Saturday, April 19, 2014

Helicopters as Alternative Way to Supply PH Outposts in Kalayaan Islands

The difficulty encountered by the Department of National Defense (DND) and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to relieve and replace its troops, and sending provision and supplies to its troops stationed in the BRP Sierra Madre at the Ayungin Shoal (Second Thomas Shoal) outpost was recently highlighted. A civilian ship of the government, BRP Fort San Antonio (AM-700) was sent to Ayungin Shoal for a second attempt to resupply and relieve troops at the AFP's outpost there when China Coast Guard vessels attempted to block the Philippine vessel. This aggression was captured on film by local and foreign media invited to the voyage, making the Chinese aggression in the Kalayaan Group of Islands (KIG) public. It was a good move by the Philippine government as part of its efforts to show to the world what is exactly happening on this side of the globe. 

With skill and some luck, the second attempt to reach the outpost was successful, but until when can the AFP do the same to freely access a part of Philippine territory and EEZ. The Philippine government must always consider changes in the way the Chinese until try to control the area. It is expected that the China Coast Guard will make adjustments to their naval blockade and make sure that a repeat of the successful passage of a Philippine vessel will be harder or impossible next time.


The BRP Sierra Madre (LT-57), the only outpost the Philippine government has at the Ayungin Shoal (Second Thomas Shoal) which is being claimed by China but is under control by the Philippines.


A China Cost Guard vessel attempting to block the civilian Philippine supply ship heading towards Ayungin Shoal.

So far, the Chinese are unable to stop aerial resupply missions, wherein the Philippine Navy (PN) previously use their BN-2 Islander light utility aircraft and flying low over the BRP Sierra Madre and drop supplies. Stopping them can only be done by either forcing them away using fighter aircraft, which is already an aggressive move but can still be disregarded by AFP aircraft. Other ways to stop aircraft attempting to supply the outposts is by radar-locking the aircraft, which is already a serious threat from the aggressor being a signal of a probable missile launch, or by shooting down the PN aircraft. Although the Chinese may not do the last 2 possibilities, it can do the first example but the AFP aircraft can always disregard them.


The BRP Sierra Madre being overflown by a Philippine Navy BN-2 Islander aircraft attempting an airdrop.
Photo taken from WESCOM, AFP website.


With this, MaxDefense suggests the use of medium or heavy-lift helicopters, which can operate from naval or civilian ships several miles away from the Chinese blockade. These helicopters have the endurance, size, and payload capacity to carry men and supplies from a distance, and can fly over the Chinese naval blockade. Supplies can be dropped on the deck of BRP Sierra Madre and on allocated spaces provided on far-flung outposts in the KIG in a similar way as a vertical replenishment (VERTREP) usually done in naval operations.


Vertical Replenishment:
Also known as VERTREP, this is a method of dropping supplies to ships or outposts similar to the BRP Sierra Madre. Supplies can be carried underneath helicopters using specialized slings or cargo nets, and are delivered by hovering the helicopter over the drop area and manually releasing the load from below. The Philippine Navy is currently learning this supply process using their newly-acquired AW109 Power helicopters as part of their skills and capability improvement. 





A US Navy MH-60S Knighthawk helicopter doing a VERTREP of supplies. A similar procedure can be done by the AFP to supply outposts in the WPS in case Chinese provocations and naval blockades persist in the near future.
Photo taken from Defenselink.mil.



Suggested Helicopters:
So far, only the Philippine Navy's Gregorio del Pilar-class frigates have the capacity to carry helicopters capable enough to do major VERTREP missions, and are only equipped with small helicopters like the AW109 Power which are not really designed for this capability. But these frigates' flight decks are capable of accepting 10-ton class helicopters, there are very few helicopters that can be suggested for this requirement.

The most obvious helicopter is the Sikorsky MH-60S "Knighthawk", which is the primary VERTREP helicopter of the US Navy. It was designed to do these missions, and can also be a viable candidate for the PN's requirement for transport helicopters for its upcoming Strategic Sealift Vessels (SSV). The PN could acquire 4 units, 2 assigned for each of the future SSV, and can be temporarily assigned to other PN ships for duties such as supply runs.

But buying new helicopters means that it will take some years before the first helicopter becomes available, so MaxDefense also suggests the acquisition of EDA helicopters in the meanwhile either by grant or reduced price purchase. MaxDefense suggests the Boeing Vertol CH-46E Sea Knight helicopters that are being replaced in the US Marine Corps, and are readily available for transfer to allies like the Philippines. Sea Knights were previously used by the US Navy for VERTREP missions until they were replaced by the MH-60S. These helicopters can be carried by the PN frigate's flight deck and are capable of VERTREP operations. Reportedly the US has been offering the CH-46 to friendly nations, and can be requested by the DND as part of the US' defense assistance to the Philippines.



A US CH-46 helicopter doing VERTREP.  The US has a lot of readily available CH-46 helicopters that can be obtained via EDA grants.
Photo taken from fas.org.


Aside from ship-based helicopters, the AFP could also consider acquiring larger transport helicopters that can be deployed from Palawan to supply its outposts in the KIG, and at the same time be used for other missions like humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) and troop transport. 



