Saturday, June 28, 2014

Updates and Analysis on the Close Air Support Aircraft Project of the Philippine Air Force

With the Philippines' Department of National Defense (DND) and the Philippine Air Force (PAF) starting its tender submission for the bid to acquire 6 Close Air Support aircraft, MaxDefense will give an update on its earlier blog entry analyzing the possible offers that can be considered.

DND releassed their invitation to bid on May 2014, with a Approved Budget for the Contract (ABC) of Php 4.968 billion (about US$ 113 million) for 6 aircraft plus integrated logistics support (ILS). The latest Supplemental Bid Bulletin released by the DND reschedules the bid submission and opening to July 11, 2014. MaxDefense believes that the bidders requested for the rescheduling for them to be able to provide an offer that is fair for both the vying manufacturer/supplier, and the receiving customer.

Originally the PAF CAS program was supposed to be a US FMS acqusition program, with it being closely related to the USAF Light Air Support (LAS) aircraft program. Delays on the implementation of the US program due to legal and political confict between Embraer/Sierra Nevada and Hawker Beechcraft may have been a major issue for the FMS deal to fall out. With the PAF in urgent need of an OV-10 replacement, it is logical for the PAF to go through with its own acquisition route.


The favorite, Embraer EMB-314 / A-29 Super Tucano, where the technical specifications was said to have been taken from.
Photo taken from ARC Forums website.


As expected, MaxDefense confirms that majority of those listed in the previous blog entry are interested in the PAF CAS acquisition project, these includes Embraer (Brazil) with their EMB-314/A-29 Super Tucano, Korean Aerospace Incorporated (KAI - South Korea) with the KT-1 / KA-1 Woongbi , IOMAX USA with the Archangel Block 3 BPA , Beechcraft Defense (USA) with AT-6 Texan. Also shown interest on the project are Pilatus Aicraft (Switzerland), Pacific Aerospace Ltd. (New Zealand), and EADS-CASA Airbus Military (EU). Possible contenders, although highly unlikely, are the Aero L-159 ALCA from the Czech Republic, and the Yakolev Yak-130.

MaxDefense expects EADS-CASA Airbus Military to offer a variant of the PZL-130 Orlik ACS if they proceed, but may not be able to comply with the requirements. It is also expected that Pilatus Aicraft and Pacific Aerospace Ltd. may not submit a bid as they do not have any product that can fit the requirement. Also interesting is IOMAX's decision to move away from the Air Tractor-based platform it sold to the UAE (and now with Jordan) to the Trush 710-derived Block 3 BPA. 

Technical Specifications Summary:
The DND released some important information on the specification of the aircraft, which was said to be loosely based on the specifications of the Embraer EMB-314 Super Tucano. This include the following details:

Quantity: 6 brand new, factory new aircraft, fully aerobatic
Landing Gears: Retractable 
Flight Capability: Inadvertent Instrument Meteorological Condition (IIMC) and Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) capable;
Cruising Speed: minimum of 220 knots indicated airspeed (KIAS)
Endurance: minimum of 2 hours and thirty minutes (2.5 hrs) at armed configuration at normal cruising speed without auxiliary tanks
Seating Configuration: dual tandem seating
Payload: at least 3,000 lbs, with at least 5 hard points, and at least 600 lbs capacity for each hard point. 
Service Ceiling: at least 25,000 feet
Short Take-off and Landing Capability: maximum 3,000 meters take-off and landing roll @ Maximum Gross Take-off Weight (MTOW)
Power Plant: New turbine engine(s), time between overhaul of at least 3,000 flight hours, suitable for tropical (hot, humid and high altitude environment), restart ability within 15 minutes after shutdown. 
Weapons Systems: all weather capability, capable of multiple munition mix loading, and capacity for 2 50-caliber machine guns either built-in or using gun pods 
Avionics Systems: compatible or better with current data bus MIL-STD 1553
Flight Instrument
- Day Visual Flight Rules (DVFR), Night Visual Flight Rules (NVFR), and Instrument Flight Rules (IFR);
- Heads Up Display (HUD) with integrated flight performance, navigation, and weapons targeting and delivery in day and night environment;
- 2 Multi-function Display for front and rear cockpits, 5x7 inches showing aircraft flight performance, navigation, targeting, and tactical mission system display;
- Hands-on Throttle and Stick (HOTAS) for both front and rear cockpits;
Navigation Equipment:
- Basic equipment for IFR flights, brand new and calibrated for sustained high G-forces;
- Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigation System (GPS/INS)
- Digital Moving Map, compatible with Night Vision Goggles (NVG),
- at least 1 unit VOR/ILS;
- at least 1 unit IFF Transponder;
- TACAN
Fire Control System:
- compatible or better with current data bus MIL-STD 1553
-capable of Air to Air, and Air to Ground modes;
- Equipped with EO/IR capable of FLIR, Imaging, and Targeting System, with Laser Designator and Rangefinder, NVG compatible;
Airframe: rated for minimum of 12,000 flight hours
Survivability:
- Zero-Zero ejection seat, with life raft, survival and First Aid Kit, and Emergency Located Transmitter Device per seat
- Front and Rear Cockpit armor plating, ballistic tolerance up to 7.62mm ammunition;
- Jettison-able external stores;
- Equipped with Radar Warning Receiver (RWR) and Missile Alert Warning System (MAWS)
- Equipped with Chaffs and Flares
Environmental System:
- Equipped with On-Board Oxygen Generation Systems (OBOGS),
- Cockpit Temperature Control / Equipment Cooling,
- Anti-G System
The KAI KA-1 Woongbi light attack aircraft, which is a stablemate of the PAF's incoming FA-50 aircraft.
Photo taken from airwar.ru website.


Analysis:
With the specifications allegedly resembling that of the Super Tucano, it only means one thing - the PAF is interested in the Super Tucano, and the bidding is for compliance of government acquisition laws, and as a way to see if there are other available models in the market that can match the Super Tucano in specification and pricing. The technical specifications can already show who can be knocked-out for non-compliance. Remember that the DND Bids and Awards Committee is strict in enforcing the compliance requirements, as shown in previous tenders for PAF aircraft.

MaxDefense tries to breakdown the technical specifications versus the possible aircraft candidates. For simplicity, the candidates are shortlisted with the most possible candidates: Embraer's A-29B Super Tucano, KAI's KA-1 Woongbi, Beechcraft Defense's AT-6C Texan II, IOMAX's Archangel Blk. 2 and Blk. 3. The PZL-130 Orlik ACS is taken out as it cannot meet majority of the requirements by a far margin, while the Yak-130 Mitten and L-159B ALCA was said to not have shown interest in the project and may cost higher than the ABC.

Aircraft in Service:
The DND specifies that the aircraft must be in service with the armed forces of its source country, or with 2 other foreign armed forces.

- The Super Tucano is in service with the Brazilian Air Force, and with more than 7 other air forces. 
- The armed variant of the Texan II is in service with the Greek Air Force, and only has the Iraqi Air Force as its other buyer. The trainer version of the Texan II, the T-6, is in service with the US Air Force and Navy, and with 7 other air forces. 
- Only Peru ordered the KA-1 so far, although the KT-1 series is in service with the South Korean Air Force and 2 other air forces. 
- The Archangel Blk. 3 is still under development and has not received any orders, although the older Blk. 1 is in service with 2 Middle Eastern air forces, and the Block 2 has been ordered by the UAE Air Force. 

This means that the Super Tucano is the only real compliant aircraft if based on the actual armed variant only, although if the DND will consider derivatives, then all shortlisted aircraft can be considered.


Although in service with the US Armed Forces and other air forces in the trainer variant, the AT-6C light attack aircraft variant is only in service with Greece, and Iraq as the only other country that ordered.
Photo taken from ainonline.com.


Landing Gears - All except the Archangel Blocks 2 and 3 BPA have retractable landing gears. Although IOMAX, in their previous press releases, will try to improve on aerodynamics of the Block 3, the aircraft is still non-compliant to this requirement.


