Friday, October 25, 2013

Tech Specs Released for PAF's Medium Lift Fixed Wing Transport Aircraft - Is there a Sure Winner?

Just right after MaxDefense posted the blog regarding the Php 5.3 billion Medium Lift Fixed Wing Aircraft acquisition project, PhilGEPS made available the Technical Specifications for the said project. Earlier it was discussed that this is the key to know who will be eligible to join the race and probably know who will win as well.


The Alenia Aerospace C-27J Spartan, one of the expected competitors for the Medium Lift Fixed Wing Aircraft program.
Photo taken from Wikimedia.

Here is the summary of the Technical Specifications for the said program:

- Requirement is for 3 brand-new units, and will be used for Airborne Operations, Aero-Medical Evacuation, Passenger Transport, and Limited Maritime Patrol and Search and Rescue Operations;
- For the aircraft to do such missions, it has to be equipped with paratroop seats, capable of static and free fall paradrop operations, must be able to accomodate at least twelve (12) litters, must accommodate at least 40 seated passengers, and must be convertible from full-cabin military transport to maritime patrol aircraft;
- A minimum range of 950 nautical miles (nm) without refueling;
- A minimum payload of 11,000 pounds (lbs) with maximum fuel load;
- An endurance of at least 4 hours and 30 minutes;
- A minimum crusing speed of 230 knots and a service ceiling of at least 25,000 feet;
- Must be capable of loading at least four (4) palletized cargo with dimensions of 2.5m x 2.0m x 1.6m and has a ramp loading capability;
- Short Take-off and Landing Capable, maximum of 1,000m length;
- Communications to include VHF-AM/FM/Marine Band and HF radios and provision for future upgrades;
- Autopilot capable, with GPS, Traffic Collision Avoidance System, Ground Proximity Warning System, Colored Weather Radar, Glass Cockpit;
- Programmed to fly 500 hours/year for thirty (30) years;
- Paint Scheme to follow the current Fokker F-27s with the 220th Airlift Wing (white and grey, as indicated).


According to the technical specifications, the paint scheme shown above will be followed for the Medium Lift Fixed Wing Aircraft requirement.
Photo taken from DND.

As discussed before, there are 3 expected competitors which already made known their interest to join the bidding: 

1. Alenia Aerospace (Italy) with the C-27J Spartan,
2. EADS/CASA - Airbus Military (Spain/EU) with the C-295,
3. PT Dirgantara Indonesia / Indonesian Aerospace (PT DI / IAe) with the CN-235.

(Discussions regarding the 3 aircraft models are discussed HERE). 

Looking at the above summarized specifications, MaxDefense believes that all 3 aircraft meet the required range, payload, cruising speed, endurance, and STOL requirements. All 3 can also do the required mission profiles, although it appears that the C-27J is weak with regards to configuration for limited Maritime Patrol since this aircraft has no MPA variants so far, unlike the CN-235 and C-295 which has palletized MPA suite as an option, although MaxDefense believes the DND/PAF won't avail of them for this program. The C-27J is also weak with regards to pricing, as the minimum requirements is enough for its 2 cheaper competitors to fit the requirement albeit a lesser capability. These 2 parameters is where the CN-235 and C-295 may beat the more capable C-27J. 


CASA-EADS's C-295 (above) is the middle-spec'd of the 3 possible competitors.
Photo taken from Wikimedia.
It is surprising though that the specifications, specifically the payload is way lower than even the smallest of the competitors, the CN-235, as MaxDefense expected the specifications to be closer to a fight between the C-27J and C-295. With a lower labor cost in Indonesia than in Western Europe (Spain & Italy), plus its smaller dimensions and lower specifications, Indonesia Aerospace's CN-235 is actually a strong candidate in this acquisition program in terms of pricing, it can definitely submit the lowest bid of all 3 candidates.


The IAe's CN-235 (above) is the cheapest of all the possible offers, but is it the aircraft to beat? Let's see in a couple of weeks.
Photo taken from Wikimedia.
But it now appears that the CN-235 and C-27J may fail the requirement on cargo capacity space. 