Other Possible Helicopter Suggestions:
The DND has been looking at acquiring larger helicopters than its current assets, but has always given priority to replace its ageing UH-1H fleet while also having consistent budgetary issues that has been plaguing the Philippine armed forces for several decades now. But with the move to improve the military's transport and HADR capability may have opened the possibility to acquire them due to their size, range and payload in carrying supplies. This was suggested earlier by MaxDefense in an earlier blog entry, and it appears that the DND has shown interest on acquiring such assets and has been looking at this capability that may be included in its future defense procurement projects. 

Coming from the mainland Palawan which is more than 100 miles from the outposts, they could store the supplies inside the helicopters, and deliver them by hovering low and dropping them on specialized platforms installed on the ship deck which will safely break the fall of the supply containers. 

For heavy-lift helicopters, MaxDefense suggestions include the CH-53 Super Stallion/Sea Stallion and the CH-47 Chinook, both of which are available for Excess Defense Articles (EDA) transfer from the US government. The DND may even opt to buy a couple of new Boeing CH-47F Chinooks or the Sikorsky CH-53K Super Stallions if budget permits, although getting EDA would be an easier route due to cost considerations.


Surplus CH-53D Sea Stallions can be obtained from the US military stocks, after refurbishing that will probably be shouldered by the Philippine government.
Photo taken from Airliners.net

Another alternative are the smaller but still capable medium-lift helicopters, which are also currently not available in the PAF or AFP's inventory. MaxDefense suggests the Eurocopter's EC725 Super Cougaror AgustaWestland's AW101. These helicopters are reportedly cheaper to acquire, operate and maintain as compared to larger helicopters like the Super Stallion. 


The Eurocopter EC-725 Super Cougar is a medium helicopter currently in use or ordered by other ASEAN armed forces like Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand.
Photo taken from Planespotters.net.
Another worth considering for the medium helicopter is the AgustaWestland AW101, the example above being operated by the Royal Air Force.
Photo taken from Planespotters.net



Some issues that hinders the acquisition of heavy and medium-lift helicopters for the AFP are mostly on the costs of procurement, operation, and maintenance. Operating a squadron may indeed be cost prohibitive to the AFP, but operating a small fleet of at least 3 or 4 heavy-lift helicopters might be sufficient for the basic requirements of the AFP and in supporting resupply missions. Aside from this, the helicopters can be used for combat and peacetime search and rescue, air assault missions, and transport requirements to areas without airfields. 

These large helicopters may not need to be operated at the same tempo as the smaller combat utility helicopters of the PAF. The availability of other rotary assets like the UH-1H and W-3A, and Bell 412 with the PAF means that the AFP has a lot of helicopter options to use in case the heavy lift helicopters are considered too much for a certain mission. This is the same concept to the reason why the Philippine Air Force (PAF) maintains and procures different transport aircraft sizes like the C-130, C-295 and NC-212. 




Preparation of BRP Sierra Madre for VERTREP:
For the BRP Sierra Madre, it would also be best if the AFP can make structural modifications on the ship's deck to make it suitable for dropping supplies carried underneath the helicopter, and not necessarily for the helicopter to land. Recent photos of the outpost shows massive degradation of the steel deck that may not be able to carry loads brought upon by a heavy-lift helicopter. 

Structural strengthening will improve the ship deck's capability to accept heavy load of supplies without the risk of giving way due to weight. This may include works that may affect the so-called "status quo" of not building structures on the disputed territories, although the works can be made inside the ship without being noticed by Chinese or other foreign surveillance aircraft, ships or satellites. The only concern on this is bringing in the construction materials needed, which might be done by another supply run via ships similar to the usual procedure the AFP does its supply missions. 



The BRP Sierra Madre's deck must be structurally strengthened to accommodate supplies stowed underneath the heavy lift helicopter.
Photo taken from Inquirer.net


Aside for preparation for VERTREP, the ship is in dire need for repair works and improvement of facilities. The entire ship is literally falling apart and becoming unsafe for those Marines stationed there. This is another consideration why the AFP and DND must think of ways to physically improve the outpost and improve the living conditions there. 

Other outposts in the KIG, like those on Patag, Panata, Kota, Lawak, Parola, and Pag-asa islands, at Rizal and Balagtas reefs must also be improved, although this may have serious implications that will give other claimants their own reasons to do the same for their occupied areas. A simple provision of supply dropping point  by helicopters can easily be prepared without doing major construction works.


Other outposts like those in Patag Island have enough space for helicopters to land. Accessing the island from to bring supplies from ships requires the use of rubber boats to avoid stranding the supply ships.
Photo taken from Interaksyon.com.


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UPDATES:
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July 20, 2015:
News reports surfaced on the plans to structurally repair and improve the BRP Sierra Madre in Ayungin Shoal (Second Thomas Shoal), which includes preparing a helicopter landing deck on the ship. It is still unclear how the AFP or Philippine Navy intends to do that reinforcement for the ship (which is still considered a commissioned warship of the Philippine Navy), but it would definitely be enought to accomodate existing PAF and PN helicopter assets.

MaxDefense suggests that they consider increasing the load carrying capacity of the helicopter landing deck, including installation of proper lighting and safety features to enable nighttime and poor weather condition use if necessary. 

Although this project for the ship should have been kept under dark to the media due to its sensitivity, everything is already out so the best they can do is make sure to do the upgrades, and do it fast without hesitation or budget deprivation.