The IOMAX Archangel Block 3 still features a fixed landing gear, which is non-compliant to the technical specifications.
Photo taken from IOMAX website.


Crusing Speed - The Woongbi has a cruising speed of 297 knots, the Super Tucano at 281 knots, the Texan II at 278 knots. No official details yet on the Archangel Block 3, but the original Block 2 has a cruising speed of 180 knots although IOMAX is looking at aerodynamic improvements to reach the requirement. With the bid submission scheduled 2 weeks from now, it seems impossible for IOMAX to make changes in their aircraft to suite the PAF specifications.

Endurance - The Archangel Blocks 2 & 3 lords this requirement, as it has a maximum endurance of 10+ hours in ISR (unarmed) mode, and it is expected that in full armed configuration it can meet this requirement. The Super Tucano officially indicate that it has an internal fuel endurance of 3.4 hrs, although it did not indicate if in armed configuration. Woongbi's maximum loiter time is 5 hours, probably unarmed. 


The IOMAX Archangel Block 2 has the most to offer in terms of endurance and payload capacity.
Photo taken from Flightglobal website.


Payload and Hard Points - All aircraft, except for the Woongbi, can meet the payload requirement of 3,000 lbs. total. The Woongbi and Super Tucano has 5 hard points, the Orlik has 6 hard ponts, while the Texan II and Archangel Blk.3 has 7 hard points. It is confirmed that the Super Tucano and Archangel can meet the 600 lbs capacity for each hard point. The Texan II may not meet the required 600 lbs capacity per hard point for all the 7 that it has, and same for Wongbee for all its 5 hard points. 

Service Ceiling - All aircraft meets this minimum requirement, with the Woongbi, Super Tucano, and Texan II exceeding 30,000 feet, while the Archangel Block 2 barely meeting at 25,000 feet. IOMAX claims that the Archangel Block 3 may have a higher service ceiling than the Block 2.

STOL Capability - Not much is provided by manufacturers on this regard, but information taken from other sources claim that the Woongbi and Texan II may have problems meeting the required take-off and landing rolling distance provided in the technical specifications. 

Turbine Powerplant - this is a tricky part, since turbofan-powered aircraft like the Aero L-159 ALCA and Yakolev Yak-130 can also be considered turbine engine-powered aircraft. The specs shows openness to multi engined platforms. All comply this requirement. 

Weapons and Fire Control Systems - It is expected that the requirement must at least exceed what the PAF's upgraded OV-10s can currently do. All shortlisted aircraft models can be armed with 2 50-caliber machine guns, although only the Super Tucano has them internally without the need for gun pods. MaxDefense believes that being built-in would be an added advantage as it can provide more hard points for other munitions, sensors, and fuel instead of being carried as a gun pod. The requirement includes an Air to Air modes for the Fire Control System, which might not be available for almost all the shortlisted aircraft models except for the Super Tucano and the Texan II. Adding this feature means that it must also be able to carry weapons to shoot down aircraft. So far, the Super Tucano is cleared to carry the AIM-9L Sidewinder, the Israel Python 3 & 4, and the Brazilian MAA-1A Piranha missiles. The AT-6 is said to compatible with the AIM-9L Sidewinder but acceptance tests are not yet made until now.

Avionics, Flight Instruments, and Navigation System - All shortlisted aircraft are compliant to the avionics requirements of the specifications, and can be configured according to the PAF requirement. Although there are specifics details indicated in the specifications that may require several manufacturers to modify their standard systems, or will require them to confirm with the DND/PAF if their offer / counter-offer is acceptable for merit. We'll leave this to experts on the field with this matter.

Survivability - So far, the Archangel Block 2 are not equipped with ejection seats, while the Archangel Block 3 is planned to be installed with such system. Instead, IOMAX offers a crash-resistant seating and roll-cage for the Archangel Block 2. 




Summary:
As some say, the devil is inbthe details. And as expected, the Super Tucano still appears to be the aircraft to beat for this competition, in the same way it won its way to the top for the USAF LAS Program. Although the AT-6C Texan has the backing of extensive program to fit the USAF requirement and is capable of matching some of the features of the Super Tucano, it loses out in a lot of essential capabilities like payload, endurance, and STOL capability. This might be due to its smaller size, and being an aircraft that was closely taken from an existing training aircraft. This is the same problems encountered by the even smaller KA-1 Woongbi. 

The Archangel Blk. 3 is a promising aircraft, with its strong endurance and payload capabilities, and proven rough airfield operating capability. But being an aircraft still in development, it may not be able to catch-up to the tender submission this coming July 2014. Thus it is expected that IOMAX will submit the Archangel Blk. 2 for the PAF CAS bidding, which falls short on several requirements like cruising speed, ejection seat and landing gear requirements. The best counter-offer they can provide is the pricing, wherein several sources indicate that it costs far less to acquire the Archangel compared to the Super Tucano. This will enable the PAF to acquire more than 6 aircraft for the same budget, if it allows such offer to pass through the stringent requirements.

The Super Tucano trumps as a more balanced aircraft, with a proven track record and reputation with the aviation industry and military forces, a design that has CAS as its strong point, and a good political tool for the Philippine government to have closer relations with far away Brazil. 

The point that it was chosen by the PAF as the basis for its CAS specifications means that the PAF acknowledges the Super Tucano's strengths. And without a close competitor to meet all its capabilities, it means that the Super Tucano still has the strongest chance of being able to pass through all the technical requirements. MaxDefense believes so as well. 

The only question now is the costs - did the PAF provide an ABC that will fit the Super Tucano's acquisition costs, together with all the goodies and support the PAF required? Let us see in the next few weeks from now. Till then, MaxDefense will update this blog entry as more details come into place.

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UPDATES:
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July 5, 2014:
The DND has again reset the bid submission and opening for the CAS acquisition program, from July 11 to July 23, 2014. MaxDefense is still checking the reasons but media reports says that the DND did not give any specific reason.

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141 comments:

  1. hi Max, does the AFP also envision this aircraft type for a limited maritime strike role, thus their seeming preference for the Tucano?

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  2. Hi Max

    Do you think any missile batteries would be good as this is defensive as well as perhaps development of rail guns. Mobile SAM units on land would be good deterent. I see lots of items purchased recently that are good for small islands and coastal defense such as landing craft amphibious units and ravine craft. Surely purchasing of warships should be balanced with hard hitting missiles and torpedo delivery

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  3. IOMAX recommended~!
    AGM-114 - 12ea, GBU-58-10ea, GBU-12 6ea

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    1. IOMAX offered both the Archangel Blk. 2 and Blk.3, but with Blk. 3 still in development, I doubt it can change the outcome of the upcoming tender for CAS aircraft. UAE is the best possible export market for Archangel Blk. 3 as they are not in a hurry and have enough time to wait for IOMAX to complete development.

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    2. Paper Aircraft joke ... ... @_@/
      I like Super Tucano

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    3. Can we install or upgrade new avionics system to our mustang?

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  4. Sir max it's look like the CAS is intended for PA air support and it doesn't have the capability for maritime support.....so do we need to have another aircraft capable of maritime close air support????

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    Replies
    1. The Super Tucano is not configured to fire specialized anti-ship missiles as it lacks the necessary systems to do so. Its targetting system is only using Saffire FLIR system which can only be used for EO or IR guided weapons like certain variants of the Maverick missile, or precision guided munition like the Paveway II which is in service with the PAF. This is only effective against small ships without effective missile-based air defense systems.

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    2. Ship? cant we use Cas vs pirate in west philippine sea

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    3. If you intend to use the Maverick missile against pirates, then yes, you can. You can also use the gun pods / installed guns against pirate boats.

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  5. Sir max any latest about the c130 acquisition?

