Sunday, October 26, 2014

Lightweight Torpedoes for the Philippine Navy - a Re-introduction to ASW Weapons Systems

Earlier we discussed the possibility of having the MBDA FASGW(H), also known as the Sea Venom or the ANL, for the Philippine Navy (PN). This is due to entry of anti-submarine warfare helicopters being contested between the AW-159 Wildcat and the AS565MB Panther. Both helicopters are capable of carrying the FASGW(H), and both helicopters are the top contenders for the PN's ASW Helicopter acquisition project.

With the impending acquisition, it is worth noting that aside from helicopter launched anti-ship missiles, the PN is also looking at helicopter launched lightweight anti-submarine torpedoes, as specified in the ASW helicopter acquisition specifications. With no decision from the DND and PN on the helicopter platform yet, MaxDefense will be discussing the possible torpedoes models being offered to the PN.



The Eurotorp MU90/IMPACT torpedo, as carried by a French Navy NH90NFH naval helicopter.
Photo taken from aerobuzz.fr website.



Lightweight Anti-Submarine Torpedoes
The DND and PN's Technical Specifications for the ASW Helicopters indicated the following conditions for the anti-submarine torpedo requirements:

- 6 warshot and exercise torpedoes per helicopter (total of 12 torpedoes);
- lightweight;
- impact detonated;
- with sub-surface target homing capability in active, passive, or mixed acoustic modes;
- with a range not less than 10 kilometers;
- seawater battery operated with electrically rechargeable power source;
- to include Flight in Air Material (FIAM) gears;
- torpedoes should be the same as those being procured for the PN's new frigate (pending PN's updated technical specifications for the frigate's torpedo system).

The specifications did not indicate the torpedo's calibre, although it is expected that the PN will be acquiring those in the 323.7mm (commonly known as the 324mm) NATO standard LWT calibre. 

Based on the size alone, the possible candidates for the PN's requirement may include the following torpedo models:

1. Raytheon Mark 54 MAKO (USA);
2. BAE Systems Sting Ray Mod 1 (UK);
3. Eurotorp MU90/IMPACT (France/Italy);
4. LIG Next1 K745 Blue Shark (South Korea)

The US Mark 46 and the Italian A244/S Mod. 3 are probably not being considered, as they are already being replaced by the newer Mark 54 MAKO and the MU90/IMPACT, respectively.





Torpedo Propulsion System:
But each of these torpedo models have different propulsion systems, although majority uses the seawater battery type, which are believed to have less heat signatures and left no wake as compared to thermal propulsion systems like those using liquid propellants. Seawater battery means that it can be activated by exposing them to seawater. So far, only the Eurotorp MU90/IMPACT, the LIG Nex1 K745 Blue Shark and the BAE Systems Sting Ray are powered by seawater batteries. Both the MU90/IMPACT and the K745 Blue Shark are powered by Aluminum-Silver Oxide (AlAgO) seawater battery, while the Sting Ray Mod1 with the Magnesium/Silver-Chloride (MgAgCl) seawater battery from SAFTThe Mark 54 MAKO uses the Otto II liquid fuel, effectively taking it out of the possible choices.


The Mark 54 torpedo being launched from a USN destroyer. Being powered by liquid Otto Fuel II, it does not meet the specifications provided by the PN, which specifically mentioned the use of seawater battery system found in other torpedo models like the Sting Ray, MU90 and Blue Shark.
Photo taken from Wikimedia.



The Possible Candidates:
According to most defense journals, the MU90/IMPACT is the most modern, and probably the best lightweight torpedo in the market today, with its capabilities in terms of speed and range, depth requirement for launching being applicable to shallow waters, high immunity to countermeasures, having an insensitive warhead, broadband sonar and a tactical computer. But this also means that it could be the most expensive of the possible offers. It also suffered some problems with the Australian Navy, which could be a possible reason for doubt by other countries including the Philippines. The MU90/IMPACT is currently in use by France, Italy, and many other nations including Germany and Denmark, and can be carried by the AS565MB Panther, the NH90NFH, and the AW101 Merlin. It can also be carried by the AW-159 and the MH-60/S-70 helicopter, which can be modified to do so and were tested with such configuration a few years ago.