114 comments:

  1. hope that the government take a second look for the need for these choppers,it is a dire need in supplying our troops to prevent blockade by these moronic china

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    1. Acquisition of naval helicopters for the SSV is inevitable, and the question is actually "when?". But if the PN will wait for the SSV to be online before it fields helicopters capable of VERTREP is actually not a good idea. As for large helicopters, let's see what happens in the next few months.

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    2. I hope that they will strengthen our outpost for the benefit of our nation

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  2. Finally after months of new post the 12th one has arrived (I applaud the effort). But after reading the entire topic. I came to notice the lack of RUSSIAN helicopters, well known for their capability like that of the large Mil Mi-26 or the MI 17, asides from the obvious reasons (price,compatibility,bureaucracy) how does it compare with the mentioned heli's. Is there any possibilities that Philippines would consider Russian products in general?

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    1. Good question. Unfortunately, the Russians are really at the back burner with regards to aircraft purchases by the AFP. To be honest I do not have any issues regarding the Mi-17, which is actually a cheap and capable aircraft. But with the way the DND/AFP decides on its purchases, MaxDefense doesn't expect the Russian helicopters to be there. There are murmurs in the DND regarding a possible acquisition of EDA helicopters from the US, which is closer to reality than buying anything Russian.

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    2. Sigh... therefore Russia still considers Philippines a semi-enemy due to it's strong commitment to the west. And the Philippine top brass growing up in the Cold-war bitterness still considering Russia as an enemy. Gosh no wonder, but DND/AFP would benefit much better if it learns to lose the tunnel vision, perhaps as neutral country. And make better relationship with the Russo's or else they would become hypnotized with china's misleading & dishonest words, that they would politically back china in it's territorial snatching.

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    3. Vietnam and Bangladesh are buying Russian-made hardware. Really good hardware.

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    4. Actually we can buy weapons and hardware's from Russia. From the Last bidding of the failed "Procurement" of Jet when it was still in GMA's Term. They've been offering the Export Version of the Mig-29. They even brought one here in the Phil. to be used in evaluation, but eventually did not come through due to still unknown issues and of course high corruption at that time.

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    5. Russia has been offering their Sukhoi and MiG fighters to the Philippines since 1991.

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  3. sokol can do that i quess

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    1. The Sokols are not certified to operate from PN ships yet. Also, the amount of supplies it can bring. It does not have the range to reach Ayungin Shoal from Palawan, loiter for the drops, and go back as well.

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  4. How about 2-3 civilian ships for resupplying operation? I think it's difficult to block 2-3 ships at the same time though the cost of resupplying gets higher while waiting for the helos to get acquired.

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    1. In the mean time, that's the best way while waiting for other alternatives.

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    2. Hi Sir Max, relative to your second paragraph on -Preparation of BRP Sierra Madre for VERTREP:- "Structural strengthening will improve the ship deck's capability to accept heavy load of supplies without the risk of giving way due to weight. This may include works that may affect the so-called "status quo" of not building structures on the disputed territories, although the works can be made inside the ship without being noticed by Chinese or other foreign surveillance aircraft, ships or satellites. The only concern on this is bringing in the construction materials needed, which might be done by another supply run via ships similar to the usual procedure the AFP does its supply missions". In my own opinion as a Civil Engineer it would be possible by the use of a staging or a common term for scaffolding works beneath the landing platform of the grounded ship by the use of pipes with couplers, of which is we can easily transport by batches we can secure the BRP Sierra Madre's deck from total collapsing by basic retrofitting by the use of G.I. pipes assembled inside/below deck...that way I think would not call to much attention by other opposing forces and....if delivered by gradual batches. I think this procedure will not need of any hot works just a job of a scaffolders......

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    3. Hi Brontoc, staging using scaffoldings is only a temporary fix although it might be the fastest way to support the deck. But ultimately there must be a way for the PH to start constructing a permanent outpost starting from the inside of the ship. When the PN brought the Sierra Madre to Ayungin they should have included a lot of construction tools and materials, and started immediately. Lack of foresight and planning on the PH government side, I guess?

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    4. Is it possible to tow a mothballed PN or PCG ship to Ayungin shoal to replace the disintegrating BRP Sierra Madre?

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    5. It is possible to tow a Ship, but to bring it on Ayungin Shoal would be hard, as you know the Chinese are manning the place. Plus consider that the replacement will also disintegrate in years. The only option is to build a permanent Structure to strongly withhold the Ayungin Shoal.

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    6. Are you sure if without the help of the US we are not able to replenish our troops there. Don't you think that chinese intelligence are already in sea, air and land. Even there satellite is all eyeing to WPS. Also, the Vietnam is telling that there are already a warship, surveillance and fighter jets flying above them in the disputed rig.

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    7. Donated oil tankers make nice out posts and delivery vessels

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  5. Boeing is modernizing chinooks to f standards maybe we can purchase 2 as eda

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  6. forget that certification when necessity arise discate kailangan.when weather and sea state is good put that sokol in alcaraz or del pilar no need to put in hangar go to ayungin and resupply our soldier end of discussion.

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    1. "Diskarteng pinoy" is not an option especially when we are talking about risking the helicopter and ship crew. This kind of thinking are reasons why accidents happen.The Sokols are not yet certified to land on the GdP-class, and its pilots are not certified as well. Too much self praise of Filipino skills and ability is not really helpful especially if this can be easily debunked by the "diskarte" of other nationalities.