Although the CN-235 claims to be able to carry 4 108" length  x 88" height (2.74m length x 2.24m width) pallets, it can only do so with the ramp opened and flat, as shown on the photo below:


For the CN-235, only 3 pallets of 2.74m length each can be carried by closed ramp, and will need an open supported ramp to carry a 4th pallet, as shown above.
Photo taken from nifc.gov and EADS.

The DND requirement is for 4 pallets with dimensions of each pallet at 2.5m length x 2.0m width x 1.6m height. Thus, 4 pallets will require a little more than 10.0m cargo space length to fit. The DND is not clear though if the 4th pallet can be placed on an open but flat supported ramp. As shown on the photo below, the CN-235 only has a cabin length of 9.65 meters excluding the ramp. If including the winch, the space becomes less. 4 pallets as required by the technical specifications require a cabin space of at least 10.0 meters excluding the ramp and winch space.


The CN-235's cabin length is 9.65m excluding ramp, if including the winch (shown in orange square), the space becomes even less. 4 pallets requires at least 10 meters of cabin space length excluding ramp and winch space.
Photo taken from nifc.gov and EADS.

So it appears that the CN-235 may not be capable of meeting the cabin space requirements of the DND as specified in the technical specifications, except if the DND will accept the ramp area as a possible space. More of the report regarding the CN-235 HERE.

The Alenia C-27J Spartan may have the same problem as the CN-235 due to its short fuselage length, the aircraft being shorter than even the CN-235 by around 3.0 meters. Some sources quote the cabin length as only at 8.58 meters, shorter than CN-235's 9.65 meters including winch.


The C-27J's length is shorter than even the CN-235 although it meets the width and height requirements for cargo fuselage.
MaxDefense now believes that it could be a chance for C-295 to win the bidding. The C-295 has the same cabin width and height dimensions as the CN-235, but is 3.10m longer in the cargo fuselage portion, thus giving it a cargo space of at least 11.0 meters long and can fit 4 pallets of 2.5 meters long each as specified.


The specifications has been released and is available at PhilGEPS's website. Even with the availability of the specifications, bidders are required to pay the necessary dues to join the bid.
Photo taken from DND's Medium Lift Fixed Wing Aircraft technical specifications.


The only parameters in which will either chop off some of the bidders will be the other requirements in the specifications, specifically the Eligibility Documentation portion, where many bidders in other procurement projects fail to pass. Take note that Daewoo/Daesun failed in this portion for the Strategic Sealift Vessel (SSV) project, while Sikorsky failed in this regard for the Light Lift Fixed Wing Aircraft project.

Another parameter that needs to be given a second look are the Maintenance Requirements, which include flying hours required before overhaul of the airframe, powerplant, propeller, landing gears and other major aircraft components. These information are usually not made known publicly by aircraft manufacturers and may only be included on previous offers made to PAF and DND.

So although the C-295 seems to be the aircraft to beat in this program, we cannot finally say that until the bidding actually proceeds and everyone pass the initial requirements as indicated in the specification checklists, and also when DND makes a decision. There could still be some hook-ups along the way for any of the 3 potential bidders, although this is actually a good fight to watch.

For a public copy of the Technical Specifications, you may take from 'HERE'.


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

October 26, 2013: 
The bid submission and opening was moved from October 29, 2013 to November 11, 2013. This is according to the new Supplemental Bid Bulletin issued by the DND on October 21, 2013. No word if bidders requested the schedule change or if DND's decision.
===

November 12, 2013: 
Another adjustment on the schedule for this project. The bid submission and opening was moved again, now to November 18, 2013. This is according to the new Supplemental Bid Bulletin issued by the DND on November 11, 2013. No official reason why it was moved but it is possible that the bidders requested for an extension. 
===


January 14, 2014
Only 2 bidders submitted in the bid submission and opening for this project on January 13, 2014, namely EADS-CASA (Airbus Military) and PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PT DI / Indonesian Aerospace). Of the two entities, only EADS-CASA's bid using the C-295 was found eligible, while PT DI's bid failed to meet the requirements with its CN-235. More on MaxDefense's latest blog on this project.
===
 

63 comments:

  1. i still believe that PAF knows what its doing

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  2. Why follow the paint scheme of the fokker? Does it mean it will have the honor and greatest responsibilty of transporting the President? Bcoz that was the purpose of the fokker, right?