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  6. Havent you guys observed? It appears the Philippines is allergic to US made flying wares, either because their expensive or US imposed too much restrictions just like what they did to the hamiltons. Thus the attitude of Philippines to as much as possible stay away from acquiring US military hardwares surplus or brandnew. What is your opinion about this Sir Max? Thanks

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    Replies
    1. Its not being allergic or something, but US products are actually premium items that costs more than what other countries can offer. Their P-3C, for example, is far more expensive than what the Europeans and Canadians can offer. Same for the ASW helicopters and many other aircraft. The Beechcraft AT-6 is not that expensive, but can it meet the PAF requirements?

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    2. it's just expense. plain and simple. also take into account the requirements the DND typically sets for any acquisition plans crammed into the pipeline.


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  7. It seems that all that US want to sell either thru FMS or Donation are
    military hardwares that other nation does not want. Dunno but what does the US think of the Philippines a junk shop? Tapunan ng basura? Think its about time that the Philippines changes its attitude in its AFP Modernization and source military hardwares away from US which offers less restrictions and less conditions. Any insight on this max?

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    Replies
    1. Which items do you mean? Can you elaborate further? The CAS aircraft offered to the PAF by foreign countries are not junk, but are brand new. The PAF's requirements and allocated budget are clear, and whoever wins means it was able to meet these requirements.

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  8. is the tucano the sure winner here sir max?

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    Replies
    1. Not sure winner, but it is the leading one since it was the one the PAF wanted ever since this requirement started.

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  9. The AFP is so ill-equipped that if we are magically transported back to 1941, the japanese empire will still run us into the ground lol. 6 super tucanos v. 100's of zeroes will be a very quick dogfight that will favor japan. even if you throw in the 12 fa-50's, there's no way these short-legged trainer jets can outlast the imperial fleet. thinking about it is so funny haha

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    1. so, what do you intend to suggest, genius? you seem "well-versed" in military strategy and all that shit.

      well, me neither. i'm quite aware that we're still falling behind but we're gaining some ground, no matter how insignificant it looks.

      baby steps are better than staying stagnant. unless you have more thoughtful inputs to contribute, i suggest you shut the hell up.

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    2. lol someone trolling here......how can you transport the 1000 zeroes?the 2 light frigate and the ponghang class can sink all of the the world war 2 era ships maybe the del pilar also...and the 2 asw heli can detect a sub..btw the 12 fa-50 can also destroy a warship of ww2 era...and comparing the intel of philippine army now and the imperial japanese on ww2 is simply

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    3. hey intsik wag kana makisawsaw dito.....

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    4. lol the del pilar and the alcaraz will just be floating targets to japanese imperial submarines as they dont have asw capabilities. the pohang, the fa-50s and the tucanos are yet to be delivered. i was only giving a generous estimate hahaha. even then, the full might of the imperial navy will be too much for these relatively new assets. the sad reality is i'm correct. the AFP will suck if it faces WW-II era japan as it sucks now. this is the fault of the entire filipino people for lacking the imagination to aim higher. 70 years has passed since WW-II. what happened? lol

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    5. Can we move on from this fantasy what if? Thank you.

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    6. look, a retard, 12 FA-50's will pulverize the Imperial Japanese Air Force, since we'll be fighting with guns, the SF-260TP's and the OV-10's will join the dogfight. del Pilar, Alcaraz, Jacinto, Mabini, Ricarte, the Pohang, and the two light frigates will pulverize the IJN, so stop smoking that weed man, you need to stop

      -Rodney

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  10. Sir Max, two questions.
    First, payload, endurance and price. It seems like the IOMAX is at least 2 to 3 times better than the Super Tucano in these categories as you've pointed out.For our usage, these are huge advantages especially in you compare the cost per flight hour which you never mentioned. It's one thing to have a BMW 3 series over a Toyota Corrola, it's another thing when paying the maintenance and up keep of these fine cars. I won't be surprised that it cost half per flight hour to operate the IOMAX than the Super Tucano.
    Secondly, Isn't the Super Tucano configured to carry the Delilah AL with its 250 km range? It's probably been tweaked by Elbeit already since they have been collaborating already. It may have a small warhead but could still wreak havoc with its precision targeting and loitering system. The key would be deterrence if acquired.

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    1. 1. As indicated in the blog, endurance and payload are the strengths of the Archangel. I did not emphasized on the blog, but price is indeed another factor that it excels in because it lacks certain features that its contemporaries have like ejection seats. Several aviation sources claim that the Archangel's acquisition cost ranges between 10% to 20% less than a Super Tucano, while operating costs per hour is 1/3 of that of Super Tucano's $500 to $600 claims. Although these strengths are remarkable, let us remember that this acquisition program is bounded by technical specifications that is strictly adhered to by the DND and PAF. You may have seen what happened in past projects like the medium lift transport aircraft, attack helicopters, etc.

      2. No confirmation if Delilah missile is tested and accredited for use on the Super Tucano, but having systems procued by Elbit may help if the PAF requests such modifications. For anti-shipping, the Delilah may lack the punch of similar ranged anti-ship missiles like the Harpoon and Exocet. Even the small Gabriel missile's warhead is 3x larger than that of Delilah, and may not have enough punch to significantly damage ships.

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  11. They look like toys, how can spitfires compete against jets

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    Replies
    1. These "toys" you refer to are not designed to fight against jets. If you read the blog carefully and attentively, you may even see that the USAF is even considering buying these "toys" to replace the F-16 and A-10 for their light CAS requirements. These are meant to replace the PAF's ageing OV-10s, and are better suited for CAS duties compared to jet powered aircraft. Sometimes, you have to acknowledge military economy as well in configuring your forces.

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    2. Also, you may also want to take note that this is not your average WW2 fighter aircraft we're talking about, but are the most modern combat turboprop aircraft available in the market. The Super Tucano is even more modern that the jet powered AS-211 that the PAF has, and has the capability to shoot it down when flown as adversaries.

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    3. You're feeding a troll, Sir Max.

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    4. Feeding them one time is acceptable, provided that you're feeding them clear information. Action against further trolling will be my responsibility and I will do necessary action accordingly.

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    5. I was not trolling but making a comment on the planes. I appreciate all the time and effort on The blog.

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    6. If you ask the USAF - these Super Tucanos would have done the job in Iraq at a fraction of the cost of using F-16's. Most of the time, the F16's would just be flying around burning lots of fuel until called for a strike. These little planes would do just fine if you do not expect them to encounter the enemy's frontline jet fighters. They can carry the punch of a jet fighter at a fraction of the operating cost.

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    7. There are many comments about propeller aircraft being dubbed "WWII" or "antiquated". To clear this up maybe one example would be between papers and computers. Initially, computer makers boasted the term "paperless office", and made statements like "papers will be obsolete". Well what do you know? From Bill Gates to Facebook CEO they still work with papers.

      Propeller aircrafts are here to stay with their own unique characteristics that jet engines CAN NOT compete. Same thing with computers. There are somethings that your latest gadgets or tablets can not compete with good ol' papers.

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  12. sir update po sa asw helis?

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    Replies
    1. Bid submission and opening moved to July 15, 2014.

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  13. That is the Problem with the Philippine Bidding, they will base it on a unit that is already evaluated. Like the Super Tucano,. And now the MH-60R as ASW heli.. After the first bid of ASW heli's and Sikorsky the maker of MH-60R did not participate, they move again the bidding date.

    Hope we could acquire A-10's that will be retired by the Americans in favor of the F-35. And Also why only 6 CAS aircraft? we could at least get 12 or 18 of these planes.

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    Replies
    1. I for one would like to see a more competitive bidding process. But given the limited budget, the state of our military (being the weakest in the region) and the uncertainty in future funding, I prefer the AFP get what it wants as soon as possible.

      Choose the next president wisely. God have mercy on us all if Binay wins. Considering he and his family had dinner with the Chinese ambassador in the midst of Chinese reclamation of our territory. What A SELL OUT.

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    2. The question, who will you vote? Binay, Mar Roxas, Marcos, Cayetano... elections is still about 2 years from now or less, but these Senators has shown their intent to become President. All are saying they want to win. All they want is to win then, they do not have the will to serve.