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    2. "Diskarteng pinoy" is certainly not an option specially when your talking about equipments that are worth millions of PHP, and if the so called "Diskarteng pinoy" is that good them we should not have put up training school and we should not be sending AFP personnel abroad to train.

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  7. Hi max. I like this recent article i for one am an advocate of bigger helicopters for AFP. I think bigger helicopters can provide a big role militarily and also boost SAR capability. And i like the idea of pitching in the Sea Knight. With a combat radius of 300km, it can supply Ayungin which is 200km from Rizal Palawan. The issue though is Sea Knights are being replaced by Seahawks (which are statistically almost identical) and without that much users, parts cost can be a problem (though we could try and cannibalize US stocks when they get retired). What about the chinook? Its still widely used by US and allied nations, 10T payload limit, 300km combat radius, $2900/hr fuel burn. It can carry what 3 Seahawks or Seaknights can bring only thing is scratch out the idea of it landing on our SSVs. Were talking only about supplying Ayungin, we havent event scratch its effectiveness on quick insertion of 33 troops!

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    1. I agree better to get chinooks i read somewhere raf is having maintenance cost issues with aw-101 & ch-53 has high accident rate

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    2. That's one reason why i have some reservations on the flight deck capacity of the SSV - why limit the capacity to 10-ton helicopters when they could increase it to allow medium lifters with full load to operate?

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    3. one recent deal with EDA chinooks were korea, 14 chinooks/spares/equipment for $151m, ave. $11m per bird but the chinooks of interest were already operated by USFK so probably some wear and tear but can be upgraded to 47F and can add life to those helis.

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    4. Canada has several fleet of chinooks, and they are working to replace these fleets for over a decade now. The common problems they found with Chinooks are too expensive to maintain and operate.

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  8. kung gudto may paraan kung ayaw may dahilan.
    pinoy madiskarte sa kalokohan
    di diskarte sa katinuan
    that ship is not certified to supply a military outpost is a job for military ship
    dineskartehan na civilian ship at nilagyan ng media alam muna allergic intsik sa media
    nadiskartehan ng capitan ang intsik kaya hayun tuwang tuwa tayo.

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    1. Any ship can do the job, as long as it has the range to reach the outpost. But helicopters landing on ships are not all the same. Like you said, "kung gusto may paraan" and the correct procedure is to either certify the Sokols for deck landings on the GdP-class, or do the old way like in the 90's - use one of the remaining LST as a helicopter carrier for UH-1H. I believe there are many qualified PAF pilots to do this, while the LSTs have decks big enough to accomodate at least 2 Hueys.

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    2. Sir help us (me in particar) understand well with Japan's patrol boats. Some reports say it's 10 40-mtr boats soft loan. Some say it's 10 40-mtr frm ODA & 2 bigger units frm grants, or a total of twelve. Lately, one report said DND signd with Japan govt 10 40-mtr patrol boats to be delivered on 2015 & not 2014. Sir, w/c report is correct? Tnx

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  9. that supply last for six month ok time to train sokol and pilot to land and take off and lift supply in Gdp class in 5 month dapat bihasa na.

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  10. What about the KAI Surion Heli.? I though PAF is interested in acquiring it, will this be capable of doing VERTREP?

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  11. i think yung tungkol sa chinook malabo mangyari kasi.yung super tucano nga na papalit sa ov-10 eh wala pa rin eh na kasama ata sa plan talaga nila eh eto di naman kasama toh kaya for sure malabo toh.pero di rin natin malalaman at nakakainip yung papalit sa ov-10 wala pa rin balita.sana matuloy lahat ng plans.but it will take big big money.

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    Replies
    1. The negotiations for the OV-10 replacement is ongoing, and kinks are being ironed out on securing the acqusition terms with the US government. It may not undergo bidding in the same way as the FA-50 deal as they are locked on the Super Tucano via Sierra Nevada.

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  12. I can see the Philippines taking the Boeing Vertol CH-46 Sea Knight, it's a lot cheaper than buying New and the US has them in the Boneyard. Boeing Vertol CH-46 Sea Knight is also Useful when they have the LPD and can be used to Land Marines as well.

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    1. Hope they would get at least two...

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  13. Sir are we NOT, in a way, giving the chinese an information or tactics thru these xchanges on how to reach ayungin & avoid the CCG??....

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    1. The Chinese already anticipated this several years ago. They are not stupid as many think so.

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    2. I don't think it requires rocket science to figure out how to relieve and resupply the troops there. Beside any ship that moves toward the shoal is monitored by Chinese radars.

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    3. People should really start respecting the enemy.

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    4. Why not try requesting the US to escort our re-supply ship with a US Navy Destroyer or Frigate so that the Chinese CG ships cannot go near or block our re-supply ship.

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  14. forget chinoook forget surion use what is present in afp inventory that is sokol dual turbine powerful enough to hover longer time. all we need is a pilot with bigger ball to try train landing and taking off in gdp class.

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    1. No helos can land nor take off from from the Sierra Madre. First, the ship is disintegrating. Second, there's no deck.