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    1. lol what they need to change is the paint scheme of navy helos

      oh well at least we have them right? :)

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    2. I believe it was the official high-visibility paint scheme for the 220th Airlift wing of the Philippine air force, just like the old C-47, while C-130s used low-visibility paint scheme with the same unit.

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    3. Paul, the paint scheme indicated is not the blue presidential colors, but the standard high visibility paint as used on 220th Airlift Wing Fokkers.

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    4. high visibility for what? Nobody uses high visibility painting.look at other country's AF they use the usual grey scheme even for transport aircraft knowing that in emergencies those crafts will be used like an ordinary plane.I just hate PAF keeps on painting planes in camouflage or with the shark face.who needs green camp when your in the air?

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    5. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    6. Max why, paint it with a high visibility white? Instead why not the gray or a 2 tone color of blue instead of white. If we have limited resources for maritime & ASW patrol craft why not make it a bit stealthier for protection & detection.
      Also, if I would stray from the topic for awhile , I read the article re: the Ayungin Shoal outpost titled "A game of shark & minnow ". It's an interesting & riveting story on the plight of our troops in exercising our sovereign rights . Every government officials & public server should about it . It is a clear a picture how it epitomize on how to serve & represent the people of our country.

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  3. please add who publish the Technical spec it's not the gov.

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  4. C27J- might not be considered since the Philippines follows every single footstep Uncle Sam does. USAF versions went straight to the boneyard
    C-295 - money issue, does spain has anything to offer as a freebie? nah i dun think so
    CN-235 - cheapest but limited capability, might not be considered because the Philippines needs to satisfy some if not all of the countries offering military hardware to us...light lift and ssv are now under the Indons. Korea, the geagle and prolly the frigate.
    Solution: consider the USAF surplus c27J, maybe we can get 5 for the price of 2

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    1. Thats what i also thought when i read the USAF are sending the c27J to the boneyard but i read somewhere that the US coast guard and another department are interested in those c27J that the USAF are sending to the boneyard but still maybe we can asked the US for the 3 we needed at a discounted price..

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    2. Its true.. Department of Homeland Security got the position of C-27J. 7 units will go to Forest Service and another 7 to USCG. PAF should have to watch out the transformation of a USAF C-27J to Maritime Patrol version. Knowing that no other sample of Martime Patrol version existed in the market although they C-27J MP version was being pitched in Canada, Taiwan and other country's.

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  5. No other country can get the USAF C-27J because Alenia has made it clear that they will not provide support to the new owners if the US transfers it to other user's other than within the US Gov. Alenia does not want to lose out on "future" sales of brand new C-27J just because someone can get the C-27J from USAF.

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  6. Max, according to a poster on PDFF the CN-235 fails the payload requirement "minimum of 11,000 lbs with maximum fuel load." C-27J pasang-awa.

    http://s3.zetaboards.com/Defense_Philippines/topic/7645142/11/

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    1. Possibly, but this is a parameter which is difficult to assess due to discrepancies in information, computation, and capability per series. Example, the CN-235 has several series versions, some may fit the bill, others may not. Nonetheless, the computations made on the said forum is moot since the C-27J already appears to fail on one of the requirements which is pallet carrying capability. The CN-235 may also have the same problem. So even if both passes the required 11,000lbs maximum payload at maximum fuel, it won,t matter. Besides, they also find the C-295 compliant on that regard, right?

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    2. Also, for the C-27J which was "pasang awa" with only 150lbs over the requirement, they forgot to consider other factora like pilots and flight engineer weights, their usual items and other ancillaries which cannot be considered as payload. 150lbs is just the weight of 1 of the crew members. So adding them up will fail the C-27J based on the computations made at PDFF.

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    3. I'm more surprised so many people mixed up their definitions. Isn't it a given aircraft payload excludes usable fuel? "Empty weight" can mean operating empty weight including crewmen.

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    4. I agree with you. Most of the Manufacturer for military aircraft published the what they called the Operating Empty Weight aka OEW not the Manufacturers Empty Weight aka. MEW(mostly used in civilian jets).