      I want a candidate who wants to serve( No.1 Priority), not just to win the Presidency. Focus more on economy, agriculture, education and military.

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    3. The A-10 is not a good acquisition for the PAF at this point. Fairchild and many of its subcontractors have already gone out of business which puts into question availability of spare parts, support and upgrades. The A-10s main gun is also a bit of overkill for our requirements as the PAF CAS aircraft will mostly fly COIN missions against soft targets. GAU-8 ammo are expensive and on average costs $1,000 each so if an A-10 expends its entire load it will amount to more than $1M (P45-P50M).

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    4. Correction: GAU-8 ammo is around P1,350, not $. With a usual capacity of 1,174 to 1,350, expending it will cost around P1.5 to P1.8M. Still pricey IMO for the PAF.

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    5. Gordon, perhaps? we got these politicos.. why not an administrator.

      - buboy

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    6. Happy Birthday to our AirForce!!


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    7. Allen Libranda, the USAF has already decided to mothball the A-10'S for future use. Many Countries like the U.A.E, Saudi and Etc. has requested for it's Sale on Foreign Military but the US congress and USAF already agreed that the USAF will only be it's sole user. It will not be decommissioned nor retired, for the USAF has still no definite replacement for the Plane. About the F-35, I doubt we will reach such a Plane. It's still into it's production and testing phase. The Plane still has a long way to go.

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    8. Gordon? Yeah he is good, not sure if he still wants to run for the Presidency..

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    9. That's sad, If only we could have a few of those A-10's. Back to the topic, we need more of these propeller aircraft since it is cheaper to maintain and to operate. And the Super Tucano is the best in the market today.

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  14. Hi Allen, There are options to acquire more if PAF is satisfied with the CAS aircraft being acquired.

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  15. It is obvious that the Super Tucano is the preferred choice of PAF's CAS, so why do need to have the bidding process anyway? Can we just sign a Government to Government deal with Brazil to shorten the process of acquisition?

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    Replies
    1. as max mentioned, we are exploring the market if there are options that have similar capabilities to tucano for a better price.

      just think of it like this, i prefer Asus laptops. So when i go shop for laptops, i get the base specs of the Asus laptop i want to buy. Go around... then lo and behold, i bought a Samsung laptop because it had similar spec with solid-state HD (though small at 160Gb but who had maxed out an HD, there are external drives) sleeker, lighter and cheaper. At the same time, i bought korea NOT taiwan nor chinese product

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    2. Its because of rules and laws. The PAF has already chosen the Super Tucano in 2011 after evaluating most of the aircraft we highlighted in the blog. But they were bounded to follow public bidding which actually delayed the entire process. But I believe this was already cleared recently by a new ruling. Also, whoever wins the bid, if the PAF would require follow on orders, it would not be required to undergo another bidding, at it can just order the same due to commonality and standardization concerns.

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  16. sir max, is the approved budget enough for the super tucanos? baka masyadong mababa at hindi mag bid?

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  17. if we are going for OV 10 replacement, then endurance and payload should be given priority over speed and maneuvering on tight turns (doesn't mean it should be a lame duck either).

    It should not be based on angas or good looks either.

    I would prefer internal (retractable) surveillance EO than internal guns. sturdy fixed wheels over retractable wheels. These had its compromises but we should be getting what should be our operational requirements.

    top speed is good because its faster to get there, but it should also be taken into consideration what it can do WHEN it got there.

    i think i'm on the unpopular side of the spectrum of fanboys (tucano) gamer jocks. hey, i like tight turns and top speed too. But with tucano's over focus on aerodynamics, it do have some compromises.... payload, range, no more space for extra hardware internally.

    IOMAX B3 on paper looks good but i would prefer a mature product. Air tractor is my bet but..... anyway, it is face only its maker would love (or do they?)

    I'm just thinking, we should focus on what we need and not be sidetracked by the nice-to-haves. bells and whistles only adds to the price.

    Also, OV-10 can carry a small payload on its body that can be airdropped. i read some designs allows (crammed) 2 paratrooper (just correct me).

    If we meant an OV-10 replacement, it should have that capacity. But i'm figuring out that we are delegating some of the roles of the OV-10 to the light-lift, medium-lift, seaplane, long range patrol and other aircraft.

    so, are we really getting an OV-10 replacement or a dedicated CAS/light strike plane with recon/awareness as secondary?

    Why just 6? (aside from budget constraints... we can afford 12 FA 50s and these are way cheaper)

    These questions may offer some insights but the range/endurance is still limited for what i imagined its role would be. An external fuel tank would negate all the fanboys advantage of tucano.

    Will its primary job in conflicts be a weapon platform for our soon-to-be LTPAs? (it does have the link) -- with CAS as its back up job.

    we don't need our CAS to fire missile/rockets and helis are better at fire support if its going to fire just machine guns.

    for dropping guided bombs, yes we do. again tucano doesn't offer that much payload.

    so, i'm going back again to tucano being a weapon platform without the range/endurance to support/tail our LRPA. seems awkward.

    makes me think an air traktor or the IOMAX 2 (or the paper plane IOMAX B3 with air tight guarantees) would do it better if its going for delivering weapons, dropping bombs, longer range and the normal joe peppering of leads then land on a dirt road.

    Sorry Max for the winded and unorganized thought process. Type on the go today.


    -buboy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ok Buboy lets try to go through this:
      1. Although the fixed landing gears might be tougher, the PAF is not expected to go very rough on the aircraft. The ST's design incorporated strong rough runway operations, having a wider stance than the rest with retractable landing gears. I believe the ST has already proven itself with several air forces on this capability.
      2. None of those in the shortlist have retractable EO/IO/FLIR pod, so internal guns are way better than gun pods.
      3. There was a previous arguement that speed is very important in responding to urgent CAS calls from ground troops. The IOMAX either using the Air Tractor or Thrush models are 15-20% slower than the required cruise speed, while the ST and the rest exceeds the requirement by 10% more. The difference is probably higher when we focus on top speed with similar payload.
      4. In the local setting, the required 2.5 hours endurance in full payload capacity is enough for a CAS mission, considering that after they drop the main ordnances, they will just stay a little more using guns. While the endurance is effective for unarmed border patrol missions, the PH's case is different. It would not be effective to use the Archangel for sea patrols since it does not have radar, while border patrols over land does not require radar. The LRPA would better do the job of maritime patrol.
      5. The PAF doesn't use the OV-10 for paratrooper drop. Although the added feature of carrying small loads is an added plus, all those shortlisted don't have this feature either.
      6. 6 units as preliminary order. All the aircraft and other weapons systems that the AFP is buying/bought are in small numbers, in anticipation of larger orders as more funds come in. The expected total for CAS aircraft is at least 18 as what I've been told.
      7. As far as I know, air policing duties in the southern corridor area would be part of the duties of the CAS due to lack of enough fighter assets. The FA-50 will focus more on the WPS and Northern Luzon area. So having the capability to at least carry at fire a IR AAM is a much needed capability.

      I am not advocating the Super Tucano, but these are the arguements that the PAF uses, or I anticipate to use on why they use the ST as a benchmark.

      Delete
  18. Thanks Max! The points are well taken but doesn't much contradict directly.

    I will not troll. Just add comments.

    Ok Buboy lets try to go through this:
    1. Although the fixed landing gears might be tougher, ...

    -- the concept of capable and available when needed rather than when needed but not capable - is strong for me on this one. What kind of rough landing does Brazil have? Is it comparable to our Pag Asa, Corregidor and/or long rice paddies? The type that we use for emergencies. No problem if its some semi-prepared rough dirt. That is normal for us.

    2. None of those in the shortlist have retractable EO/IO/FLIR pod,...

    --- i read IOMAX and the Air Traktor is being contemplated to have that since they got enough "growth spaces" (lol) in their bodies

    3. There was a previous arguement that speed is...

    -- i disagree that the difference is probably higher with top speed similar payload. the difference would probably be insignificantly narrower. due to ST is built for aero and speed. the payload would penalize those characteristics more than the traktor because traktor is built for carrying (better lift against better speed).

