would also be an interest for South Korea to see a stable PHL because of the amount of investment and number of its citizens already in our country.

      #2. The earliest that another WHEC would be available for us (if we will be interested again) -- is late 2014; which could only arrive locally in mid-2015.

      #3. G2G deals are only allowed when the supplier-gov't agencies do the direct warranty support. However, for the light frigate project, it looks like individual shipbuilder/integrator will be the main supplier -- thus the need of going thru bidding process, per our procurement law. In case of the del Pilars, it was a G2G transaction, since it's the US Coast Guard that provided the equipment, and not a commercial entity.


      So many requirements -- so limited budget.

      Delete
    7. Well said 49r, thanks for the catch.

      Delete
    8. Hey Max i made another research ,, and looks like they going to purchase the incheon class it's still not sure but it have a high percentage that the incheon will win ,, if its worth 250-270 million USD each with fully armed incheon ,, we have a budget of 18.9 biilion (435 USD) ,, the hamilton price was 570 million pesos (13 million USD) ,, with this price we can purchase the 2 fully armed incheon class . the DND will really need to dropped the another cutter to complete the price ,, i'm sure that the DND won't buy the avante 1800 because it is a corvette and not fit for our navy ... but it is still possible ..

      -Renzo

      Delete
    9. Sir Max I don't agree with direct negotiations with South Korea is their weapon, missile, torpedo and other defense equipment is war proven technology? It is better to buy these war equipment with proven track record and also many countries using such proven designed technologies for long term logistic sustainment.

      Delete
  12. Maybe the PN should put up an "NGO" or a "Foundation" and then they can ask for funding from our honorable congressmen and senators?! That is an easy way to get " funding" ( wink?! Wink?! )

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm also thinking of that as a business when I go back in the Philippines. Hehehe just joking.

      Delete
  13. The PN should have opted to buy the 2nd hand Maestrale frigates, considering the current financial and security situaions of the country. These DND-PN officials are so frickle-minded that they don't know what to do with their modernization program. Poor PH in case of war, they will be led by these people with "atras-abante" mindset.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The case of the Maestrale was already discussed here several times. The navy and government could not agree to the Italian's proposal, so a no deal happened.

      Delete
  14. i say get a 3rd whec or (slash the budget of paf for fighter jets)get SHIPS. upgrade the paf ground attack capabilities(helicopters) then military to combat internal problems, hampering growth. abusayaf/npa. night attack helicopters. please also update us on PAF.

    ReplyDelete
  15. bket hindi isakay ke lolo humabon mga pulitiko n kontra s modernisasyon ng afp tapos lumayag s wps para mkita nila tunay n sitwasyon dun. tapos iwanan s gitna ng dagat pra d mkabalik. namputs cla.. kainisss

    ReplyDelete
  16. Shit nman puro kang pla cla yabang.hanggang ngayun wla pa.tanggalin na kc pork barrel nila.pambili ng mga equipment ntin at kung sakaling matuloy man ang pagbili d2 sa Pilipinas gawin ang mga war ship na yan at ng makatulong sa mga kababayan natin wag nyo na unahin commission nyo.

    ReplyDelete
  17. The problem is the afp is ranting too much about modernization and yet doesn't have an idea on what it wants. another thing is that the present administration is too cautious on deals, being afraid of being investigated by the next admin who may not be amicable to them.I find it funny to see the credentials of a lot of officers in the afp, most of them have foreign military training and yet it seem they doesn't have an idea of what modernization is all about. it is way much better to follow blogs like this rather than check the dnd website.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You won't find anything amusing in the DND or AFP websites, except for the supplemental bid documents that give us hints of what's coming up.

      That's what I am also confused with. If the current administration is sure that they are clean as they claim, then I don't see a problem of them doing things faster.

      Delete
  18. Max, which one would you rather have? More presence or better capabilities?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Max, IMO, and let me read between the lines because I read your articles. Maybe, if it were me, I put domain awareness first and foremost, then more presence initially (but not to overdo this presence) and fewer but more capable platforms. We cannot and should not counter China's aggression by mere numbers. We will never achieve that in our lifetime. What we need (and I believe, we don't lack) great military theorist that can take advantage of China's weakness. (what we lack are actually systems applications to realize those theories). Meaning, we will develop options that China will have difficulty defending against. Make them blink first before they do anything. We can look to our neighbors. I'm looking at Vietnam (the submarines as a deterrent) and, maybe a mobile standoff weapon deep inland projecting towards sea (India Brahmos (if it works) - or SK, tomahawks derivatives modified for anti-ship and supersonic speed).
      ---
      Domain awareness already started with Coast Watch but my inside info says its very limited (short-range 50nm effective and 80nm at ideal situation - cooperative targets and weather permits). Maybe a few will be long range (200nm and above) and the initial ones are just gap fillers.
      ---
      The reason I think we should prioritize domain awareness is we need to efficiently deploy ships to optimize presence with the few we have. Even with the few we have, if they are where they are supposed to be, then its a well placed assets. Unlike even if we got more but they are spread thinly and randomly, most of the efforts would be wasted on areas that may not need their presence.

