Monday, March 17, 2014

Re-tender of 155mm Towed Howitzer and Ammo Acquisition for PA and PMC

The Philippines' Department of National Defense (DND) has subjected the 155mm Towed Howitzer with Ammunition acquisition program to a re-bid, after the initial attempt failed. The bid invitation is available at DND's BAC website. The projects Approved Budget for the Contract (ABC) still stands at Php 438,620,000.00 for 12 units of 155mm towed howitzer, 240 rounds of 155mm high explosive ammunition, and integrated logistics support package. Pre-bid conference  was scheduled last March 11, 2014, while the bid submission is scheduled on March 25, 2014.


The DND released another Invitation to Bid for the 155mm Towed Howitzer with Ammunition acquisition project in February 2014. ABC still remains, as well as the number of units for acquisition.


Previous reports indicated that Israel-based company Elbit Systems Land and C4I was the front-runner of the first tender, but their bid was ultimately rejected after DND found its submitted documents incomplete and non-complying. Elbit Systems is the owner of Soltam Systems, a company specializing in manufacturing howitzer systems including the Philippine Army's M-71 howitzers. Another reported bidder was Stone of David, also known as Joavi Philippines, which was involved in several major tenders for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for the last several years. Stone of David was said to offer a Serbian or Bosnian-made howitzer based on the Yugoslavian version of the Soviet M46 howitzer using 155mm caliber instead of the original 130mm, probably produced by the same company that made the Philippine Army's new 81mm M69B mortars (which Stone of David supplied as well).


Hyundai WIA's KH179 (above) may not be offered again due to cost considerations, although MaxDefense is still hopeful that Hyundai WIA will re-consider and submit a bid.


The Yugoslavian version of the Soviet M46 howitzer, using a 155mm caliber gun instead of Soviet 130mm, might have been offered by Stone of David. It may be sourced from either Serbia or Bosnia.
Photo of M46 howitzer taken from militaryphotos.net.


An earlier MaxDefense blog entry speculated that Korea's Hyundai WIA will take part on the initial tender, but that they did not submit a bid. Also missing is the favorite among the AFP, the BAE Land System's M777. This might be due to the budget allocated by the AFP, as both Hyundai WIA's KH179 and BAE's M777 may cost higher than what the AFP can afford. It is expected that both Elbit Systems and Stone of David may return to re-bid for the project, and MaxDefense still expects Hyundai WIA and BAE Land Systems to pass on this project.


A simplified version of Elbit Systems' Soltam ATHOS 155mm Towed Howitzer might be offered to the Philippine Army and Marine Corps' requirements.
Photo taken from Army-Guide website.

MaxDefense's Opinion:
Based on information gathered and observation of events, MaxDefense believes that Elbit Systems has the highest chance of bagging this project, possibly with an offer based on a simplified version of the automated Soltam Athos System. This is related to the growing relationship between the Israeli military and defense industry, and the AFP. MaxDefense sources have already indicated a very active lobbying of Israeli systems to executive branch of the government, the DND, and the AFP. This is evident with the recent awarding or being shotlisted for defense projects by Israeli companies without undergoing tender: 

  • Elbit recently got awarded with a contract to provide 28 upgraded M113 armored vehicles for the PA; 
  • IAI-Elta Systems Ltd. was shortlisted as among the leading choices to supply the 3 air defense and surveillance radar systems for the Philippine Air Force.
  • Although tendered, IAI-Elta Systems was one of the winning bidders for the establishment of Coast Watch Systems for the Philippine Navy. 


There are indications that Israel may be offering refurbished 155mm towed howtizers, probably Soltam M-71s (above) similar to what the PA is using.
Photo taken from Wikipedia.

There is a strong indication that Israel is pushing to supply the AFP with several military systems and equipment consisting of new and surplus but still usable systems. This includes several types of missile systems, armored vehicles, gun systems for land and naval applications, patrol boats, artillery, radar and sensors systems, combat aircraft and helicopters. This possibility of purchasing used/refurbished artillery systems from Israel may affect the decision in awarding the contract for the new 155mm towed howitzers, as it gives Israeli products a strong edge due to commonality in supply chain, maintenance, and training.

MaxDefense awaits for more information regarding this project and will inform its readers of any updates, as the 155mm towed howitzer project was given less attention with the SAA/LIFT acquisition project based on the KAI FA-50 is gaining traction these past weeks. 