    -- i do agree though that there should be a minimum to get there on time. Just that anything in excess should not be considered better per se. top speed in excess should be viewed as bells and whistle not as an additional factor that is favored heavily.


    4. In the local setting, ...

    - they stay only a little more because they are out of ordnance, dont you think? if they got more left, wouldn't they stay a little longer?
    - we have used OV-10 for the longest time for maritime patrol without radar. its nice if we get sufficient LRPA, wouldn't it? but we don't. oftentimes, we rely on the old fashion handheld camera. wouldnt it be better if we can do that still? just with the eo mount, this time. hopefully.

    5. The PAF doesn't use the OV-10 for paratrooper drop. ...

    -- the air traktor have a baggage compartment... hmm... old brains is so unreliable now for me. iomax (if based from a farm duster) should have.

    6. 6 units as preliminary order. All the aircraft and other weapons systems that the AFP is buying/bought are in small numbers,...

    --- not arguing but thinking out loud, wouldn't it be more risky to buy volume of FA50 (like 12) because it relative newer? so buy about 6 FA50 first. than say, buy 12 CAS because they are more mature (and cheaper). i maybe thinking too much over it. but we do need more (in numbers) CAS than LIFT.

    7. As far as I know, air policing duties in the southern corridor area would be part of the duties of the CAS due to lack of enough fighter assets. The FA-50 will focus more on the WPS and Northern Luzon area. So having the capability to at least carry at fire a IR AAM is a much needed capability.
    - exactly... and its a wide stretch of coast too.

    I am not advocating the Super Tucano, but these are the arguements that the PAF uses, or I anticipate to use on why they use the ST as a benchmark.

    -- no harm Max. just a good discourse.
    -- buboy logging out for today

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 1. Brazil is a large country filled with several runways and dirt ways. The Brazilians don't usually use these dirt runways but when needed, the Super Tucano can use them as they were designed to do so.
      2. As the blog entry says, the Blk. 3 is still in development. There is no harm if the FLIR ball is exposed, this is normal for almost all aircraft with them, even those advanced aircraft.
      3. Of course you have to consider that the Archangel can carry more than the ST, but at similar loads, both aircraft will have reduced speed as load factor affects all aircraft, the Archangel included.
      4. The Archangel's strengths is its weapons load, although the ST has a better balance of characteristics than the Archangel which can be seen in the specs. I may not be able to explain further, but if the PAF believes the ST's load capacity is good enough, then they may have enough reason. Of course we can't put all advantages to the ST. Also, although the ST can be used to patrol the WPS the way the OV-10 does, it is not the primary mission of the aircraft. This only happens because of lack of correct equipment to do the job, which is now being addressed with the upcoming LRPA, upgrades of the remaining Navy's Islanders, and the installation of Coast Watch Philippines.
      5. No info if the baggage compartment is indeed there, but we must consider that the military version of the Air Tractor might have different configuration than the air duster.
      6. With the PAF moving to territorial defense, there is less given emphasis on CAS aircraft. If not only for the OV-10 rusting away too fast, the PAF may have not required acquisition of CAS now and instead diverted the budget for more FA-50.

      Delete
  19. let see on how the DND is firm and committed with their report that this July will going to know who will be the winner in bidding of two brand new frigate..otherwise, drawing again

    ReplyDelete
  20. Since we have 2 New frigates on bidding.. Does the two WHEC's are included in the PN 2020 sail plan of 6 AAW frigates? i know it is classified as frigates.. but it doesnt have the AAW capabilities yet.. IF upgrades will be done.. will it be counted in the 6 frigates needed? thx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. According to PN sources, the WHECs are not part of the DFMix for 6 AAW frigates, and even the 2 new frigates may still not be considered as AAW frigates, but rather, closer to the ASW light frigates aka corvettes. The WHECs will still be upgraded to fill in other gaps in the PN fleet organization while newer ships are being acquired.

      Delete
  21. I think a combination of 3 A-10 Thunderbolts and 3 Tucanos will be a more potent Close Air Support force.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. the US isn't even willing to give A-10s to anybody. not even their NATO allies. there's a reason for that.

      Delete
  22. Ewan ko ang tagal na sa atin ang GDP frigate wala pa din news sa upgrade...parang lame duck lang ang barko natin. kakainis.....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It will depend on the final fit-out of the 2 new frigates that the PN may award by this month. Standardization might be one of the issues.

      Delete
    2. I believe the 2 Mk.38 Mod.2 25mm Bushmaster Autocannons are already installed in BRP Ramon Alcaraz according to this article:

      http://blogs.wsj.com/searealtime/2014/07/02/aboard-the-philippine-navys-newest-old-frigate/

      Delete
    3. Photos from the sea phase of CARAT 2014 Philippines still doesn't show the PF-16 with the Mk.38 guns.

      Delete
  23. Good day sir.

    First I would like to thank you for your share of information through your blog. I've been a reader for months now and i must say i am pleased to your analysis.

    second i was wondering of the countermeasure of the Super Tucano and other candidates. We are talking about millions and billions of peso here so i was wondering what are the defense of these aircraft about guided and unguided missiles and small arms fire (7.62mm, 12.7mm and possibly 50 caliber) and also 20,30 and 40 mm shells

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your continuous support, Jalyd. Actually the ST has armored protection on specific parts of the cockpit, a self-sealing fuel tank from hits of up to 7.62mm, and is equipped with chaffs and flares dispenser like modern fighter aircraft.

      Delete
  24. Saw this article..http://www.janes.com/article/38800/iomax-offers-archangel-light-attack-turboprop-to-the-philippines

    Looks like they are developing IOMAX to match the capabilities of Super Tucano and United Arab Emirates is interested as well to the improvements that IOMAX is going to make to match the requirements of PAF..

    Personally I prefer the increase in carrying capacity compare to speed

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. IOMAX's problem with the Philippine requirement is time - the bid submission is scheduled next week (Friday July 11, 2014).

      Delete
    2. hi, iomax is better nice platform but still it's on developmental stage like beechcraft since a lot of capabilities being planned to be incorporated with aircraft as of this time. we will not be waiting a few more years until these platform get matured. Super Tucano is a CAS of choice for the PAF that satisfy their requirements as of now ; from DND

      Delete
    3. OFF TOPIC: Another options of cheaper LRPA
      http://www.thinkdefence.co.uk/2014/02/future-maritime-patrol-part-4-cheaper-options/

      Companies that have express interest for LRPA
      **Canadian firm Field Aviation Ltd. and Israeli defense contractors Elta Systems Ltd.
      Product: Bombardier Q400 MPA
      -http://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/singapore-air-show/2012-02-15/iai-proposes-q400-mpa
      -http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/elta-bombardier-team-up-on-q400-maritime-patrol-aircraft-365443/

      **European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company -- Construcciones Aeronautics SA (EADS-CASA) Airbus
      Product:Airbus Military C-295MPA

      **Israeli defense contractors Elbit Systems Ltd
      Product:ATR-72 in MPA (Elbit Systems Ltd develops ATR-72 in MPA version)
      -http://www.aleniana.com/atr-72-anti-submarine-warfare

      Delete
    4. Oriinally these were the offers made to the PH before the DND decided to go FMS with the US. Now its back to the original offers.

      Delete
  25. Opening of sealed bids for CAS requirement postponed again for the 3rd time... are they planning to postpone it every now and then? Whats wrong with them? If they cant get it open at specified time might as well postpone it for months so they have more time to think and decide. Its not a question of the procurement act hampering the AFP Modernization but more of lack of available funds and lack of full committment and seriousness on the people from Malacanang who appears bent on channeling extra funds to the social projects of the President. We need a President who prioritize AFP Modernization as a prelude to having strong economy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think they move it because of seller demand.

      Delete
    2. The comment above is correct. It was the manufacturers that requested the schedule adjustments. But I can't totally blame them, the schedule given to them is too tight.