      -- buboy

      Delete
    2. Hi Buboy & Max,

      I'm in agreement regarding operational presence and maritime surveillance / domain awareness. However, even with our limited assets, this should not have preclude us from doing mid-shore patrol. These, coupled with airborne MarPat, would help in putting better situational awareness in place.

      I'm have observed that most of our capable ships (Tenix56, Jacinto, del Pilar, even the Auk/PCE/Humabon) are more in port or in different AOR; rather than doing extended patrol. Is there a standing order or that MOOE budget is limited ? :tongue-in-cheek:

      Delete
    3. Not to bring down the morale of the rank and file in AFP but I am aware of the "operations" on some of these allocated fuels. Even aircraft fuel is "leaked" to officers cars or those with connections. The ships fuels are "leaked" directly to the pockets. -- buboy

      Delete
    4. 49r this is a thing that I'm also trying to solve, why the ships are at port most of the time. If that is the case, then how can we justify the need for high endurance ships if they only stay for more than a week at sea. The only thing I was able to get is control of GOL budget. Other than that, maybe you have some leads?

      Delete
  19. What is happening right now are bound to happen because of the tide of times. The overwhelming task to modernize the military , budget allocations and the current political dilemma of the country . These are all the reasons why the government thru the people should do a lot of soul searching on how they can make a change starting with the right "attitude ". Countries like Israel , South Korea , Singapore & Malaysia are at one point on their history had to achieve greater deeds against insurmountable odds thru sacrifices & patriotism . Now is the time , with a good economy on our side , no more compromise let us all take one path ,one goal . The government leaders should initiate thru sacrificing their personal interest for a common interest be an example abide be an influence so the people may follow . If I could only grab a moment of their time and redirect them to "The Book of Joshua " perhaps it could give them a better perspective on the challenges that lies ahead of them. I I believe in the power of prayer , the Philippine being a Christian country should invoke on this, if every Filipino would pray for the common good of the country perhaps we can find the "change " that we are looking for.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Which is why PN should forget about getting frigates and work on getting the 3rd Hamilton cutters. They are clearly showing that PN is rushing too fast for a Frigate and need serious time on the Hamilton class Cutters before they get a Multi Role frigate. They need to work on the cutters before working on a frigate. What they need to do with the Hamilton cutters is buy them all and upgrade them to Light frigate standards such as the Almirante Padilla-class frigate and the Kasturi-class frigate

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agreed PN should just get the 3rd Hamilton Frigate and just improve the weapon system of other WHEC that it has, and come to realization that the budget they allocated is really short to buy a brand new fully capable and armed frigate.

      Delete
    2. Nice comment Jendrich. But the DND has reached that point, that is why they are scrapping money off other projects. Getting additional funding for the frigates will be more difficult because only $5 Billion was released in next year's budget for afp modernization instead of the expected $15 Billion. :)

      http://www.senate.gov.ph/press_release/2013/0814_legarda1.asp

      Delete
    3. ***5 Billion pesos

      Delete
    4. Nicky, it appears that the PN won't be getting a WHEC soon even if they did not cancel an acquisition for another one. Recent USCG reports say that only 1 WHEC is for decommissioning on 2014, the USCGC Gallatin, which was already offered to the Nigerians together with a research vessel. 2015 will be the earliest the PN can get a WHEC, and it would probably only be commissioned to the PN as early as late 2015 or early 2016. That may have been 1 reason why they just diverted the budget to supplement the new frigate budget.

      Delete
    5. Jendrich, MaxDefense believes that the PN must not abandon any plan to purchase another WHEC. If there is no available WHEC next year and the PN diverted the funds, they should re-allocate budget for a 3rd WHEC should there be an available unit from the USCG.

      Delete
    6. Max, I agree PN should purchase another WHEC if another becomes available, but I want to know what is the real restriction US has imposed on arming the WHEC, does PH really have to ask permission for US congress on arming the WHEC with missile? and only US made weapons can be equipped on it? because the reports are confusing some says PH it has to ask US congress, some says if don't need to.

      Delete
    7. If you look at how much a used or Brand new Frigate cost these days. PN is priced out of the market unless they can make a deal on a frigate. Even India was able to buy a Talwar class frigate, which is a Kirvak III based design for $3 Billion dollars. if PN can make the same deal as the Indians, maybe then they can get a Talwar class frigate or a Kirvak III based frigate design.

      Delete
    8. Max, the US Govt gives military aid to the Phil. They just increased it to $50mil/year. The aid stipulates, It can only be spent for acquisitions and maintenance. The WHEC is given free. We only have to pay for the refurbishment. It could be $10mil or it could be $15mil. The $50mil is available. Why would they not be able to acquire a 3rd WHEC.

      Ossie...

      Delete
    9. @Anonym - The 2014 GAA proposal does have the additional P10B for AFP Mod, except probably Sen Legarda was confused on why it is placed on the unprogrammed funds instead of being a line item in DND's budget.

      The two Malaysia Kasturi are undergoing Service Life Extension Program (SLEP) awarded in 2009 with a budget of RM703.823 million (about $225M). The program is to be completed next year. That is about equivalent to the amount that would have been allocated for the cancelled two Maestrales. Five years from award to program completion!

      The four Colombian FS-1500 (Alm Padilla class) had a limited upgraded of new engines, radars and sensors and Strales upgrade for the Oto Melara 76mm compacto. Cost of upgrade -- about $31.5M per unit. Sixteen Anti-Ship Missiles and systems from South Korea (Lig NEX1) are being procured for $90M.