      OEW = MEW + Standard Items (SI) + Operator Item (OI)

      There is a big difference between the OEW and MEW in terms of aircraft weight computation.

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  7. i still prefer the c27j, but the c295 is not bad though

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  8. C27J is expensive, the EADS C 295 is much better i think..

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  9. here's a link where there is a picture on the CN-235 flying with a pallete cargo on the ramp. Don't count the CN-235 out of the choices yet.

    http://www.airrecognition.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=637

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    1. It's actually discussed in the blog. The thing is, does the DND requirement allow such on its requirement or not? The specifications did not really indicate if they allow such, if they don't allow then both CN-235 and C-27J Will not comply and fail.

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  10. The requirements from DND does not actually specify whether the pallets need to be carried all in the cargo hold, all it specifies is the ability to carry 4 pallets of a certain size. The DND is the only one that can say what it is they really meant by the specs they came out with. Let's wait for a publicly available clarification from the bidders and DND, I'm sure IAe and Alenia would want to know if the CN-235 really meets the specs before submitting a bid.

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    1. That's the catch, if both CN-235 and the even shorter C-27J won't fit the bill, they'd probably not submit a bid, making the only possible bidder EADS-CASA go straight for post-bid qualifications. Usually though, specifications are made to be specific to a certain design, but normally it would be unsafe to carry a pallet with an open ramp if it intends to land with the pallet still on the ramp. This is ok if a paradrop of the pallets are to be made, but that may not be the case for the PAF and DND may opt the 4 pallet cargo capability with a closed ramp. Let's just wait for the final verdict soon.

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  11. That's true Max, if IAe and Alenia does not submit bids then we could almost certainly assume that DND had really wanted the 4 pallets all within the cargo hold. It would leave the C-295 which is not bad at all (actually none of the 3 are bad). The C-295 has a proven (USCG and Portuguese CG) palletized MPA and SAR option which if we exercise that option will help us in monitoring WPS.

    I guess we just have to wait for the results of the bid.

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  12. CN-235 is excellent for the PAF. The balance can be used to rehab/upgrade a couple of C-130's by the 410th of the PAF. This will be good morale booster for all around.

    Then emergency buy of 12 combat-proven and cheaper Israeli Kfir Block 60 fighter bombers. The Latin American AF Kfirs of older model whooped USAF F-15's and F-16's in the latest Red Flag. The South Korean FA-50 is unproven in combat and more expensive.

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    1. I agree Israel is offering 10 kfir block 60 to Bulgaria for 200 usd complete with weapons and guaranteed support for 20 years

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    2. youre missing the point. the reason PAF is buying FA-50 is as a trainer jet for the PAF air cadets. secondary role is as reconaissance aircraft and can be used as a MRF if needed. while waiting to buy a MRF of their choice, and by that time the air cadets are already trained for the 21st century MRFs whoever will that be. so the next purchase after the 12 FA 50s will be 12 MRFs couple of years from now. It will be not right to train PAF cadet pilots to real MRFs, thats not what they were designed for.

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    3. For a country like ours with limited money and facing an immediate threat, we need the mostest bang for the buck, with proven combat capability and secure supply.

      We cannot follow the example of rich countries with already existing strong military position who have the luxury of putting LIFT's in between their trainer aircraft and frontline fighters. Maybe in 25 years we have that luxury if our EEZ and Kalayaan territories are not stolen first.

      The FA-50 is already a fast jet and training for it is not that much simpler as training for the Kfir Mod60. Their flight envelopes are almost similar with the FA-50 having just the advantage in a slower landing speed and shorter landing roll. Even in the FA-50, the new pilots will not go through the whole flight envelope immediately but will be phased in through steps.

      If the FA-50 contract is already signed, continue with it for the next 5 years as the design matures.

      In the meantime, our government should grab the opportunity to stand up within 1 year a full pledged fighter bomber capability through the Kfir Mod60. At a much much lower price. And also as an insurance while waiting for the maturity of the process FA-50.