      Delete
  26. let see until July 31 how firm is the decision of DND with regards to this new two frigates bidding. its still 29 days to go. I hope this is not drawing because this is already been for so long in a process.

    ReplyDelete
  27. The Super Tucano is a great plane for the niche that it fills. This shouldn't be taking so long, as it is a no-brainer, imo. Add twelve Jas Gripen NG's to the 12 FA 50's and 6 Super Tucanos and you actually have something resembling a credible air force.

    Laurence

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yea that's what I was thinking too. If I'm not mistaken, a Gripen NG is worth $60-70 million. We could get 6 Gripen NGs at first. That's the same price as getting 12 FA-50s. Not bad.

      Delete
    2. The Gripem NG based on their offer to Switzerland costs more than $100 million each but that includes technology sharing and transfer issues. A previous study of a defense think tank suggests at least 48 fighters for the PAF.

      Delete
    3. The Gripen NG will not be available to the PAF in this and the next presidency. It is currently in the testing stage and is expected to enter production in 2017-2018. And then the first 100 or so will go to the Swedish and Brazilian Air Force. My estimate is that if the PAF goes for Gripen NG, they will get it sometime after 2022. Sorry, first come first served. About the only way PAF can get them faster is if either Sweden or Brazil agrees to give up their production slots. (This isn't impossible, but it's up to the diplomats to convince them.) So for the moment, forget about Gripen NG.

      So Gripen NG is out for the short term but might be available for the medium term. For the short term the likely possibility are the usual suspects. Used F-16, used Kfir block 60, leased Gripen C/D, or another batch of FA-50. Each have their pros and cons, but that's another topic entirely.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous #1 - Yes, when one considers that the Gripen NG is a cutting edge, true MRF with low operating costs and that 6 Gripen NG would likely pulverize 12 FA 50 any day of the week, then it's not a bad option, indeed.

      Max - I think the 48 fighters thing is illusory at this point. Until the year 2030 or so, at least. I'd be happy just to see the PAF have one squadron of true MRF's in its arsenal. If the Philippine government wanted to be truly daring and smart, it would take over the Swiss Gripen NG deal that was canceled due to the referendum there, become a Gripen NG partner with all the tech transfer and industrial benefits, and have a truly credible air force by the end of the decade. I doubt that the funds for that kind of thing could be made available, though.

      Anonymous #2 - Since Switzerland dropped out due to the referendum, I'm sure that earlier slots for the Gripen NG would be made available to the Philippines, especially since assembly of Brazilian planes will be taking place in Brazil. Thus, 2018 to 2020 would be a realistic time frame, at least for part of the order. When one considers that the FA 50s won't be fully operational in the PAF until around 2017, then that's not bad. I'm sure on could also lease 6 or more Gripen C/D's until the NG's become available, in order to start integrating the platform into the PAF. It would be a timely moment for the Philippines to go for the Gripen NG, but I'm skeptical about the govt. having that kind of foresight and/or political and economic maneuvering room.

      I'm a huge proponent of paying close attention to operating costs and lifecycle costs, so I'm no big fan of the used Kfir's or F-16's.

      Best regards to all,

      Laurence

      Delete
    5. @Laurence Switzerland dropping out from the Gripen deal also meant that the deal with RuAG to produce Gripen NG components are canceled. So the total annual production capacity would have dropped too. Since Philippine's aviation industry is very small, I don't think it can simply take over Switzerland's spot.

      That said, the idea of buying into the Gripen NG project now and leasing Gripen C/D to cover the interim is actually a good idea. That is exactly what Brazil's plan is. Don't expect Switzerland's tech transfer and industrial benefits though. The Philippine's aviation industry is not yet developed enough for that sort of stuff. Negotiate instead for something like Thailand's tech transfer and/or Hungary and Czech industrial offsets.

      As for used Kfir and F-16, I am not a fan either, but given the consistent political resistance to investment in defense capability, they have a fair chance of becoming PAF's MRF despite their disadvantages.

      Delete
    6. From news sources, 2 years after we acquire the 12 FA-50, that's the time we would acquire Gripen's. So that's 2018-2019, siguro negotiations pa lang yun. So it would be 2020-23 tayo magkakaron ng Gripen. Unless we rent/lease some of Gripen C/D until dumating yung mga Order natin.

      Delete
    7. I think by 2020-23, tech and market trend would also skew our final decision on the mrf. Hopefully f35 would deliver its promise of a lower flyaway cost as compared to today so as to drive the prices of alternatives lower. Conflicts could also affect the market, an f35 that cant still fly thru thunderstorms or losing a battle against a lower tier fighter could also be a market driver.

      Delete
  28. Without public bidding..i think the DND will go through G to G..much better than bidding...correct me sir max.....tnx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Usually the PAF will send Request for Information (RFI) signifying your interest for a certain product or capability. Manufacturers can provide detailed info on the product, and probably on financing and payment terms. So the PAF already knows what it wants before a bidding actually starts. You may notice it on the contents of their tech specs.

      We may see less bidding in the next set of procurements as the government allows the DND to deal via G2G with approval by the President.

      Delete
    2. Your rigjht max "with the approval of the President" procurement can be hasten... but it presuppose that we have a President who also prioritize AFP Modernization and is fully committed and serious enough to make final decisions ASAP when requested. That is not the case of Pnoy though as he is more focus on social projects. I remember the DND pointing fingers to Malacanang as the reason for the slow-face movement of AFP Modernization. In fairness to Pnoy, he is the only President who somehow paid attention regarding the AFP Modernization. However, Pnoy should pay much closer attention on the needs of AFP. More actions are required not more promise and speech on AFP Modernization.

      Delete
    3. You have to remember that running a country is not only running the armed forces. So far from the Cory to Noynoy administrations, the current one has been the one that made more plans into realities for the AFP.

      Delete
  29. Sir Max, is it true that we are acquiring Yakolev Yak-130 Mitten and Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker, as listed in this link:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_active_military_aircraft_of_the_Philippines

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No. Just imagine this: how will you use a Stratotanker when you don't even have aircraft that has in-flight refueling capability? No pilots with in-flight refueling training and experience? The Wiki article has been corrected already as of this writing by Wiki editors.

      Delete
  30. Sir max, any news for the ssv? May final design naba?

    ReplyDelete
  31. The Czech ALCA L-159 just got sold for about $1 million per aircraft flyaway to Draken Intl. Is it a bargain or not. Can do light fighter duties immediately as it can be delivered in a very short time. The acquisition process is mired in legal straightjacket with no flexibility and wrong assumptions. Just make it transparent in the decision making and get capabilities pronto.

    ReplyDelete
  32. 26 more days to go to end the July 2014 promise by the DND to know the winner in the final bidding of the two brand new frigate. I hope that this Government Agency still awake on the reality of the government effort to modernize the AFP. Wake up Bidding Committee I hope your not asleep of this and more Filipino people waiting for this big ticket promise by President Pnoy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. breaking news dnd source info ...its the korean that won the bidding of 2 new frigate. lets wait for the dnd to announce which korean shipbuilders will be awarded. rumors suggest it will be the incheon class .

      Delete
    2. It is impossible for the Koreans to already win the bid since the bidding itself has not started yet. The presentation of all 6 shipbuilders has already been completed, but the navy still needs to improve their specifications. Even though the navy is keen on a certain offer, the other manufacturers can still be given a chance to provide counter offers through the submission of a final bid as part of the 2nd stage.

      Delete
  33. Sir Max, can the Pucara of Argentina fits the CAS requirement of our PAF

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Re: Czech ALCA L-159. The rumor mill says Iraq is aggressively negotiating for the remaining L-159 precisely because it can be delivered fast and are willing to pay a lot of money for fast delivery. Anyway, the procurement spec says brand new, so we'll have to ignore the stored L-159 and only consider prospective new builds.

      Re: Pucara. Argentina closed the Pucara production line a long time ago and will not be interested in reviving it for an order of just 6. You could in theory buy second-hand Pucara from the Argentinian Air Force and then upgrade it to modern specs. Argentina is planning on such a comprehensive SLEP and upgrade for their own Air Force anyway. But again, the bid specs say brand new, and thus refurbished Pucara is out of the question.