      Delete
    10. Hi Jendrich Goson, this is actually a tricky part of the deal, we don't know exactly if there is a stipulation of such restriction was included in the deal. There is no clear news either if Bangladesh was allowed to install Chinese systems on BNS Somudro Joy, while NNS Thunder did not undergo upgrades like what our Gregorio del Pilar-class had. But I don't see any problem if we request for US-manufactured equipment since these items are not restricted technology as long as we can pay. Too bad if there is such restrictions since we could always go to another supplier to get cheaper alternatives like Israeli, Europe and Korea.

      Delete
    11. Nicky, there are indications that the budget allocated by the DND/PN is not enough, but only needs a little more additional funding to cover for the lack of it and continued depreciation of the peso. I indicated in the blog my estimates for the Incheon-class and even the SIGMA for cross-comparison, and this is just actually a few examples of many other cases. Since the budget for the frigates are already maxed-out by the entire 5-year modernization budget, the Philippine government just need to top-up the budget more, but not be from the budget to acquire a 3rd WHEC but by using another source like special funding.

      Delete
    12. If PN wants a Frigate, then they need to take a page from India and look at buying a Talwar class frigate from Russia. The Indians paid $1.6bn dollars for their Talwar Class frigates. That's affordable, if the US helps you buy them. Maybe make a deal with India on the LCA in return for a group buy on the Talwar class frigate. That way you have the Hamilton cutters as light frigates and the Talwar frigates as your multi role frigates

      Delete
  21. 2 maestrale frigate is worth 12 billion so 5 billion remaining in 18 billion budget use it for additional upgrade like phalanx ciws 1 each maestrale or electro optic remote operated gun systen 1 or two each maestrale

    ReplyDelete
  22. I wish we the people and our govt have the will to take what's rightfully ours, Sabah. In what ever means possible. malaysia does not deserve a piece of oil rich land, simple given to them by the British. I fully support the actions os the Sulu sultanate to recover Sabah.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Di ba pwede pay them with the budget that we have and the balance thru soft loans or installments sa gadgets pwede Baka naman sa big ticket items pwede din?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why not just include the entire program on a soft loan, and use the budget the navy allocated for the project for another ship acquisition project.

      Delete
    2. The problem about soft loans, mayroon catch yan besides long repayment period mayroon colateral katulad na lang ng $4 billion soft loan ng Chinks sa Angola in 2004 to help build their infrastructure and in return Angola government gave Chinks a stake in Oil exploration off the coast. I'm sure we don't want our recto bank as collateral, it seems Brits Company interested to joint ventures. Why not as long they'll supply the military assets? One more thing I don't think it's a good idea to have the next administration to come, just imagine paying those in a long run. Why not cut the BS more on political will to do it? Noy need to use the 2014 pdaf or som of his PSAF to fund the PAF modernization. It's funny nagpapautang na tayo sa ibang bansa, pero in regards to our own defense wala.

      Delete
    3. The main problem is not the payment, per se, but the (restrictive) allocated budget. Payment can stretched multiyear thru MYOA from DBM. Soft loan is just a concessional payment term, but we still have to pay for it -- allocated from the Mod fund.

      Under the RA10349(of 2012), the GAA would only provide P75B for the next five years. Additional funds for the Mod Fund are outlined in that law, but they are still underdeveloped and are complex, including those PPP/DND and sale of mil camps.
      http://www.senate.gov.ph/republic_acts/ra%2010349.pdf

      All three services has to compete for the (only) P75B allocation, although there was already a draft list. Moreover, I have yet to observe a SARO related to the first tranche P15B for 2013. I don't really understand how it works, as I'm only an amateur observer.

      Sen Recto has refiled his bill on allocating a portion of the Malampaya gov't revenues for AFP Mod. Remember that this was taken out from the Mod Law during a bicam conference last year, as it was objected by both Finance and Energy Dept; and was a probable source of veto from PNoy -- thus could have further delayed its passage. Note, however, that PNoy had drawn from Malampaya -- about more than P5B, which included the funding of the two WHEC's acquisition and the three AW-109Es.

      Chile has a law where defense has a share of ten percent from the country's copper exports. When Cu prices skyrocketed around early 2000s, their armada was able to acquire eight second-hand NATO frigates (which were less than 15-years-old), from the downgrading Royal and Dutch navies.

      Delete
    4. I still don't understand why it doesn't move at all. When I say at all, yes whose not really prostrated? I'm not sure basing only from the news about the SSV or LPD if Indonesian builder really bag the 4bil and another one loner bidder from Augusta Westland to build 8 light attack helicopters have a green light to build. If the so called "Restrictive" allocated budget of 75 bil could stretch in the next five years, it doesn't mean if you purchase 12 FA-50, you'll pay 18 bil upfront it could stretch the payment in percentage amount for the period of 3 yrs. It depends on negotiation. Our government should take into consideration to raise the percentage of PAF modernization coming from GDP. About the MYOA they should get a big portion of that to protect those Oils and the one Republic of the Philippines. If we believe what's ours is ours! Why not cut the crap Ret. Congressman Biazon? All those news about concrete blocks in Scarborough Panatag Islands, really make my nerve, everybody's nerve. While they implementing the 9 dash line, less protest more action? What's our is ours then destroy those concrete blocks in Panatag, before it to late. Again from PNoy what's our is ours hindi tayo titiklop? I hope so, and make it soon Mr. Pres!