The Eurotorp MU90/IMPACT in both the ship-launched and aircraft-launched variants.



The LIG Nex1 K745 Blue Shark was said to have been developed closely using the MU90/IMPACT as a basis. It uses the same technology for the propulsion and power source, but may cost far less that its European counterpart. It was reported that the torpedo only had a success hit rate of 50% during tests by the Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN) and confirmed by the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) in 2012. It is expected that the ROKN will equip its upcoming AW-159 Wildcat naval helicopters with the K745 Blue Shark, in anticipation of their current policy of nationalizing its weapons system as much as possible.



Scale models of the LIG Nex1 C-Star anti-ship missile (above) and the K745 Blue Shark lightweight torpedo.



The BAE Systems Sting Ray, currently in its Mod.1 version, is the foremost lightweight torpedo used by the Royal Navy. Compared to the older Mod.0, it uses a new sonar system, an insensitive munition warhead, a new tactical and navigation system and a new seawater battery system. It also prides itself of being a low maintenance torpedo using longer life seals and improved bearing lubricating system. The Sting Ray Mod.1 is the initial torpedo model carried by the AW-159 Wildcat, and can also be carried by the NH90NFH, and is currently in service with British Royal Navy and Royal Air Force, and the Norwegian Navy.  



A Royal Navy AW-159 Wildcat carrying a pair of Sting Ray torpedoes.



All torpedoes mentioned above can be carried and launched by helicopters, are impact detonated, with sub-surface homing capability in both active and passive modes. All mentioned torpedo models have ranges exceeding the 10 kilometers, 




Ship-Launched Lightweight Torpedoes:
With a requirement from the PN for the helicopter-launched torpedoes to be of the same model as the frigate-launched ones, the selection of torpedoes for both platforms will be dependent on which project will be awarded first. 


The PN also has a requirement for lightweight torpedoes to arm its upcoming new frigates, as well as a possibility to upgrade its existing naval assets to fire torpedoes as well.
Photo taken from Wikimedia.



So far the PN's frigate acquisition project is already going for the second stage bid, but since the PN already decided to separate the acquisition of weapons systems from the frigate itself, there might be some changes in their requirement that can still be made. Although based on commonality and practicality, the original requirement for the frigate and helicopter to have a common torpedo model is still probably the way to go.



Conclusion:
Whatever the outcome is of the acquisition plans for anti-submarine lightweight torpedoes, the main point is that the Philippine Navy will finally be having torpedoes in its arsenal again after a long absence. And not only will it have ship-launched torpedoes, but also air-launched as well. This will definitely boost the PN's capabilities as compared to what it has now, and with proper training, maintenance, and funding, as well as close coordination with its neighbors and allies, the PN may well again be returning to regain its lost prestige as one of the most proficient ASW combat force in the Pacific region. 

MaxDefense anticipates that the acquisition of torpedoes will be separated from the acquisition of the helicopters, as what was done with the PN's new frigate project.



Aside from the Philippine Navy, it is also expected that the Philippine Air Force will benefit from such acquisition plans, with their Long Range Patrol Aircraft (aka Maritime Patrol Aircraft) also expected to be armed with air-launched torpedoes as ASW missions are part of its requirement. 




A C-295 maritime patrol aircraft dropping an air-launched anti-submarine lightweight torpedo during tests. Aside from the PN, the PAF is also expected to acquire lightweight torpedoes for its upcoming Long Range Patrol Aircraft. 