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    2. He was talking about taking off and landing from the Gregorio del Pilar-class frigates. The proposal on this blog is to drop supplies without the helicopter landing on the Sierra Madre.

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  15. nice blog sir max.....very useful for afp.... I agree with this. Im sure this will be effective for ayungin...but still regular patrol of our coast guard is the most effective to maintain the best position of our claim. lem1

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  16. sir out of the topic.. my question is, what happend to italian deal last year? its domino effect because of the cancellation of two maestrale ship. what happened in other project like planes, submarine, tanks etc. or cancelled all of this.

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  17. Happy Easter sir. Great topic for today.
    I'm curious as to why the AFP is attached to smaller sized helicopters for CUH role? I mean if it is used for transport of troops to the battlefield then why not use larger helicopters to carry more troops with just less the number of helicopters. In addition to troop/CUH roles they can then be readily employed in SAR/cargo/replenishment thus significantly improving the capability of the AFP.

    And the issue indeed of the incoming SSV/LPD in terms of helicopter carrying abilities w/c i think is very minimal esp in amphibious landing operations. Is it maybe that the AFP is planning a LHD type ship?

    The new CH-53K Super Stallion looks great and the Chinook refurb to CH-47F standard is good also.

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  18. please support our ayungin shoal. no matter what happen this must be establish well to have a better structure for our marines..better equipment for our gallant marines.. please make your voice out to a link below.

    https://m.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=778858165458241&id=302597129751016&set=a.744789728865085.1073741831.302597129751016&ref=stream&_rdr#779207948756596

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  19. no other option and that is to use our coast guard to regularly patrol the area along ayungin shoal.so chinese will not be able to give credit to counter our coast guard

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  20. its time for our government to construct a defense structure along sabina shoal before its to late. its better to have a helipad and a small warp to accommodate those asw helicopter and a jacinto class corvette for patrol and replinishment. I hope our armed forces would agree on this. for the above comment I agree that our coast would position and regularly patrol and visit tge ayungin area as well as the marines who stationed in brp sierra madre. Im hoping president Pnoy will prioritize this issue.

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  21. aw-109 is vertrep certified i remember i see there is hoist under its belly .

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    1. It is, but it can only carry very light load.

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    2. aw-109 is the best for now. we are not resupplying a battalion we are only supplying how many 6 marine in sierra madre its enough .

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  22. tama..dapat gumagawa din ng effort ang coast guard natin... ako alam ko kaya nilang mag patrol dyan sa ayungin..di yung lagi na lang umiiwas sa coast guard ng china. alalahanin nyo may outpost tayo dun na sierra madre eh di pwedeng wala ang coast guard natin yun.. walang ibang option kundi ang regular na patrol sa ayungin and sabina shoal... malaki ang rights natin dun.. bakit ano ba ang rason ng coast guard natin at bakit di nila ginagawang mag patrol sa sabina at ayungin? hoy Coast guard gumisisng kayo... binabayaran kayo ng taong bayan na mag bantay sa mga isla natin.. wag yung lingas kugon lang kayo.. nakakaka disappoint kayo...

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    1. I think they want to avoid confrontation with Chinese ships. It's embarrassing to be at the receiving end of a water canon and you can't fight back.

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  23. Other outposts in the KIG, like those on Patag, Panata, Kota, Lawak, "Parola, and Pag-asa islands, at Rizal and Balagtas reefs must also be improved, although this may have serious implications that will give other claimants their own reasons to do the same for their occupied areas. A simple provision of supply dropping point by helicopters can easily be prepared without doing major construction works." - I remember there was already supposed to be a bidding for the improvement of Pagasa's pier and subsequently the airstrip as well as improvement of other outposts, does this mean these plans are already shelved indifinitely? In any case, the country is really paying for the serious neglect by past administrations. China and even Vietnam had already practically built fortresses on some of their outposts.

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  24. nice comment..agreable bro. this is a job for the philippine coast guard.. better to position in sabina and ayungin shoal..

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  25. sir ano na po update sa coast guard ship na binili sa france yung LA TAPAGUESE?

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  26. Hi Max,

    Fist let me say that it is a good read :) thanks for putting in the effort in writing the blog entries.

    Second, while I believe that vertrep will again be part of the skills of our naval and air force pilots soon, I believe that we would be limited for some time with the current helicopters that are already with us or on those that are on the pipeline rather than getting medium lift or heavy lift helicopters.

    What are the helicopters we have or in the pipeline:
    1. UH-1H - the AFP used to land our UH-1H in our LST's so there are possibilities they can do so again in a vertrep role. Limiting factor would be range and payload capacity.
    2. AW-109 - obvious candidate for the vertrep as they are based on our Del Pilar class frigates (still find the frigate designation unbelievable) but has limited payload
    3. W-3 Sokol - far bigger payload capacity than the other helis we have but has not yet been certified with our LST's or the Del Pilar frigates so we will not be seeing them do so just yet.
    4.ASW Helis -the ASW helis that are on the pipeline may have to bring in supplies to our outpost if the need arises.

    All of the helicopters we have or still in the pipeline will have one common limiting factor, which is RANGE. They would need to take off from one of our ships quite near the Ayungin shoal rather than from Palawan itself. Which would tie down one of our naval asset as well as the helicopter. There is another alternative that might actually meet the resupply of our KIG outpost without the need for vertrep from helicopter or airdrop from the BN's. I am talking about the ongoing (?) search and rescue seaplane which could fulfill the resupply and transport of our personnel to and from our outpost in KIG.