      Delete
  24. Why did they drop the acquisition of the 3rd Hamilton again? DND said they will spend the money for the capability upgrade of the first two. But they already announced back then that the Alcaraz was already fitted with sophisticated sensors and weapons that included the two 25 mm guns and Harpoons and capability for anti submarine warfare.. In fact they said the reason why the Alcaraz can't sail right away other than the repairs it still had to undergo was because the crew had to train for the sophisticated gadgets they installed the ship. What happened to this gadgets again.They lied about it again? What the F..K is going on.

    I really can't follow and understand how these people at DND run their show. Why would they drop the 3rd Hamilton for lack of money? The Hamiltons are given for free by US to our government. We only have to pay for the refurbishments that according to DND was 10.5mil on the Del Pilar and 15mil on the Alcaraz. The US Govt had just increased its military aid to the Philippines. They just made it $50mil dollars/year. And this money can only be spent for acquisitions and maintenance. Max, ask them to tell us where this $50mil will go. We want an accounting. Remember, the stipulation on this $50mil military aid is, " to be spent on acquisition and maintenance " so there is money to be use to acquire the 3rd Hamilton. And enough money left to be spent for the capability upgrades of the three ships.

    Ossie...

    ReplyDelete
  25. As I have been suggesting:

    1. Drop the acquisition of the Korean frigates. They are allocating 18.8Bil pesos on this project. The DND has not clarified if this two frigates for 18.8Bil pesos are fully equiped warships or that money would just be for the hull? I suspect Even with the soft loans that they are saying are being dangled by the Koreans, this project can turn out as another one of those disastrous undertakings by the DND.

    Instead of the Korean frigates, go back to Italy and negotiate to purchase four Maestrale frigates. $115mil for one refurbished as new with weapons and sensors intact we can buy four for $460mil. This money we get if we cancel the Korean jets.

    2. Drop and cancel the Korean jets. $450mil can also become too costly to pay for unproven airplanes. By the way is this $450mil all the money we need to pay for 12 jets, spares, equipment and weapons? Probably not.

    Instead of the Korean Jets talk to the Spanish govt. They retired their F1s in June 2013. Maybe they let us have them for very easy financing terms. Their Ministry of Defense people were here a year ago offering help (used equipment) to modernize our armed forces. If we refurish them,these jets can offer us potent air cover for the time being.

    3. Cancel that used French boat they said they will buy for $7mil. They said they will give it to the Phil Coast Guard for search and rescue and for disaster response. Think about what the 160ft boat can do out in the open sea in the raging typhoon. defies logic and common sense again. Save the money.

    Instead, buy another Hamilton. This ship is built for coast guard duties.Can handle sea states this French boat can't handle. Suits the purpose. Perfect for the job.

    4. Cancel the 2 SSVs that they awarded Indonesia to build. Save the billions. We don't have any need for these ships right now.Or even some years from now. These ships need escort ships and air cover to defend and protect them. We don't have those right now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. maybe the DND is thinking of not just 2day or tom?..theyre investing for the future.

      Delete
    2. Cancelling those projects only sets you back one or two years. Enough about cancellations!

      The problem is not the availability funds itself, but gov't's RELUCTANCE to provide fund the AFP enough. Look at PDAF... look at CCT... look at the other social funds... How much again is the current balance of the Malampaya Funds??? Accdg to ABS-CBN report, it's more than P125B as of 2012. It's all about politics! There is no mass awareness regarding AFP's inadequacy and funding it will not buy votes for 2016!


      Delete
    3. Another patch solution, no way, many have been crying for brand new equipments then you are going to give us equipments that are almost out of service. You know why these countries are retiring the weapons? because they are no more in good shape and outdated so are you going to buy something outdated when you can buy brand new and most advance?

      Delete
  26. Hi Max! I hope you can make a short proposal on what should our DND/AFP do with the current (it seems) plan of China to slowly construct something in Scarborough Shoal (and when you have time, how we can effectively defend the Kalayaan Group of Islands given our limited capabilities). Shouldn't our governemt post vessels there as well? I don't think China would dare fire at our ships. Thanks. I am loving your blog, btw. More power!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Hi Max! I have enough of the incompetence that the military think tanks have been doing for these acquisitions. Its like that the TWG for this projects are not doing their homework at all or maybe its the officer in charge for media are nuts. Again, like the attack helicopter project, they are either ignorant or clearly misleading to public on what their real intention of this modernization.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Here's what i want to happen:

    1. Proceed with the 12 FA-50.... this is a must.
    2. Evaluate if we can't buy 2...then buy 1 full pledged bnew frigate with full weapons system.
    3. Savings from no 2, may be used for the acquisition of another WHEC plus some upgrade in its system or 2nd hand corvette with full weapon system (AAS, ASM, ASW) or get at least 1 maestrale.
    4. If our budget can still accommodate, proceed with the acquisition of missile defense system, like the Raytheon as presented before.
    5. SSV's bidding is already done, so let's just wait for the delivery.