      Delete
    2. If the ALCA was offered to the PAF, it would probably be considered but not under the CAS acquisition project. But so far, addiional budget to acquire such aircraft, even if offered so cheap that it seems irresistable, needs to be appropriated by the PAF. As far as I know, the deal with both Draken Intl. and Iraqi government are both not yet finalized, but they already are close to making it. As for the Pucara, the answer above is good enough.

      Delete
  34. please read the site below regarding the benham rise.. I want to know your opinion regarding Mr. balilio..I want to know if he's out of mind or in braindead already..

    http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2014/06/22/1337602/pcg-willing-include-benham-rise-routine-patrol

    ReplyDelete
  35. I'm hoping that someday, this will re-activate and Im sure this will be a great help of being independent in developing our own Aircraft. I would make a thumb up mark for whoever President will make this project continue again.
    (Philippines Aerospace Development Company)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philippine_Aerospace_Development_Corporation

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. PADC is still active. They have developed in the past our indigenous aircraft. The Defiant 300 and the Hummingbird, our first developed propeller aircraft and helicopter. Defiant 300, our version of the Tucano, a trainer and light strike aircraft, and Hummingbird was our improved version of the BO 105 C. Due to budgetary cost, Defiant was shut down. The Hummingbird was an unlicensed version of the BO 105 and Eurocopter threatened to sue the Government. Sayang, sana magkaron ng project and PADC para makaangat naman tayo sa Aviation Industry.

      Delete
    2. @Allen Libranda, it seems to me that what brought it down is the publicity, research and development are supposed to be insulated from it, the guys can't just shut up there mouth and work secretly. And its funding should have been coming from the top, like a black op project of Skunk Works. What a waste of those lamented and dedicated people.

      Delete
  36. I prefer this Super tucano to replace our ageing Ov-10 Bronco and this is already been tested.

    ReplyDelete
  37. The ongoing acquisition for CAS by the PAF IMO is a must considering the mission requirements as part of its doctrines for COIN operations as well as the demands for future missions. The ST with its proven battle records and its technical specs are enough to consider as a primary choice for the next CAS of the PAF. Propeller driven aircrafts ( turbo props) are making a comeback for air ground support missions for low intensity conflicts . One reason and a valid one is its economical cost in maintaining these aircraft as compared to jet powered aircrafts . One of the most famous aircraft for this mission is the Douglas Skyraider or aka "Sandy's" . Although a piston driven aircraft it was able to support US ground troops with its heavy payloads and a longer loiter time . As Max mentioned it would be suited for our southern borders and the ongoing conflicts on that region. In fact even the US Airforce is considering prop driven CAS for selective mission requirements because of these given reasons. I hope the PAF would have the support of pnoy administration in fulfilling its current needs to accomplish its role in the coming years . In has been an astonishing deliverance by the PAF command on their choice selections of aircrafts . LIFT aircraft FA 50 , CAS EMB 314/A 29 ST and the Gripen NG for its Multi role Fighter aircraft. These aircrafts are well suited for the size of the territory and types of missions it needs to perform. Not to mentioned the ongoing process of the LRPA for Recon and ASW/ASUW missions . Also in the front runner CAS 295 mpa a good choice for its mission requirements . Godbless to PAF for its 67 anniversary and more air power to the "flyboys" and it's ground crew.

    ReplyDelete
  38. If and ever the decisions for the CAS project would fall on the CAS EMB 314 Super Tucano , that would open up diverse approach on their air support ground mission. This would give the OV 10 "a new leash on life"for its role as a support aircraft. With some OV's undergone SLEP process this would give them a new role as a forward air controller and an armed reconnaissance aircraft. I'm quite sure the PAF has its foot on this idea or perhaps other assets have undergone this role but with an updated reconditioned OV 10 paired with the ST this would be a lethal pair for air to ground support missions. With the AFP and its Joint Special Command would be able to provide air support for special joint missions. It's about time for the DND and with the support of Pnoy administration to provide valuable and much needed assets for the PAF to fulfill its role in defending the country from internal and external threats as well as its humanitarian role during natural calamities.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The OV-10 has alreafy been doing CAS, FAC, and recon roles from the time they were acquired. The OV-10s are at the brink of their service life, and the acquisition of new aircraft was the solution decided by the PAF as prolonging the life of the old OV-10 is not cost effective. So don't expect the OV-10s to hold on further. This is why MaxDefense believes that the PAF may opt to acquire more CAS aircraft in the near future as 6 aircraft may not be enough. Remember the OV-10 fleet used to be at 24 units.

      Delete
    2. Everyone is bandying cost effectiveness. What is your basis for saying that 'prolonging the life of the old OV-10 is not cost effective'? Compared to what? ROI of different alternatives?

      This kind of thinking has got us 2 new large corvettes instead of 3 Maestrale frigates, 12 fighter trainers instead of 24 Kfirs etc. Very much more expensive and too late to arrive as seen by Chinese actions now in WPS. The DND/AFP better level up their decisions with a better objective function. Or we all lose our Kalayaan islands.

      Delete
    3. The PAF itself made that analysis, based on the same principles as to why they decommissioned the F-5A/B Freedom Fighters 10 years ago. There are not enough spare parts available for the Broncos, airframe deterioration is reducing the plane's lifespan, and updates like what they did with the 4-bladed models did not stop the old planes from deteriorating. It is easy to say that these planes can still fly longer, but that's not as easy as it seems - time has caught up with the plane and putting them to rest is the next best thing to do. You have to remember, these OV-10s that we received from the US and Thailand were manufactured in the late 1960s, putting their age at more than 40 years old. These are not expensive bombers that we're talking about, so don't give a reply that it was done on the B-52s, and why not for the OV-10s.

      If you have been reading and following the MaxDefense blogs, you should be aware that I am pushing for the AFP to acquire excess defense articles from friendly countries that can still be used effectively, like the Italian and Korean ships and European armored vehicles and American fighter planes. Don't make this single case a conclusion that the DND/AFP and this blog are not thinking of other ways to improve the AFP's fighting condition, because not all that are posted here or heard in the news means that this is all that is happening.

      Delete
  39. South Korea was selected kfx twin-engine program.
    Completed the development of navigation.
    System development so far this year, will start mass production development.
    I like the KFX program in the Philippines.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Sir Max, I lauded the PAF on this move to acquire CAS aircrafts. I see the Super Tucano as a good choice for CAS with its avionics and armaments but why can’t we just acquire aircraft which can do CAS such as Sukhoi Su-25 or AV-8B Harrier II.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe because of operational costs. Jet powered aircraft such as Sukhoi Su 25 or AV-8B is expensive to operate, especially on CAS role. Jet engines consume more fuel at low altitude. It will not be a practical choice for the PAF given the current resources.

      Delete
    2. There are many reasons, some of them are acquisition costs, maintenance and operating costs. Those reasons already make a strong arguement not to acquire them.

      Delete
  41. Sir Max, if Embraer will join and win, are we getting the twin seater version?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The requirement is for a 2-seater. So yes.

      Delete
  42. 20 more days to go to end the July 2014 which was announce previously by the DND regarding the selection of this two new frigates.... To DND bids and awards please dont let us as Filipino citizens not to trust your agency anymore and we are waiting for this big ticket you publicist for AFP modernization.......otherwise we will call all of you "KAMOTENG SINUNGALING"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kung maka pag demand ka parang sayo galing un perang pambibili ng frigates!?

      Delete
    2. Technically, it is your tax payers money.

      However, Lem1 should have asked the real question why this AFP modernization never materialize in 2 decades. Who are these leaders responsible for the sorry state of the AFP and why keep voting for them. Don't blame the PN but blame yourselves for voting those leaders. Vote right, if you want to help your AFP and your country.