    It was even discussed previously:
    http://maxdefense.blogspot.com/2013/11/details-and-analysis-of-pafs-search-and.html

    ginoginoako

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    1. The UH-1H can be used if an LST will be bringing in supplies. As I said in an earlier reply, each LST can carry 2 Hueys, but it would be limited by the payload it can carry. This can be addressed by several drops. The AW109 as you said has limited payload due to its small size. Incoming ASW helicopters should not be used for such missions as there are valuable assets that are not configured for carrying cargo.

      Another problem are the LST themselves: to avoid confrontation with Chinese ships the LST should not come close to the Chinese ships. Being a grey ship, it can be used as a reason for the Chinese to send their PLAN ships instead of those from CCG.

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    2. Maybe it would be better if we turn-over the 2 hamiltons to the PCG. Then it would be white on white and the PCG will be able to "show the flag" in the WPS.

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  27. We have an Airstrip in Pag-asa... From what I know, C-130's could Land there... Heli's Could also land there...

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    1. No problem with Pag-asa island due to the presence on an airstrip, but the AFP must start improving and expanding the airstrip as it its already literally falling apart and may not be safe for take-off and landing of STOL aircraft.

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    2. Based on the timeline the DND published last year, there is a budget set aside to refurbish Rancudo Airfield and build a port and a beachhead/landing to launch boats on trailers or being parked in enclosed structures.

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    3. Hi Santiago, yes there is, but nothing has been made until now. So until then, the airfield is still not safe for aircraft to use.

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  28. then this is one more reason to acquire hamilton or shiretoko sized ships for the coast guard...these have the size to stand up to chinese coastguards and having them in white will not necessarily inflame the situation... more size also means more carrying capacity for resupply as demonstrated by the GDP-class during Yolanda relief.

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  29. ask ko lang sir max kung ano yung bibigay na gift ni obama...sa pag punta niya dito :) sana makagawa ka ng blog tungkol dito ano yung mga possibility ibigay ni us pres obama

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    Replies
    1. No matter what these gifts are I'm sure they will be useful to our AFP. Anyway, we can't be choosy with whatever it is he decides to give.

      Delete
    2. remember sabi ng usa kahit ano raw hiling ng pilipinas bibigay i mean alam ko lahat mahalaga but ano kaya ang bibigay nila? will they give or not ?

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    3. Let's just wait and see. The US only gives us equipment they have phased out as EDAs, never did we receive brand new and state of the art items like other countries say Egypt which was recently cleared to receive 10 Apache helicopters as aid. It all depends on them on what they want to give depending on their interests.

      Delete
  30. Max is it true that the PN will be manufacturing own radars, sonar, ships, satellite and modern weapons? As in it will be truly made in the philippines?
    -DZero

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    1. my thinking is that our AFP-PN will integrate our own radar system. meaning we will purchase various piece of equipment ( transmitter, electro-mechanical kits, antenna and other system interface) to come up with our own working config. I don't know if or PN is capable of doing this.....

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    2. There are plans to design and build its own radar, sonar, and other systems. These technology are over 70 years old and NRDC should not have any problem with this. Tech transfer offers from friendly countries has been made before, and these plans have been with the navy for so long that it's not surprising that all these came out with a revitalized NRDC. Remember that last year in MaxDefense's FB page we announced that even the "Bongbong" rocket is getting a 2nd look? This is a part of it.

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    3. Well sir max good to know that....I hope our AFP particularly the government and the next government will continue the self reliance program....Para we can develop our own defense equipment/assets without relying to much to with other country....likewise the AFP should tap university and technological school to have synergy....

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    4. Technology transfer is good to hear. But is our resources for the AFP is enough what you said radar, sonar, and other. Do we have scientists and engineers? With regards to Bongbong rocket it was the european scientists who dis this equipment and some of our technicians were trained in Germany. The question is do we have the industry and electronics manufacturing to do it? Even China it takes them 30 years to develop their capability in radar technology with cyber spy to steal this technology. Yes we can Filipino but the question is the NRDC is ready and our national government to put a defense industry, If really we are gearing toward this why our the best scientists are going in our country so the question is do we have a human resources to be really nationalistic and few good man to do it for our nation.

      Delete
  31. If it pushes through, the seaplane acquisition project of the PAF can also help in resupply missions for our isolated KIG outposts. Rumors are pointing towards the Twin Otter as the leading contender.

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    1. For the PAF seaplane, yes the Twin Otter is gaining ground, according to some insiders.

      Delete
  32. These are all plans as of the moment. How soon these will be realized remains to be seen.

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  33. perhaps we can make our own medium-lift helicopters by combining two second hand hueys together. it will look like two hueys flying side by side but there's a connecting platform between the two.

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  34. How could you connect a platform between two hueys??? you have to consider the radius of the rotor which is more then 7 meters.

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  35. actually better to use Indonesian-made helicopters that can say cheap and sophisticated, because Indonesia including strong state

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    Replies
    1. Unfortunately, the Indonesian helicopters are licensed from Airbus Helicopters (Eurocopter) and the license is for domestic use only. Since the agreement between Indonesian Aerospace and Airbus Helicopters was strictly for Indonesia, they can't export those helicopters.