    In short, we just have to do it fast than scramble to nowhere when the time comes that trouble is at our doorstep.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I definitely agree with this idea but it need to be feasible with the financial aspect. If we would definitely deal with the Koreans it would be more appetizing with them if we consolidate most of the defense tickets into one major purchase . We've already express our interest with the F 50 & the Incheon class frigate , why not use portion of the budget to pay half & half on a soft loan . We can also look into the K1 COIN aircraft as an added incentive since this is in the wish list of the AFP. We can also approach them into rearming the Hamilton frigate with their SS missile and ASW as part of the deal. It might also give us more room to negotiate .
      With the Israeli, their Dome missle system as discussed in the previous topic can give us the added air protection and also the barak AA missile for the frigates air defense system. Don't count out their shipbuilding capabilities since they were able to come out with their own design of littoral ships after the failed joint venture with a US Co. because of its high cost. Again we can also flex our purchasing power with the same approach . For other ticket items we can also use these 2 countries & Singapore for other military surplus.
      I understand sometimes how difficult it is to trust a group of individuals with this kind of responsibilities but since it's already a high profile topic that should at least deter any amount of corruptions . Besides if this current administration is concern on the gravity of a "soft loan" they should be more concern if they failed to stop the other party in annexing our territories.
      Lastly I wish to appeal to some of my constituents bloggers to refrain from using discriminating words to express their frustrations . It may please the heart but it will not lead to a lasting solution. This would only feed the fire of bitterness and hatred . I highly commend Max for this informative site , a place to share and exchange ideas in a constructive way for the betterment of the Philippine.

      Delete
  29. The DND & AFP need to check their time table for their WPS strategic plan. They know what they need and what they have to accomplish this . The Japanese are on our side , the koreans and the Israelis are willing to provide us with the technology . Now it's our turn to make the decisive move before everything else is too late . The other side has already made the first move we know their strategy let us not Make a blunder . We need the tools to get the job done. The Philippine government has the capability of getting this task done and that's from top to bottom . The question is are they willing to settle with their mediocracies or are they going to step up and get the job done . There's a lot at stake here our credibility as a nation to respond when our sovereignty is being threaten and as a country who's "will" are being questioned . " Do the talk and walk the walk."

    ReplyDelete
  30. dalawa lang ang rason max.. its either gusto pa ng kickback or wala lang talaga alam sa modernazation at tamd yung AFP at aquino administration.. para kasing di sila seryoso eh puro pasikat lang basta may ibalita.. duda lang ako papa shoulder na naman yan sa sunod na administration.. kita mo ha yung 21 huey helicopter di matuloy tuloy kasi puro failed ang bidding.huey lang yan ah what if pa kaya ang brand new frigate at fa50. basta wala na ako masabi sa aquino administration di sila seryoso sa afp modernazation,,,kasi kung seryoso man dapat di na umabot pa ng 2013.. ang na accomlish pa lang ay yung uncapabke na 8 sokol at unarmed na whec from U.S. naku ano ba naman yan.... ni missile wala..ano laban yan sa banta sa ibang bansa.. kung ako lang gusto ko na e abolish yang AFP at PMA..mga walang natutunan sa warfare at modenazation..what a shameful AFP///

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually the Sokols and PF-15 are all Arroyo administration projects.

      One major problem is red tape. Another is politics. The entire process is undermined by the need to undergo bidding when it is faster to just go to G2G or negotiated bidding just like what was done with the FA-50 choice. The military then doesn't get what it specifically wants because the lowest bidder wins which is usually not what they prefer.

      Delete
    2. Ok max thanks for the inputs but the only things I can say right now is the afp is not yet ready for modernazation.2014 is fast approaching and modernazation is on still water..

      Delete
  31. Is there a possibility that some entity or person are deliberately undermining or sabotaging the AFP modernization,by simply under funding any procurement or deliberately not pursuing the purchase of second hand equipment that our military urgently needed.These entity or persons have their own motives,maybe financial or spies for other government that they imbed in our goverment that does not want our country to modernize,surely we can afford to modernize in modest ways

    ReplyDelete
  32. Taiwan Navy is planning to buy two warships from the US Navy, according to the Agence France-Presse.
    The warships will be Perry-class frigates, which are estimated to be worth up to USD 5.6 billion.
    The purchase is part of Taiwan Navy’s efforts to modernize their forces and replace the Knox-class frigates that had retired.

    Come on PN where is your move man......

    -Java Indonesia-

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you mean NTD (New Taiwan dollars), not USD.

      The option for Perry is still a far fetched issue although some sources say that this is an option being eyed by the navy should additional funds become available as they are already fixated on the new frigates.

      Delete
    2. http://navaltoday.com/2013/09/09/taiwan-to-buy-warships-from-us-navy/

      -java Indonesia-

      Delete
    3. @Java, The OHP option had been discussed extensively by other PHL-defense forums, and the main show stopper had always been it's operational cost.

      Relative to the del Pilar/WHEC, it guzzles 3.6x more fuel, this at it's most economical speed of between 13-15 knots. Moreover, its rated range only limits it to only about 11 days of continuous sailing / patrolling. Adding to the rub, Phil Navy doesn't possess a real replenishment ship (RAS-AOR). It is a given, that ships to be acquired will have WPS as their main playground. The current base support would be more than a day away -- so effectively you'll have the OHP on station for only a week at most. Not operationally cost efficient.

