Sunday, August 31, 2014

Israeli Firm Confirmed Winner for Force Protection Equipment for the Philippine Army and Marine Corps

After post qualification was done by the Philippines' Department of National Defense, it was determined that a joint venture between Israeli protective equipment manufacturer Achidatex Nazareth Elite and Filipino shipbuilder Colorado Shipyard Corp. won the tender for the Force Protection Equipment Acquisition Project for the Philippine Army and Philippine Marine Corps. A Notice of Award was provided to the joint venture last July 28, 2014, with Colorado Shipyard being the local proponent on behalf of the Israeli manufacturer.

Aside from Achidatex Nazareth Elite, other participants of the bidding were Serbian company UM-Merkata DOOMKU Private Limited of India, and Korean conglomerate Kolon Global Corp.


Only a few Philippine Army and Philippine Marine Corps units wear complete personal protective gear of at least a Kevlar helmet and bullet proof vest even in frontline duties. The Force Protection Equipment will try to change that with regards to bullet proof vests.


The Approved Budget for the Contract (ABC) for this project is Php 1,763,200,00.00, and the amount submitted by the joint venture was at around Php 1.4 billion. 44,080 body armors were required by the DND, and the Invitation to Bid was issued on February 2013. Delivery was stated by the DND to be 365 days from the opening of Letter of Credit. So far, a formal contract signing between the DND and the joint venture has not yet been made, but it is expected that the initial batch of protection vests will be delivered to the AFP by around 3rd quarter of 2015.

Each Force Protection Equipment (as named by the DND and AFP) is said to weigh between 5.8-6.8 kilograms each, with consideration to the standard body structure of a typical Filipino soldier. 


Achidatex has several bullet proof vest designs in its product line, including the AC-331D design seen above.

This is actually the second attempt by the DND to bid out the requirement. The first attempt was done last 2012 and the lowest bid was made by UM-Merkata DOO, although they failed the post qualification inspections and according to MaxDefense sources, the PA and PMC also slightly revised the specifications that were used in the latest bidding.

For this specific tender, Korean company Kolon Global Corporation was originally declared the lowest bidder, whose submitted bid amount was at only around Php 894,000,000.00. But they failed the post-bid qualifications after the DND found that the vests offered by Kolon was non-compliant, specifically the ballistic protection plate was shorter than required by the Technical Specifications. Kolon believes their product was compliant as their plate was curved and the DND inspection team measured using a straight line method from end to end of the plate, and no following the length of the arc, thus the measurement was by somewhere between 1 to 2 centimeters. There were concerns from Kolon Global that the DND BAC was favoring certain companies for the project.


Philippine Army troopers during the Zamboanga City siege of 2013. No helmets, no bullet proof vest. This increases the number of injuries and casualties during firefights.



Achidatex Nazareth Elite is a company under the DFNS Group, which specializes in protective equipment and services. Achidatex specializes in personal, vehicle, and building protection systems, and produces their own armoring systems although the entire DFNS Group may provide all the necessary ancillary items included in the product.

It is not yet confirmed though on what is the actual participation of the  local shipbuilder Colorado Shipyard Corp. with regards to this project. Aside from their affiliate company Philippine Rigid Construction Corp., MaxDefense has not yet confirmed if they have started expanding their business into other businesses aside from shipyard and construction. 

Although this project is already late and should have been given one of the top priorities of the AFP Modernization Program, its award to Achidatex represents and important step towards modernizing the basic infantry of the PA and PMC together with the acquisition of new combat boots (which is still pending after the failure of the new locally made Kubar combat boots), more Kevlar helmets, tactical vests and communications equipment, new assault rifles, and heavier infantry weapons. 




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U P D A T E S :
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September 3, 2015:

It was reported on July 2015 that the Philippine Army has yet to receive the first batch of 20,000 force protection equipment from the joint venture of Achidatex Nazareth Elite of Israel, and Colorado Shipyard of the Philippines. The original deadline should have been on the first week of March 2015, but the DND approved a requested 120 days extension which expired on 29th June 2015.

After more than 2 months, the DND has still not made any decision on the matter, since the joint venture still failed to deliver. Normally, the DND should have already taken action by now by announcing the issue to the press, and start preparation for contract termination. But until now MaxDefense has not receive any information of a move to terminate the contract.

So why is it taking too long to terminate the contract and award it to the next lowest calculated bidder, when other projects were very fast in doing such move?

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July 12, 2016:

MaxDefense received an update regarding the Acquisition of Force Protection Equipment which was previously awarded to the Achidatex Nazareth Elite - Colorado Shipyard Joint Venture. This project is part of the AFP Modernization Program funded under RA 7898.

Sources confirmed that Achidatex Nazareth Elite and Colorado Shipyard cannot deliver the body armour vests due to lack of funding to manufacture 44,000+ vests, resulting to a fall-out between the two companies. 

While it was previously mentioned as a cancelled project due to the failure of the joint venture to deliver the products within the specified timeframe, it appears that the project is currently under arbitration and wil take some time before a decision can be made.

Meanwhile, the DND has awarded a contract to supply another project covering 3,480 body armour vests, previously awarded to Um Merkata DOO but was declared a bid failure by the DND after declaring that the vests from Um Merkata DOO did not meet the specified requirements of the Philippine Army.