      In the future Indonesian Aerospace may develop their own helicopter or get a global license that will allow them to export the helicopters. When that time comes, it will be considered.

      Delete
  36. I found this site so amazing that i start back reading the threads with gusto, being a filipino & ofw that works on GA (general aviation) with no indepth knowldge/experiences on military A/C fix wing & rotary,allow me post my 1cent opinion & pls dont bash me on this,makikisawsaw lang po sa usapan. Sir Max a while ago i came to a comment by one american when yahoo posted the news about the succesful repleneshment of our troops in Ayungin, one of them posted that their govt.(US) will give the USS Nassua to the AFP, curioust by this I take a look at Wikipidea and found out these: Nassau was a Tarawa class ampibious assult ship capable of transporting 3k troops,fitted with 300 bed hospital,4 medical & 3 dental operating room. Her cargo areas are capable of holding tanks,trucks & large warfare supply.Her length is 833.34 ft,beam 106.6 ft speed at 24 knots, armament:2x ram launchers,4x25mm mk38 cannons,2x phalanx ciws 5x.50 caliber M2HB machine gun.A/C carried 6 AV-8B,AW-iW super cobra,CH-46,CH53 & UH-1N.Based on your other thrend some of the guys may say this is to much for PN to handle base on skill,tech knowhow to operate etc..but considering on what is happening at WPS and the state of PN, the minimum credible defense posture of AFP, the cabbage strategy of Red army and most of all 1 piss off OFW (lol) I am fully supportive of this idea to acquire this asset for the ff reasons.,Nassua was decommioned on March 2011, currently with the MARAD NDRF ship although not included in excess military assets but with the expected signing of EDA today & favorable US opinion on PH being the only david in asia compronting golitah china and the fact that a credible PN can help making sure south china sea is open to freedom of navigation.This will help unload some of the weight from USN.We can then justify it by the ff reasons: 1. It will boost the morale of AFP particularly PN personnel. 2. National pride on AFP will sky rocket.3 it will boost the capacity to monitor & secure PH territory.4. Immediate respond to natural disaster since it has hospital beds.5 expeditous humanitarian assistance & disaster relief since its cargo can load engineering equipments that can be used during a yolanda cat,earthquake & other natural calamities.6 Provide significant lift notably critical & timely support of AFP's MCDP to compront chinas assertiveness.Therefore it will then become our flagship & serve as command post in WPS and a deterence to china's aircraft carrier. To achive these, we should acquire it with all armaments intact, we should also negotiate to have at least 4 AV-8B attack planes equipt w/ anti ship missile,4 CH-47 & 4 AH-1W supper cobra with it.Once we have it we should base in it 2 ASW helicopter, 2 sokol for S&R and couple of UH-1H.In the question of operation & maintenance 10M of the 30M$ of the annual US military will be channel to finance the maintenance of the ship & all the a/c that comes with it aside from that a negotiation will be made to ask the US govt to help in the operation expenses at least thru the duration of 10 yrs life of EDA.having been posted this, I would like to request Sir Max to do a indepth analysis on this matter and if it will result in a very favorable argument then we the Filipino people should bonded togther form a movement starting here,ask the netizens,use multi media & let us gather 10M signature and also asked our Fil-AM to petition the US senator & congressmen & signature of their american friends. Once reach we will then forward to US & PH govt for their consideration with the prayer of approval & of course w/ a very minimal amount of payment (sa abot kaya ng Bulsa ni juan dela cruz)..This is my wish..what do you think Kabayan?, Sir Max..looking forward on your analysis on this..Thanks & more power..

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    Replies
    1. you have waste your time writing into this blog... its impossible for the AFP and US to commission this ship into our inventory. you have still a day dream folk.

      Delete
    2. @ Anonymous , enlighten and humor me on the following quotes.
      "here is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure." Paulo Coehelo
      “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
      ― Eleanor Roosevelt
      “Hold fast to dreams,
      For if dreams die
      Life is a broken-winged bird,
      That cannot fly.”
      ― Langston Hughes
      And finally why ......
      “Ester asked why people are sad.
      "That’s simple," says the old man. "They are the prisoners of their personal history. Everyone believes that the main aim in life is to follow a plan. They never ask if that plan is theirs or if it was created by another person. They accumulate experiences, memories, things, other people's ideas, and it is more than they can possibly cope with. And that is why they forget their dreams.”
      ― Paulo Coelho, The Zahir
      Be smart and be nice.

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    3. It's free to dream, so why not the best for our AFP

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    4. Maybe in due time.

      Delete
  37. Sir Max can you can a topic regarding the EDA... thanks

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  38. I beg your pardon, what I did is not a waste, Sir max created this blog, we reacted & posted our ideas I dont see anything wastefull when I posted it.No matter what I will continue advocating our AFP to have better hardware and no amount of pessismist like you can stop me.

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    1. I agree go on sir speak ur mind...

      Delete
  39. everybody has the right to his opinion and as educated people we must respect each opinion accordingly.