93 comments:

  1. By the way sir max what's the latest about our long range patrol aircraft?

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  2. As always max,we ur avid readerz are thankful for ur very nformative blogsite!hoping that instead of hurling mud on each other,vp binay a reserve marine ofcr being an mnsa grad and sen.trilanes,a cavalier shoud instd focus their goals on finding budget for our afp!go go dnd!ramil

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    1. I don't trust Binay anymore

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    2. FUCK Binay. i don't trust him at all.

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    3. HAHAHA! ONE on ONE DEBATE "BINAY VS. TRILLANES" yumyumyum! I can't wait to see... :-)

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  3. By the way sir max, any new details on the frigate acquisition?

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  4. I assume weapons procurement for frigates and helos will go through g2g. Is this right?
    Nice analysis Max

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    1. Always remember that new technology with proven designed originated from the war proven ASW torpedos and missiles will never provide by the Europe and US. Only ASW and Missile ordnance that is less capable then the latest technology. The reason is a game changer in terms of Diplomatic, Military and Politics in the Asia Pacific region. We can demand more remember India one of the major importers of Torpedos and Missiles but this country has the problem to fill the ordnance requirements of their aging ships and helicopters weapon systems. How much more like our country who has a meager resources for defense and this is the reality in defense industry.

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  5. Sir max may news poba sa A400m ng france?

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    Replies
    1. it was just being offered. the DND has yet to bite onto the offer.

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  6. sir max among the 4 torpedo model i think mako and stingray looks better...Is it cheaper?

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    1. As far as I know, the MU90/IMPACT is the most capable and the most expensive.

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  7. Hi Max, you mentioned a 50% kill rate for the Blue Shark and the problems encountered by the MU90/IMPACT, how about the performance of the other two? Any issues we should know? Is a 50% kill rate of the Blue Shark good enough compared to the others? I'm assuming the Blue Shark is the cheapest torpedo among the possible candidates, if it is good enough for the Koreans, shouldn't it be good enough for the PN?

    - Neo

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    1. The Koreans are new in the torpedo manufacturing scene, and are learning pretty fast. They are still continuing the development and improvement of the Blue Shark, and so far latest test results were not made public yet but are expected to be better.

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    2. The problem with MU90 in Australia is more on the country's changes in their platforms, which would benefit more on using the Mark 54 instead of the MU90.

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    3. Blue Shark torpedo is designed based on a white shark.
      LG Precision (LIG Nex 1) reject the DCN France MU90 battery (independently developed) 1994.
      (MU90 battery abnormality found during the test)
      2013. TEST Fire ---> 50% target hits
      Al oxide battery ----> Li-Polymer Replacement Battery
      Passed test firing

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    4. torpedo development is a very high level of difficulty.
      Not many successful countries.
      Prices are expensive.
      The success rate is 70 percent

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    5. 70% sounds good enough for me.. But then again, I wonder how the others fare.. We have to remember we're going to use these torpedoes in a variety of platforms, so the choice will be critical. It is common knowledge that the MU90/IMPACT and the Sting Ray would be better than the Blue Shark, but the question is --- how much better and what's the difference in price?

      - Neo

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  8. Hi Max, two items that I haven't noticed being discussed for the Navy are the anti ship mine for port protection and also the deep charges for submarine hunting. The mine maybe a bit expensive, besides the unit itself, you need a mine layer, however in my opinion the deep charge could possibly be develop or manufactured in the Philippines. If our fishermen could create charge for dynamite fishing, then it won't be too difficult to develop deep charges too for Phil Navy. I wonder if those technology are too outdated or just that the Philippine Navy haven't thought about it. Gerry

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    1. I mean depth charge Max (wrong spelling). Gerry

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    2. Your idea is good. The Russians have the RBU's and the Swedes the ELMA. It's much cheaper than the torpedo and can fit in a lot of vessels. Best, we can make it here in PH. The DND/AFP guys just copy the Americans, so they go with the outmoded torpedoes who can only do less than 40 knots unless you have the Russian version that can run much faster. Once the sub is located, the RBU/ELMA is much more cost effective. Lapu-lapu

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  9. Hi, Max

    Just like to share this article,. Since the 2 brand new frigates of our PN lacks CIWS, i think this could be the answer,

    http://defense-update.com/20141026_c-dome.html?utm_source=feedblitz&utm_medium=FeedBlitzRss&utm_campaign=feedburner/defenseupdate

    By the way, thanks for another entertaining post.