      For Taiwan -- it already has infrastructure to support the class, so it's a no-brainer.

      Delete
    4. 49r, yes those reasons are very important points that make the plan for OHP-class frigates difficult to take. But currently after the WHEC this is the most probable ship the PN can accept from the US. MaxDefense sources indicate that a purchase of OHP-class is only possible if the PN will encounter difficulties that may threaten the realization of the current new frigate program's availability within 3 to 4 years, or if the US will provide extensive support (acquisition, training and partial operating cost) to the Philippines for transfer of a couple of them as part of a wider defense deal. This all remains to be seen as I am also a little skeptical on this.

      Delete
    5. Imo.....so PN must simplify the constraints and make flexible analysis and choice according to your budget, make priority due to your budget limitation. I think we have the same problem like thailand too. How to manage our budget and make smart move/decision to purchase our navy fleet to meet our minimum requirements (at least) effectively and efficient. We must work and solve the problem gradually according to our budget. So make the priorities........if your first priority is frigate class in term of weight and hull length/around 3000 tones and 120 m length as fast as PN urgently need so go to it 2nd hand with minimum armament and electronic according to your budget. You guys have good and analysis but remember we have a limitation and we have to make a choice immediately regarding the market offers/available. Make a smart decision....make a priorities.

      -java Indonesia-

      Delete
    6. 5.6b USD for 2 frigate? that is unlikely, they almost can buy a used carrier hull with that kind of money :)

      what interesting about PH military procurement recently is not in what they are buying, but in fact they are buying at all. 'Fitted but not with' is also story of our military build up, it took 12 years or so to make our flankers combat ready. And only in last 2-3 years, fused with Ambalat dispute with Malaysia, we are speeding up the phase, with our govt and parlemen working together backing up TNI in funding it (in most case) :D

      PH need to have their military presence in the disputed area, both in the sea and sky. for now deterrent factor have to came after that. After all, to facing PRC military might head on is bad idea

      and since PH's economy doing really well in recent years we can expecting to see their military power catching up with its neighbours in near future.

      _fellow countryman_

      Delete
    7. Imo....5.6b USD contract worth is including hundreds of harpoon missile and other upgrade and refurbishment or even retrofitting for both frigate, bro. :P

      -java Indonesia-

      Delete
    8. @Java,

      Just to set the record straight -- it was a typo error by your reference (NavalToday). It's New Taiwan Dollar, rather than USD.

      http://www.defensenews.com/article/20130830/DEFREG03/308300013/Lawmaker-Taiwan-Plans-Buy-2-Frigates-From-US

      http://www.wantchinatimes.com/news-subclass-cnt.aspx?id=20130902000044&cid=1101

      The acquisition cost for the two OHP would be is Tw $5.6 billion (US $187 million).

      Delete
    9. Once the navy actually get 2 new frigates, that will definitely boost the Philippine military's reputation with regards to seriousness in military upgrade and increased spending. Until now many countries and suppliers are still skeptical on the Philippine government's ability to upgrade the military and purchase from foreign suppliers. The current projects are not enough, the frigates will actually be the most expensive military project even undertaken by the Philippines should it be realized.

      Delete
  33. Are you sure about the USD 5.6 billion for 2 perry class frigate these are fairly old vessel dated back in the the late 70s . Besides the ROC have built their own version of this class which is the "Cheng Kung" guided missile frigate 8 of these are currently serving their navy.thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Please check out the link I post above. Thanks

      -java Indonesia-

      Delete
    2. @-java Indonesia- here is another source that may give us a better understanding about your previous comment regarding the 5.6 billion USD for 2 used Perry Class Frigate.
      The defense ministry has listed Tw $5.6 billion (US $187 million) in its 2014 and 2015 budgets to buy two Perry-class frigates from the US Navy, said lawmaker Lin Yu-fang, citing defense budgets submitted to the parliament.
      http://www.defensenews.com/
      You are right about the figures but not with the currency . This would be a good replacement for their Knox Class since they been operating this type of vessel for good period of time now.

      Delete
  34. by analysis on the budget is simple. confiscate all the ill gotten wealth and bank accounts and assets, etc of all the crooks like Enrile, Honasan, GMA, FVR, Bong Marcos, Revilla, Jingoy Estrada, etc. combine all this will turn into billions of dollars not pesos. then we can buy fighter jets, frigrates, missiles and new tanks etc. but if we do not confiscate their stolen assets and just let them scot free then the AFP will just be ill equipped, ill fed, etc.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Wala na talagang pag asa ang modernazation.kakawalng gana makinig o mag basa ng mga new regarding afp modernazation.kaka desmaya.5 years ko na ina abangan modernazation pero wala talaga.hay what a poorly equip afp.what a shameful afp.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 5 years is nothing. I've been waiting for 18 years. And so far, the rate of improvement now is faster than for the last 15 years.

      Delete
  36. actually there are unconfirmed reports that the soldiers in Zamboanga operations are having food shortages and are begging for food. If the AFP cannot even feed its soldiers and or prepare food for its soldiers during a big military operation then how much more trying to buy a new Frigate? lol.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They were not begging. It just happen that they were off from the supply chain that time.