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    4. I think you've misunderstood the real purpose of the FA-50 or LIFTs in general. These type or aircraft bridges the technology and knowledge gap between trainers and fighters. In the PAF's case, the S211 is not enough for pilots to transition to new fighters or updated fighters like the Kfir Blk.60 that you propose. Although it is a Kfir, this variant is updated and is different from the Kfir that it came from. The FA-50 was designed to make the transition easier thus it is easier to fly than the Kfir Blk. 60 as it has a training system when needed that is forgiving to new pilots .

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    5. The choice of the FA-50 actually cuts down the time that the PAF has to wait before it gets an aircraft that can perform some rpoles of the MRF. So far no other LIFT can do such mission, that's why the PAF decided to get 12 instead of the original 6 units. If the M346 was chosen, there won't be a platform that the PAF can use to do missions almost similar to a regular MRF.

      Let's go back to the topic: Medium Lift Fixed Wing Aicraft.

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    6. KAI FA-50 vs Kfir Block 60, a comparative analysis. http://rhk111smilitaryandarmspage.wordpress.com/2013/10/24/kfir-block-60-for-the-philippine-air-force/

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    7. I think Israel has already stopped manufacturing Kfirs, the block 60 you are referring is just refurbished aircrafts,, the PAF is looking for brand new.. If the PAF would try to acquire second hand, I would choose the F-16 block 52.. The US can give us anytime there excess F-16's, but the DND doesn't want them due to maintenance cost.. same with the Kfir... its hardware cost too much... Much better if the DND would procure Israeli missiles, but I dont think they have the balls to procure missiles... Philippines has no definite missile capabilities.. We only have rockets for ground attack.. But for Air defense and Anti Ship, we dont have the s#it.. We could always buy what other countries could buy.. Our Government does not have the political will.. They want the Philippines to look like we are poor militarily so the US could help us anytime if we are attacked.. But now things change, the US dont want to interfere with what is China doing.. Look at Japan, they are just looking at the situation..

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  13. Sorry guys for diverting from the subject matter but have you read about the nyt article a game of shark and minnow I think every Filipino should read it and see the sacrifices of our brave marines and the whole armed forces and why we have to fast track the afp modernization

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    1. how can you fast track the afp modernization when the politicians including the military leadership stole the money? these crooks should be charged for treason. if you combine all the money they stole for the past 10 years when afp modernization was passed. then we would have already bought 4 frigrates, 2 subs and 2 squadron of MRFs. all those total of money they stole for last 10 years are about in the billions of dollars or more. think about it and count and don't forget to include the mampalaya gas revenues that were also stolen.

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    2. Sir Ramil i was able to read it, if because of that that we need to fast track the modernization (thou in reality we really need to fast track it) then i think it should be the coast guard to modernize and equipped with much better weapons and give them the coast guard surveillance planes since the chinese is sending their coast guard to patrol and guard the area and not their navy. if ever god forbid that a cross fire happens then it will be between a coast guard to coast guard and not our navy to their coast guard as we to eyes of others would be the bad people no matter what because its our military navy and against the civillian coastguard chinese..

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  14. You will never get a transport planes.

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    1. Fucking chink you do not even know your grammar!

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    2. This Mr. Anonymous is all over the blogs.
      "U will never get a transport planes".
      "U will never get a frigate".

      We Filipinos have waited long enough, and we can still wait, because we as Filipino NEVER loose HOPE.

      I say to U, watch & learn. It's the Philippines time again to Rise. And all of U against the Philippines will be going down.

      Bilog ang mundo. As the saying goes :-)

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    3. just shut up!!!

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  15. that paint scheme would ruin an another wise sexy looking aircraft (CJ Spartan).

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  16. Anybody know how many submitted bids and how much they were?

    Osmond

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    1. Hi Osmond, the bids will be submitted on Monday, November 11. That's the only time we can confirm who are submitting the bids.

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  17. any updates on fixed wing aircraft, 12 FA50 and 2 new frigates?

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  18. This is not a real fair competition! PAF tailored the requirements on C-295 that got only one advantage over C-27J : price.
    Even the budget allocated eliminated since beginning the C-27J and they know it.
    Tell me what is the reason to have one more empty pallet on board.
    By the way is not true that C-27J will not be available as MP it is offered to Canada and there are good chance that US Coast Guard will get them, furthermore the Multimission Variant MC-27J provides many more capabilities than a basic MP

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    1. Currently the C-27J is not available in the maritime patrol variant.