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    1. I really want the best features and weapons for our frigates, I think every Filipino who understands the importance of defending our territory shares the same sentiment. Unfortunately, a lot of officials from the higher ups who are capable of influencing the AFP budget are too busy with their own personal agendas.

      Thus, we can see a very modest budget for our frigates (And I used the word modest just to be polite about it).

      Regarding the C-RAM, and really any other weapon/feature of the frigate, it all comes down to how much would it cost?

      - Neo

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    2. Its from Israel, so it will more cheaper than the west. Example is India choosing Spike against the javelin of US.

      But if the PN cannot really afford, then the mistral is already good.

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    3. Good point about the choice of weapons. Israel provides cheaper goods without compromising quality.

      About the Mistrals, It's good enough for our corvettes and even the WHECs, but as for the new frigates? No.. we're spending on two new boats, and even though they won't be armed to the teeth (which it should if you ask me), they should at least have better weapons/defensive capabilities than any of our vessels.

      The Mistrals have very short range. I would want something better. If the C-RAM costs too much, what could be the more appealing alternative?

      - Neo

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  10. some may watch this video regarding the Life of a navy man in a coastal patrol ship.. please see below link

    http://boeing.rollcall.com/topic-a/human-interest/inside-navys-coastal-patrol-mission/?src=otbp

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  11. I think even if our government purchase 10 modern frigates complete with offensive & defensive weapon systems, they will not survive an attack from the sheer number of Chinese submarines, surface warships & long-range bomber aircraft. What our government should focus more is build-up our land-based missile and radar systems which can deny China's PLA the ability to enter our EEZ & patrol/occupy our reefs and equipt the PCG with a large quantity of small, fast attack crafts w/c can apprehend the hundreds of illegal Chinese fishing boats coming in & out of our EEZ zone and extracting our marine resources as they please. The threat of land-based long-range anti-ship and surface-to-air missiles that can reach the outer edge of our EEZ will likely scare PLA's warships & combat ships from intruding inside our EEZ w/o placing our small naval ships/boats in harms way and protected inside our naval ports. Sending our frigates/corvettes to face Chinese well-armed warships & submarines will only be a waste of money. The reality is our navy's capability is only good for coastal patrol & sea monitoring and not for a naval engagement against Chinese military might. So better go with missile/radar systems which will be more intimidating to Chinese naval & air forces and less costly .

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    1. This is exactly the way to go - thank you very much sir ! However - most commenters here seem to be talking about a peacetime navy when they talk about these new frigates. They talk about the brand-new frigates being cost-effective since they will last a long long time. Say what - are you kidding me ?? The PN would be lucky if these new frigates would last more than two weeks in an actual war. Just because you have brand-new ships does not mean you have a navy .If these ships can not remain afloat for more than a few weeks in an actual war - then you do not have a navy either!!
      We are not talking about a third world enemy here. The big bully has satellites, airborne radars etc and you can be sure they know our ships exact location the moment they leave port. It does not make any sense to carry our firepower on ships that can easily be destroyed when our potential battle site is only a few hundred miles offshore. The best bang for the buck is in land-based missiles and multi-role fighters..

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    2. Now both of you're talking sense. Moat defense on high shoreline mountains in caves/tunnels. SP artilleries and missiles to 200 nautical miles out. But the guys in DND/AFP were indoctrinated by the colonialist Americans who want us weak and dependent forever. Isang sabog lang takbo na sa kano. But a lot of the junior officers have the right ideas.