For this project, MKU Pvt. Ltd. of India was declared the new winner, and will supply the 3,480 body armour vests to the Philippine Army.

MKU was actually also among the bidders for the project that Achidatex Nazareth Elite-Colorado Shipyard JV wn, but was not actually the next lowest bidder. They appear to still be interested to take the job when the DND decided to look for a replacement for Achidatex-Colorado JV if the arbitration goes in the DND's favour.

No timeline was provided, but this is certainly good news after more than a year of delay.


MKU Pvt. Ltd. of India was declared the new winner to supply Force Protection Body Armour Vests to the Philippine Army and Philippine Marine Corps.
Photo taken from MKU's website.

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26 comments:

  1. is the Israeli plates also curved? Because it would be awkward to move around if the plate is flat unless its in segments.

    If the Israeli plates are curved, no sense crying for KOLON. Either they should have increased the dimension or made the plate flat. Such an easy ways and means if there's a will. Not a big deal to increase price a little without going above the Israeli offer. Then they may have a point.

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    1. My understanding is that the ballistic plates are curved. But the allegations that the inspection team measured the plate from end to end of the plate on a straight line instead of following the arc remains to be confirmed. If that is the procedure the inspection team used but Achidatex bagged the project means that even on a curved shape, the Israeli made plate is still longer than that from Kolon.

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  2. With an excellent war experience and producing the best military hardwares from this experience, our government should buy more Isreali products and weapon systems.

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  3. Max, The Project Philippine blogger just want to make notices to the netizen at your expense...we call it plagiarism.

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  4. Max, I have been following your blog and once in a while i stumble into project Philippines and noticed after you post a few moments later they're gonna post theirs with almost the same content.

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  5. totoo po ba ang news na to concerning Philippine navy is interested in M/V Susitna?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udnpo8IF-U8

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    1. MaxDefense has been monitoring this for more than a month now, but until the PN doesn't make a move other than being interested, then it's difficult to assess.

      The PN sent some representatives to inspect the ship last week (August 28-29). Still confirming what is their decision.

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    2. i believe the navy should make a follow-up order with the brp tagbanua class which is locally made its more practical than to purchase this hi-tech vessel. a price of this hi-tech vesel is i think more than 1 locally made cargo ship for the navy. it generates local investments also. why they havent think this way?

      renbios

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    3. Renbios, the PN is studying the flaws of the Tagbanua, and are making some adjustments to make it a better product. There are plans to acquire 3 more soon.

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    4. so the tagbanua class is still a go with some refinements. thank you for the reply sir max.

      renbios

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    5. imo if they can deliver it immediately that mutant ferry is worthwhile. if we have to wait months or worse forget it.

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    6. Hi Max, the M/V Susitna look's like a very good addition to the Philippine Navy's assets. Hopefully, they could get it, and hopefully ask for more funding for at least to purchase another three to four more units. Considering that the design was initiated by the US Navy, it may not be difficult to request for the construction of the additional unit. The example looks very well suited for the Philippine Islands.

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  6. How true is this Max? Mukhang possible donation na naman to from US.

    Ketchikan, AK - Efforts to sell an unused ferry owned by the Mat-Su borough continued Thursday Four officials from the Phillippines Navy, and a U.S. Navy advisor examined the ship during a demonstration outside of Ketchikan.

    News Source: http://www.ktuu.com/news/news/potential-buyer-interested-in-ferry/27804866

    Ship Spec: http://gpai.com/designs/passenger_vessels/detail/susitna_ecraft.html

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  7. I hope the equipments will be recieved and use by army and marines not be sold to npa and the dirty politicians. Just like what happened to the ak 47

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  8. Sir max any news on the 10 patrol boats coming from japan?

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    Replies
    1. Bidding to proceed soon. 4 Japanese bidders already shortlisted.

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  9. Why isn't their any press release of the Kubar Boots operational testing results? And also can you confirm that the boots failed testing?

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    Replies
    1. There was a press report on the stoppage and review of the Kubar boots, which they found to not perform well on wet and muddy areas. Here's a report from ABS-CBN:

      http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/07/26/14/army-reviews-p350-m-combat-boots-deal

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  10. Modernize the Philippine FB pages has a lot of crappy sources coming from that "Project Philippines" blog....always doesnt mention sources, and is practically cut and pasted from somewhere else (in this case yours, without the references!).

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    1. Modernize the Philippines was not the original name of this group. I believe it was "Modernize the Philippine Navy" if I'm not mistaken. There was a power struggle within its administrators in the past, leading to the original admin to open another group page that didn't become as successful as the first one.

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  11. NIJ Level IV protection armored vests are available for P24,000 compared to more than P31,000 in this award.

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  12. sir max any update on d shore based missile system? Wat abt d proposal to acquire d Spyder system frm israel? thank u..

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  13. Updates made on this blog entry as of September 7, 2014.

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  14. Hi Max, any comments on the article from Rappler about body armors.

    http://www.rappler.com/newsbreak/68431-zamboanga-siege-body-armors

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  15. Thanks Max Defense for the info... just a fyi during the 90s this was were Napoles started her illustrious career before graduating to pork barrel and defrauding the Filipino people of millions.

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  16. These information are really interesting to know,actually these information are difficult to find. These guns will look more interesting and amazing while they are in the hands of trained professional but they are simply meant for defense officers not the general public.
    Regards:
    MA Gun License

    ReplyDelete