=========
Updates:
=========
March 28, 2014 - Elbit Systems Land & C4I wins the tender to supply 12 units of 155mm towed howitzer and ammunition for the Philippine Army and Marine Corps. Elbit System's bid was reportedly at Php 368,837,332.00 for the entire package, which is lowed than the project ABC of Php 438,620,000.00. Offer was reportedly the ATHOS system, probably in 39 caliber model.


Elbit System's ATHOS 155mm Towed Howitzer, said to be the next 155mm towed artillery system for the PA & PMC.
Photo taken from Elbit System's website.

More updates from MaxDefense when information starts to trickle down.

31 comments:

  1. After the last failed bidding, the gov't should have opted for a G2G negotiation instead so as to finally complete this award. It's as if we have all the time in the world relative to our military modernization. The gov't seems to be overly cautious when it comes to G2G transaction which moves faster maybe for fear of corruption issues from the political opposition

    ReplyDelete
  2. so the Israeli's might give away their old Sa'ar 4 patrol boats and the Philippine govt will just have to pay for refurbishment ala ex-Hamiltons?

    ReplyDelete
  3. well we cannot blame the government having a long process of public bidding.. to prove this administration is not stealing government funds and to lessen the public's opinion on corruption as what happens in the last administration.. about Israel: that's a positive development that they are willing to help us for the acquisition of their new and surplus systems.. better than nothing

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A lot of the bidding have been relatively fast in the Pnoy administration. Maybe they seem slow because we constantly monitor them.

      Delete
  4. Bidding is good,.. So defense suppliers can offer there best at a lower price,.. you know, in order to win, you must have quality and good price... Why not bid for a Coastal Defense ASM and SAM's... It is taking too long...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. These projects won't be undergoing an open tender, but will be more of a negotiated bid similar to what was done for the SAA/LIFT project.

      Delete
  5. Sir max, good morning po.

    Just want to ask if it was possible for the PN to obtain additional sensors and weapons system and mount it on pf15 and pf16. If so, what would be possibly chosen in particular that we might see in the near future? Sorry to ask, just want to hear it from you because I have no any idea with regards to these things.

    Thanks, btw I'm a big fan of maxdef sir :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi unopoly burgers, yes it is possible, and that is what the PN is exploring right now. There were already several offers made, the most interesting coming from the Israelis as it involves installing several weapons and sensors system to increase their capability. So far there are signs that the ships were installed with new ESM systems, and integration to the CWS.

      Delete
    2. I'm sorry sir max, I forgot to mention that I was referring to israeli systems with regards to my question before. But since you've mentioned it anyway, what are the possible systems in particular that the Israelis might be offering to be mounted on our two frigates (either purchased brand new by our gov't or those coming from excess and formerly used by Israel)? Btw thanks for the reply sir max.

      Delete
  6. The Israelis are noted for their defensive and offensive missile systems which cost less than US and European made but are equally effective if not better. The AFP can explore the possible acquisition of air defense, shore based anti-ship missiles and other missiles for our helicopters and the upcoming jetfighter trainers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That was already explored, and might even be considered soon.

      Delete
  7. is there any news regarding the fa50 and I thought this will comment and finalization be made before march 15.its already march 18 but still no information coming from the aquino government . lem1

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The SecDef already said last week, the contract will be signed within this week.

      Delete
  8. Hi Sir Max Max! Do you have any Information on what variant of air defense and surveillance radar systems from IAI-Elta Systems that DND acquired? Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  9. I thought they are pushing for ATMOS 2000?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Changes do happen in decision making. Ultimately the budget given would not be enough for a sizeable fleet of self propelled howitzers.

      Delete
    2. oh i see..

      thanks

      Delete
  10. Philippines signs deal to buy 12 fighter-trainer jets

    The Philippines has signed a deal to buy 12 fighter-trainer planes to beef up its territorial defences.

    Speaking at the Philippine Military Academy in Baguio City, President Benigno Aquino said that bidding for the procurement of two twin-engine naval antisubmarine helicopters was also set to begin.

    "Our soldiers are also already making use of the modern ships, eight Sokol combat utility helicopters, three navy helicopters, and other vehicles we have turned over," Aquino told graduates of the academy.

    "On top of this, we have closed our purchase of 12 lead-in fighter-trainer aircraft for territorial defence operations," he said. The trainer aircraft will be supplied by a South Korean firm.