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  43. I'm not demanding Mr. for this projects and Im just trying to say that it is almost delay for such a long time. And I'm pretty sure that a year of giving our AFP to choose the best Frigates for our navy is enough already. You should stick what your are saying somehow you don't have any knowledge in what is going on with our AFP modernization.

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  44. Sir Lem1, I believe the acquisition of the new frigates is technical in nature, it needs a careful study. Trust the PN, I think they are doing their best for the program. It is a multi billion project, they cannot afford to have unnecessary defects, so it is good that they are taking time to study it very well.

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    1. Very we'll said! And FYI Mr Lem1, last December lang nag start ang 1st stage bidding for the 2 frigates!

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    2. dnd source.. frigate acquisition will not be a walk in the park for our dnd consultant and strategist but it is being planned with extra careful not only for our immediate needs of naval assets. A long term solution for our credible defense posture is being considered. We planned all these things according to our requirements of today and tomorrow. After we acquire all these things we will try to make it sure that technology of the said frigate is still capable in the future, the country of origin is still a friendly country, the frigate itself has a similar future program of countries of origin so when time comes that future govt will not be favorable to afp modernization such as acquisition of big ticket items at least we can upgrade little by little . That thing which i trying to expose out is the ffx program of south korea. There is a big possibility that one of the korean shipbuilder who is capable of building a frigate will do business here in our country in the future and for that frigate upgrades will be done here locally. we carefullly observe every frigate being offered to the PN but there's a bigger chance we prefer the korean design.

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  45. I'm very concerned for the late and expensive enhancement of our defense position. The fastest way to do this is to enhance present inventory to at the very least very operational condition. Second is to buy existing inventory or EDA equipment married to enhanced local MRO. Third is to buy new equipment. The DND and AFP is doing it in reverse and look what's happening in WPS while we wait years spending much resources.

    Another concern is the choice of South Korea as the source for the main FA and frigate defense systems. The equipment may be good and least cost but South Korea is still on tense war status. Any shootings from the NoKor's large arsenal will most probably wipe out the supply chain for these critical defense systems and neutralize the viability of these for our defense.

    The widening model range of the AFP helicopters is another big concern mostly on the MRO support and cost fronts. The AFP should instead leverage its large Huey inventory and the large worldwide Huey inventory and standardize on it, using present available upgrade paths. All AFP requirements can be met with upgrades of this venerable model. The AFP can even turn it as an exportable defense business.

    Self Reliance model needs to be revived for an affordable strong defense

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  46. I agree with LEm1..their is no sense of fast track modernization here...If all pilipino. are the same of what your sentiment, nothing will happen to modernization.

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  47. Sir Max, how true is this report of the DND rescheduling of the Bid Submission and Opening for the acquisition of Close Air Support Aircraft Project for the Philippine Air Force from July 23 to August 11 because they are considering a deal with Textron AirLand for the Scorpion instead of Brazil's Super Tucano? Methinks the Scorpion is much better. Thanks.

    http://www.angmalaya.net/nation/2014/07/18/2348-textron-airland-scorpion-reason-for-close-air-support-aircraft-project-bids-opening-resched

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    1. HOLD YOUR LITTLE HORSES ! I did not know the Super T's per unit cost would be around 25M USD - same as these brand-new US designed jet-powered Scorpions !!!! Scratch the Super T's . The Scorpions are like mini F-15's and could carry and deliver a bigger punch !! Here is a rare instance where we could go US. As a launch customer - we would get the most thoroughly tested units and the best follow up service !!!

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    2. As the launch customer, we'll be getting unproven aircraft, unknown sales reach to other countries, and an aircraft that can't be used as a training platform.

      The government requires a defense equipment to be in service with the country of origin and/or two other foreign armed forces. The Scorpion doesnt meet that. Having no buyers yet means the PH risks being the only buyer or one of the very few buyers, and will become another Simba and S211 in the making. Being a jet means it may not be desgned to used from rough airfield which is among the PAF's requirements.

      The ABC for the project includes an ILS support, which will eat a lot of money from the ABC. Thus it means that Super Tucs will cost far less than $25 million if only unit cost is considered. Embraer has already proven itself with a great reliable product and service support while Textron has yet more to prove.

      So you wont necessarily get most thorougly tested units and the best follow up service. Beechcraft even beats Textron because they already have a proven aircraft with the T-6.

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  48. If the Textron is the real reason, is AFP forgetting something? This will prolong the already long process

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    1. I don't think so. The Scorpion is already non-compliant to the government's rules on acquiring weapons systems wherein the system must be in use by country of origin or at least 2 other countries.

      Janes also got the same confirmation from the DND:
      http://www.janes.com/article/38099/philippines-launches-close-air-support-aircraft-acquisition-programme

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  49. The US has lately done a study on upgraded OV-10's. This option may be more cost effective with a good payload capability and twin engine reliability.

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    1. And they decided to go for the Super Tucano, which is being contested by Beechcraft Defense as they believe the AT-6 should have won the LAS requirement of the USAF.

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    2. http://www.defensemedianetwork.com/stories/combat-dragon-ii-demonstrates-ov-10g-bronco-capabilities/

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    3. http://www.airspacemag.com/military-aviation/legends-of-vietnam-broncos-tale-5802093/?all

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  50. The DND for the 5th time RESET again the opening of BID for the CAS Requirement. No reasons provided. Bid opening was originally slated June 11, then reset to July 2, then reset to July 11, then reset July 23 then now reset again for August 11. DND is sure fond of resetting things.., might as well reset the entire process on a much later date months ahead instead of resetting the deadline every now and then as the resetting is becoming to be more of a bad habit on DND's part and show how incompetent they are. Its simple if DND think they cant do it everytime they set deadlines might as well postpone the entire thing at a later date where they can thoroughly study the bidders option instead of resetting it every now and then. Otherwise they will be resetting it every now and then until eternity. What a waste of time!

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  51. Bid Opening, Submission for CAS Project Reset for Aug. 11

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  52. New bid bulletin posted on the DND-BAC website this morning. It doesn't look good for Beechcraft, IOMAX, and Airbus. KAI, Embraer, and Elbit Systems showing interest. No Pilatus or Textron. :p

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    1. yeah, but why Elbit have questions there? Do they planes to offer?

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  53. Sir max, I have seen on TV news that DOST have developed a plane with an engine that is fueled by unleaded gasoline. I wonder if it would be possible for the PAF to experiment on the old OV-10s once they receive the new planes for CAS. If they would be able to fit the old OV-10s with the said engines, it would certainly cut costs on flying hours as unleaded gasoline is more cheaper than the conventional fuel for planes.

    I know there would be issues on speed, but slower planes is better on CAS roles right?

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  54. Nakakatuwa naman tong kulay ng Super Tucano sa first picture. Ganyan din yata ang kulay ng mga OV-10 natin. Linagyan din nila ng ulo ng shark sa harapan. Sinadya cguro yun para mas matakot ang kalaban. Sana plain military white nalang ang ikulay sa lahat ng military aircrafts and helicopters natin. Gayahin natin yung kulay ng mga USMC aircrafts and helicopters. Lahat yata naka military white sa USMC. Malinis tingnan at hindi madaling makita ng kalaban kapag nasa malayo kasi nagbeblend sya sa kulay ng mga ulap. Opinion ko lang po to.

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  55. Iomax block 3 is also a tough aircraft and it has a lower acquisition and operating cost to the Super Tucano. The only problem is the DND right now. No matter how cheap the real acquisition cost is, we will still buy it at an expensive price because our DND officials will always ask for commissions. They did it with the Bell 412EP. If you are just vigilant and smart enough to use google to know the exact price of the Bell 412 EP then you would know that the price we paid was too much. I know people here would say that the price seems to be expensive because the contract included the logistics and support package. I will not try to convince anyone of you. It is your choice to remain stupid and believe the lies coming from the mouth of the corrupt DND officials or to voice out your concerns about their existing corrupt practices. I always dreamed of a very powerful AFP and will always support the AFP Modernization but as a citizen i cannot tolerate the selfish motives of our DND officials.

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