      Delete
  37. Hi there sir, interesting read...about the frigate program, looks like DND has to choose the least evil here. The government will just have to be more creative in looking ways on how to fund these programs. I know it's easier said than done. But I will go for the fitted for but not with option. I also hope they will not scuttle the option to purchase a third WHEC. It think it would be better to acquire the ships first then arm them with the desired weapons and gizmos later when funding becomes available.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was informed that the move to use Malampaya funds for uparming the WHEc and getting another WHEC is probably a go fpr next year. But until nothing was made concrete, these are all plans that still need to happen.

      The good thing with fitted for but not with option is that the hull is to be built with the future in mind, spaces will be provided for future upgrades. The navy can put it's money into good use by allocating enough for a large hull. Even other countries do this nowadays.

      Delete
  38. ..ibenta niu na lang kaya ang mga pulitiko na nagnakaw ng 10 billion pork barrel.. ang taas cguru ng presyo ng mga yan.. btw.. viva afp!! saludo kmi sa inyo..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. wala cguro bibili s kanila lakas lakas lumamon konti pakinabang. dalhin cla sa marikina para mabuhay mulu industriya ng sapatos. mahal balat ng buwaya d b?

      Delete
    2. ,ahaha tama ka dun dre.. .o ipakain nlng sa kapwa buwaya..

      Delete
  39. afp modernization is only a dream, it will never happen in our lifetime.

    ReplyDelete
  40. our political leaders, our military leaders are not really after for the afp modernization but for the commission that they will get in buying those bigtime hardware.

    ReplyDelete
  41. If retrofit for the 3rd hamilton cost abt P400mil, why not use senators PDAF? Put it to better use. While phil territory is being systematically grab by others, "honorable" members of congress can sacrifice their PDAF to protect the integrity of the country. Their PDAF wont protect them once the shooting starts. Support PNoy in getting new frigates made asap in Phil shipyard with foreign builders and tech transfer-cheaper in the long run, to built one frigate a year. All this bidding transparency doesnt reflect the urgency that is happening in the ground. PNoy needs to act, congress needs to support him. Dont wait for another attack like in zambo to happen. Dont wait for more areas being grab. Act now, not tomorrow.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is where the public's voice is needed. If only these lawmakers heed to the calls of the public to improve the condition of the armed services. But now since PDAF is being removed, it appears that the budget for it will go to several government departments but mostly for social services, health and infrastructure.

      Delete
    2. ..hey sir max.. since your a former navy.. could you please extend these bright suggestions to your friends in phil navy?? they should consult the public about their suggestions... or simply just show them this blog, just so they now.. if just possible.. tnx..

      Delete
    3. The people in the PN know what they are doing, don't worry. The problem is actually how to navigate through red tape in the Philippine government.

      Delete
    4. I agree with you sir, bureaucracy is our problem here in our country. Politicians just thinking of themselves because once the War is errupted then they can fly to other countries.

      But we Filipino who really pay for them because of our tax they must really work for the betterment of this country. Is their obligation not just to work as a compliance.

      300+ years we had been under the Spaniards bondage, Japanese and US occupation but do we really learned from these historical events.

      We have been educated by the Wester Country but I remebered when I was just an Elementary, there was this woman who's source of income is selling meriendas in our school then she said "You are educated but not educated". This is happenning in our politicians and some leaders of our country. Selfishness and selfcentereness.

      Delete
  42. They cancelled the third WHEC because the first two WHECs were fucking misfits. The Philippines just bought two ships older than Noynoy Aquino, two oversized gunboats in the world of high-tech missiles. Sure them WHECs got them fancier engines, but come on! The WHECs are basically training ships. One of them would very well be enough. Smart move to scrap the third WHEC.

    As for the rest of the slow blablabla AFP Modernization, Imma sit here and wait for China's bombers to do an unobstructed fly by above Batasang Pambansa. Tangina. When that happens, we'll get an aircraft carrier in six months.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are certain levels of requirement in the PN's wishlist. Not all are needed to be armed with missiles and other offensive weapons. In the case of the PF-15 and PF-16, they were purchased because they will initially act as training vessels to a navy who's major technology was stuck in the 1940s. While initially training vessels, they are also acting as large offshore patrol vessels, hence the term "patrol frigate" but if the government decides to release funds for these ships they can be turned into real surface combatants / missile frigates. The thing is, the government has not made any releases or firm commitments.

      The WHECs are a bargain, you won't find anything else in the world today with that capability and size and price. It's just up to the government to fully implement the funding to upgrade these bare ships into fighting frigates.

      Delete
  43. Yesss I agree......
    Basically WHEC designed for training not combatant ship so why it dedicated for Cost Guard even the size and displacement is same with frigatte class.....so there is a huge (basic) architectural gap design between WHEC & Combatant Ship. If PN wanna make it combatant ship you know what you have to do from basic design it gonna a lot of 'make over' to do and need huge cost same with build new corvette maybe with same armament.... IMO

    -Java Indonesia-

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Americans designed the Hamilton-class WHEC with future requirement for combat capability in mind. The US Coast Guard is a branch of the US Armed Forces and work hand-in-hand with the navy in times of crisis or conflict. Currently the ship lacks offensive and defensive weapons but it can always be fitted with certain weapons without the need for too much modifications. So while it is currently a training ship cum patrol frigate with the PN, they can be upgraded to a certain degree as capable surface combatants. That is, if the Philippine government is willing to spend.