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  19. napakatagal ng proseso talaga...... kahit high school alam nyan kung pano malaman specs ng mga figther jets na yan at fixed wing aircrafts bat kailangan pa ng mga heneral na yan na nag e evaluate ng mga bidding na yan?baka nag aantay ng kickback?o walang alam?paki abolish na lang ang PMA kasi parang walang mga alam ang mga graduates...nakakahiya kayo sa mga kapwa nyo pilipino...President Pnoy pakitanggal na lang po ang mga taong nag eevaluate ng bidding na yan..di ako comforme sa mga ginagawa nila.puro may hirit sa bidding ang daming rason ng kung ano ano.......

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    1. Korek k dyan! Care lang ng mga yan na mkapagbulsa ng kickback! Mga buwaya! s goyerno!

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  20. Any updates Max of FA 50's and Ramon Alcaraz to be fitted with harpoons??

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  21. The requirements are clearly tailored to C-295: unfair competition.
    Please explain me the advantage to carry one more empty pallet!
    It is not true that a MP version of C-27J will not be available it is now offered to Canadians for FWSAR furthermore the multimission MC-27J variant offers many more capabilities than MP of course not at the same price than cargo.

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    1. The advantage of carrying one more empty pallet is that you can fill that pallet with stuff. Not all cargo are heavy. Sometimes they are relatively light but bulky. Take a box of ramen noodles, for example. According to Amazon.com a box of Maru-chan noodles is 11.5 x 8 x 10.5 inches weighing 7 pounds. Assuming a pallet size of 2.5 x 2 x 1.6 meters, each pallet can carry 500 boxes. (For the sake of simplicity, I'm rounding to the a nice round number. But around that number.) Four pallets will be 2000 boxes. At 7 pounds per box, that's 6350 kg. With C-295 you can maybe eke out another half pallet on the closed ramp, getting over 7 tons of ramen noodles. But with C-27J, despite their 11 ton cargo capacity, you'll be limited to 3.5 pallet max, which is 5557 kg.

      If you want to deliver Humvees, C-27J is superior, but if you want to deliver emergency food ration to the one of the smaller islands in Visayas, for example, C-27J isn't ideal.

      You are right that C-27J MP is available. It's just that the price is likely not within reach. Of course, when the MP project comes out, Alenia is free to bid within the budget. The DND would be delighted.

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    2. Peter, it's not an empty pallet.

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  22. waiting foir all of ur updates sir max...

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  23. We need bigger helicopters to carry more payloads of relief goods & materials in case of natural calamities that would damage our wharves, roads, bridges and even plane runways. This way we can assure faster and more direct relief to affected communities. Why not get a few AW- 101 !

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  24. We need bigger helicopters to carry heavier payloads of relief goods & materials in case of natural calamities that damage our wharves, roads, bridges and planes runways. This way we can assure faster and more direct way of delivering relief to affected communities. A few AW-101 will suffice!

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  25. Hi Max,

    Please see and check out of this comparison of c27j and EADS CASA 295...
    http://www.c295.ca/wp-content/uploads/C295-Comparison-Chartmay26.pdf

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  26. ..sir max .. any update about this medium lift fixed wing aircraft bid opening last nov. 18??

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  27. Sir Max, there is a study & recommendation for the New Zealand Defense Alternative where the C-295 and C-27J were mentioned as well as the requirement for both Transport and Maritime Patrol....would you agree on their points including the prices? https://sites.google.com/site/defenceallmedia/post2015airforce2

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    1. That was an opinion of a certain Peter King. I do not agree on all the points he came out. But the C-295 is one of the candidates for our MPA requirement and medium lift transport aircraft. You can't replace a C-130 with a C-295 on a 1:1 basis.

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  28. fyi the alenia offer was for an atr42, it is not even a medium lift.

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    1. For MPA, yes they offered the ATR-42. But for the medium lift fixed wing aircraft, they offered the C-27J.

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  29. when the bid was opened it was the atr 42 that was offered. that was why alenia's offer was considered a failed bid.

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