    Sir max any news/update on bidding of brand new frigates?.....any progress at least...Salamat

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  40. It is a shame to see the RUST on the BRP SIERRA MADRE with the PHILIPPINE NATIONAL FLAG flying from the mast. Professional NAVY PROCEDURE is have the crew chip off the rust and paint the ship. Also the PN needs to send out HULL TECHNICIANS to evaluate and repair any holes in the ship's bulk heads. People see this image of the BRP SIERRA MADRE from around the world. What must they think of the PHILIPPINE NAVY?

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    Replies
    1. A navy fighting a desperate battle against a chronic lack of funds but nevertheless with gallant marines/sailors willing to adapt, improvise, and endure.

      Honor y Gloria

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  41. In general, it would be good for the Philippines to be able to supply the outposts in the West Philippine Sea by helicopter. I would, however, suggest thinking outside the box and going an alternate, less expensive route towards obtaining this capability: buy some used Mil MI-8 helicopters on the international market and have them upgraded and refurbished by Ukraine. That way the Philippines would simultaneously acquire this capability for a low cost and support another democratic nation that is having to deal with an overbearing, aggressive, large neighbor. The acquisition and operating costs would be low and these helicopters would also be very valuable whenever a calamity such as Typhoon Yolanda strikes.

    Laurence

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  42. tulungan po natin na ipa alam sa mundo ang kasamaan at kasinungalingan ng mga intsik... paki paste lang ang link below.. sa

    this will be the next Hitler of modern times. with the china, russia and north korean axis. another things that china cant be trusted of all time. please check the link below

    http://betterphils.blogspot.com/2014/05/in-1930s-china-didnt-know-where.html?showComment=1399012389038#c5980828780364620626


    http://thediplomat.com/2014/04/second-thomas-shoal-the-new-battleground/

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  43. try to see link below how KAMOTE is our coast guard...trabaho sana nila ang mag patrolya sa ayungin at sabina shoal.. ano silbi ng mga tennix class ship nila. hay kaka desmaya ka mr. balilio!


    http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2014/05/04/1319161/5-chinese-vessels-deployed-near-shoal

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  44. buddy, stop gap solution would be utilize our Bacolod Class L/Craft.... station then INSIDE Philippine Territiorial Water... midway to KIG... I believe the "BACOLOD" are heli capable... we can still use our hueys for vertrep.... CQ_One

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    Replies
    1. That's possible if the weight load designed of chopper platform in BRP Bacolod can accommodate fully loaded Huey's or Sokol of air force. Dapat mag practice na sila....I go with the idea bro....

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  45. the ch-47D are not being upgraded the ch-47F are all new. The ch-47D are perfectly fine and finished mod's before turned in. And much easier to maintain then the 47F . you cant land an F in the water. you do not need to land to resupply you can sling it there or just hover with the ramp open and push pallets off. buy the Delta's There's plenty of us that would help crew them for you.

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  46. silent month for afp Modernization?

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  47. Recently, there was an online posting @ asian military defence review, that PAF pilot is being trained to fly Super Cobra. Does PAF will get these hardwares from US?

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    1. It's not a training flight, but a familiarity flight.

      Delete
  48. why don't they built more better structures and facilities in these islets like other claimants did. that navy ship rusting and looking like a slum in the panatag shoal is just a reflection of the government slum mentality. lol

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  49. I've just finished watch t.v. news and found ang mga sinket has already 9 area in west phil sea they reclaimed. PRESIDENT AQUINO!! ano na, hahayaan na lng ba natin ito, dapat mapigilan natin ito at paalisin ang mga ito, kung wala tayong ibig sabihin nyan wala tayong karapatan na ang sariling atin at baka sabihin nyan ng mga sinket sa kanila talaga yun ang west phil sea kasi hind natin sila sinisita o hulihin, huwag na natin yan hintayin yan kaso na isinampa natin sa U.N. tukong sa EEZ dahil matagal pa yan, baka bago maumpisahan yan may mga isla na ang mga sinket dyan PRESIDENT AQUINO huwag tayo mag-pakatanga kumilos ka o kaya humingi kana ng permission sa U.N. na hulihin yan mga sinket sa west phil sea. handa ako maging AFP para maproteksyonan ang ating bansa PRESIDENT AQUINO GISING.... BAGO MAHULI ANG LAHAT!!!!

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    Replies
    1. With the reclamation of land being done by the chinky eyes there is no need for us to be concerned with the upgrading of the sierra madre's deck.

      Delete
  50. Naku maraming Chinese Sir Max ang nagmomonitor nitong blogspot mo. Kung mabasa nila plano natin tiyak lagot tayo.hahaha. Joke lang to ha mga Chinese. Were just kidding. :-)

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  51. Good day Sir. As a person working in the medical field, the first thing that comes into my mind with regards to our people posted on this outposts is emergency medical evacuation. Let's say, God forbid, a marine stationed this outpost needs surgery for a possible life threatening condition like a acute appendicitis or a cardiac arrest, does our navy or airforce have the capability of extricating a patient through helicopter. I know that the AW 109's have a winch, but are they capable of taking a person off the ship without landing?

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  52. Out of curiosity, can the Sea Knights fit in the Tarlac's hangar?

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  53. Is there any possibilities Sir Max that CH-53K a $145 million per unit, can be push through for the acquisition of 3 Heavy Lift Helicopter of Philippine Navy. it's stated in the "Philippine Navy's Desired Force 2015", 2 helicopters for Horizon 2 and 1 for Horizon 3. thanks

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