      Delete
  44. IMHO, I think they should have first negotiated and agree on the price and then release the fund and then sign the contract. I believe if the funding is released too early and the bidding and negotiations took two years there is a big possibility of currency fluctuation and inflation and I notice what happens is after a failure happens they tend to revise the budget. The process is too long and the bad thing is if a failure occurs the process repeats again from the start after a long investigation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can't negotiate and agree on the price if the government decides to conduct a bidding for the project. But what is certain is that the DND and PN already made some Request for Information from shipbuilders to get a idea on the specifications, design and budgeting.

      Delete
  45. I think the best option right now is to fit with missiles capability our alcaraz and del pilar. secondly negotiate for a brand new frigate or start a biiding...the best for DND minimize press release....

    ReplyDelete
  46. this is the right time to decide....our two frigate alcaraz and del pilar need to fit with new missiles and other system....secondly negotiate for a new frigate or new bidding...best for DND stop press release...

    ReplyDelete
  47. P18-B two-stage bidding for two new-built frigate for PN is now released.
    http://www.dnd.gov.ph/transparency/procurement/DND_BAC/Invitation_to_bid/ITB-Acquisition%20of%20new%20frigates%20PN.pdf

    Budget : P18-B
    Delivery : within four years after opening of L/C
    1st Stage Pre Bid Conference : Oct 11, 2013
    1st Stage Bid Opening : Oct 25, 2013 10:00am

    Second Stage eligible bidders shall be notified upon the completion of the evaluation and validation of the submitted documents.

    ReplyDelete
  48. with these ships,they will reduce Napoles` Seaside estate to a rubble!

    ReplyDelete
  49. Hey, we still have 3 years to use the 75billion Afp modernization fund. If after 3 years and we still dont these paper procurements then, nothing.. useless arguments and posting of those"paperplans"

    ReplyDelete
  50. I believe that the Philippine Navy should first prioritize the arming and upgrade of the Gregorio del Pilar class frigates. The money should be first used to buy anti-ship, anti-aircraft missiles, sonars and anti-torpedoes for these ships to be capable in defending themselves and our territories.

    Buying a new but unarmed frigates is almost useless as they would not be able to do anything against a threat but flee like what the BRP del Pilar did in Scarborough Shoal. If this course will be taken, what we will have are just more "sitting ducks" for the Chinese as targets.

    The enemy will opt to attack while the Philippines while it still do not have the capabilities to defend themselves. Only then that the country can buy additional "capable for but not fitted with frigates"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The new frigates will not be unarmed. If you look at the tech specs of the ships, they are designed as ASW platforms, which means that their main mission is ASW, although they have anti-ship and anti-aircraft self defense as part of the ship's capability.

      The Gregorio del Pilar-class' upgrade program may be highly dependent on the final fit-out of the new frigates, as the navy may opt for commonality of its systems.

      The enemy can attack the PH anytime if they want to because our perceived enemy can easily do that even if the PH has 6 fully armed frigates. It's only just a matter of "when". The only way we can avert an attack is to further strengthen the AFP and not just settle for the "minimum posture" that it always say, and to strengthen the Filipino people's will to fight against an aggressor, and to weed out traitors in the system.

      Delete
    2. You are right Mr Max is a matter of inculcating in the mind of the Filipino youngest generattion for being a true Nationalistic and Patriotic. Only Filipino can defend themselves from external aggressor.

      Remember how Vietnam defend their country from external aggressor. It neeeds a heart and spirit of a true hero to defend our country from aggressor.

      We need also to educate our Politicians and community from our DND and National Secutity Cluster/Advicers what is the really the present danger in the WPS?

      This is our country ready to defend by all means. Is a matter what is our National Policy in relation to strategic thinkers base on reliable and confirm facts.

      Delete
    3. First on the National Policy base on our National Defense Strategy, my question do the DND/AFP, Security Clusters and NSA have really studied the threat of Anti-Access/Area Denial doctrines.

      Two New frigates, two WHECs, 3 JCPVs, 2 ASW, MPACs, 3 ASR, mobile missiles AAW, 12 FA50 and etc.

      With the present threats do you think this is enough to defend initially the WPS area not to mention our 7,000 plus main islands and coastal area.

      Remember, to have a real pictures of present and future threats it needs a well established C4ISR or C5ISR?

      Still we don't have a well established C4I?

      Is a wake up call for our Political Leaders and also, to our DND/AFP/NSA/Security Cluster/Academe and as a whole nation Filipino to really educate these Politicians.

      Is a reallity that our allied countries US has pivoted their assets in Asia-Pacific but also we have to equip our country with their helps specially on present and future threats to come up with a reliable, capable, effective. efficient and secured defense posture. We must hit the "Archerers not the arrows".

      Delete
  51. the information on this site is just incredible it keeps me coming back time and time again ,personally i met my wife using this site so i couldnt love it any more i have done my best to promote this site as i feel that others need to see this thang ,thankyou for all the time spent in making this fabulous site ! ok,nice one Billy

    ReplyDelete