    "We also count among our targets for 2016 an additional eight combat utility helicopters that can provide, among others, search and rescue and disaster relief missions," he said.

    The Philippine military, one of the weakest in Asia, has gone shopping to modernise its ageing equipment, in the face of China's bid to gain control of more features in the South China Sea.

    To help establish "a minimum credible defence posture", the Philippines has harnessed and expanded its defence co-operation with strategic partners such as the US and Japan.

    China's occupation of Scarborough Shoal, a contested shoal north of the Spratly Islands, in 2012 "constituted the first instance of a blatant change in the status quo of a maritime feature in the South China Sea since 1995 when China seized control of Mischief Reef", according to a Philippine security official.

    The reef, a submerged bank about 240 kilometres off Palawan, is now an active naval base, the military said.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Sir max im one of your avid fans. Thank you sa lhat ng updates. O.T po ang question ko, ano na po ang updates sa binili ng PH Coastguard na french navy ship? Kelan po ideliver? Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Perhaps the status of the coastguard vessels from Japan can also be included if these are already in the pipeline or not yet. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  13. i'm told that some of the howitzers that the AFP are going to acquire have a range that can reach panatag shoal if mounted on a tall platform and fired at a certain angle. this is a good move by the army. a salvo from these howitzers will certainly disintegrate any chinese warships that will linger in that area because incoming shells will be a harder target for their CIWS. in fact, if the platform is tall enough, the howitzers can also be effective against the J-15's.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This should be verified vs. the specs of the howitzers and the so-called platform.

      Delete
  14. Coming from one of our members who was present during the Bid Openings for the 155mm Howitzer tender gave his impression that the DND-BAC particularly the Vice-Chairwoman appeared to be lawyering for Stone of David during the evaluation of Elbit Systems' documents. We may not see the end of this matter as a repeat of the highly controversial Post Qualification for the Force Protection Vests may just be in the offing where the First Lowest Calculated Bidder was disqualified in the Post-Qualification stage with SoD representing Merkata as the Second Lowest Bidder, since the very same personalities are involved, that is the Vice-Chairwoman and Stone of David.

    ReplyDelete
  15. If at all, we may not see the end of this bidding process for the 155mm Howitzers, since one of our members who was present at the time of the Bid Opening last March 27 had this impression that the Vice-Chairwoman of the DND-BAC appeared to be lawyering for Stone of David, the opponent of Elbit Systems in the tender. We may yet see a repeat of the highly controversial Force Protection Vests Acquisition Project whereby the First LCB was eventually disqualified in the Post-Qualification stage and the second ranked LCB which is Stone of David representing the Serbian Company Merkata apparently being favored since the first post-qua undertaken already showed problems in the Financial capabilities and should have been already disqualified, but was yet given a second post-qualification proceeding. Our member took note that in both projects, the same personalities are involved, that is the Vice-Chairwoman and Stone of David.

    Since the First Bidding in Dec 2013 for this project, the Anti-Trapo Movement took deep interest in looking into the Procurement process undertaken by the DND, as ATM takes keen interest in the biddings undertaken by the DOTC. Particularly undertaking due diligence regarding the background of the BAC members. It may be interesting to note that the Vice-Chairwoman involved in the two projects above was discovered to be also directly involved in a highly anomalous procurement of medicines during her stint as Head of the Procurement and Logistics of the DOH in 1998. ATM intends to dig deeper into this matter, in order to answer the how and the why this Vice-Chairwoman was selected to be a member of the DND-BAC and given a position of Vice-Chair at that when she has a history of being directly involved in shady deals in the government procurement?

    ReplyDelete
  16. Max you made some mistakes in your article. There is no such thing as 155mm howitzer based on 122mm howitzer. M94 is Croatian designation for domestically produced Soviet D30 howitzer. And that on the picture in your article is Argentinian CITER 155mm howitzer used by Croatian army. Yugoimport is probably offering Converted gun M46/10 155mm/52 cal, based on Soviet M46 130mm gun.

    http://i.imgur.com/YEJ4zeu.png

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. After re-checking, you are right. Thanks for the correction, although it appears that the DND chose the Israeli offer.

      Delete
  17. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  18. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  19. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  20. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Gusto ko rin yung M777 sana. The PA is already familiar with the M777 because this is what they use during Balikatan exercises. Kahit refurbished lang na M777 kung kaya ng budget.

    ReplyDelete