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  12. Our navy is talking only about frigates, how about the destroyers

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    1. No destroyers in the pipeline. There is no need for destroyers, frigates are sufficient enough for the PN's needs.

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    2. wait for 40 years before we get an actual DDG.

      and that's being optimistic.

      FFG types are more suited for our requirements.

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    3. Sir Max, is Alvaro de Bazan is still a frigate? it looks like destroyer.

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  13. Max all of this bidding for weapon frigate and other equipment are all DRAWING until the end of the year. It will only come into reality maybe the 2nd quarter of 2015 . That is only finalization of bidding. Wala pa contract signing. Ganyan katagal. Kasi ang mga matatalino dyan sa afp ang nagpapatagal ng proceso. The reason for open bidding is to determine the best of the best the supplier offered. At alam na ng mgs taga DND at AFP which is the best. Anak ng bakulaw! Why prolong the agony. Ano ba talaga ang gusto eh nakakatag na namang lahat.

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    1. There has been a long arguement on why bidding is required when the DND can go G2G or direct sale like what was done to acquire the FA-50 and Bell 412. So far we haven't really got a convincing answer as to why bidding is needed except that these assets (frigate and ASW helicopter) are assets with advanced technology which the PN is not yet familiar with and wanted to get as much input from many bidders as possible.

      It is expected that additional orders in the future won't be needing another bidding.

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    2. Lahat sa PH ang tagal hindi lang sa AFP pati na rin sa DOTC and etc.. Panay press release tapos either icancel or wala talaga. NGA NGA nalang tayo nito, asa ng asa wala namang napapala.

      Haayy! God Bless Philippines!

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    3. The problem with this frigate acquisition project, if the DND-AFP will allow this to drag more time of who is the sure winner...it will have a negative impact on the perception of the general public and as well the Netizens would construed this delays in the final decision makings even having already a hired a consultant, and that this project is another milking cow for these big "C" in the DND-AFP. ////Just my opinion...orrupt

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    4. We must remember that there are different weapon delivery platforms and the afp is trying to have standard weapons like the lightweight torpedoes expect these delays until the standards are set. Lets not prejudge in a negative way. So far this administration have come up with good buys.

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    5. The role of the annual budget allocation should always be taken into consideration. Remember that the P85B had to be spread from 2013-17. SC choke the disbursement with its DAP ruling, so DBM/DND is held hostage. Only when funds are made available via SARO can the bidding proceed. Hopefully, with the 2015 budget passed by Congress with the P20B for AFP Mod Trust Fund a few days ago, we can see some positive progress before the year ends.

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  14. Hi Sir Max, any idea what is ghe reason for the delay in the frigate bidding. Until now there is no news from the DND. Was this project already scrapped

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  15. Oot! Today i saw 4 to 5 officers of the indian arm forces paying a visit to the afp museum. Can anyone elighten me on the reason why they are here?

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    Replies
    1. probably just dropped by. nothing unusual with that.

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  16. I think if any DND/AFP bidding project does not push through or being delayed for a long time, it's probably either funding problem or politicking reason.

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  17. MAX.SORY BUT PUTTING POLITICIANS TO THE TOP DND POSTS JUST MUDDLE OUR AFP MODERNIZATION! FOR INSTANCE THE CURENT DND SEC MAY HAVE COME FRM THE AFP BUT YET IS TOO BEHOLDEN TO THE APOINTNG POWER.I SUPOSD ITS BEST TO PUT CIVILIAN TECHNOCRAT IN OUR DND AND EVEN IN DOTC.LOOK AT THE MESS CREATED BY SEC ABAYA HIMSELF A US NAVAL GRAD?MAYBBE IF WE PUT MANNY PANGILINAN AS DND SEC WE CAN NOW SEE THE BIDDING OF OUR FRIGATES GETTING THE GRENLITE.!OR MAX WHY NOT BE 1 AMONG THE MANY CNSULTANTS OF DND?HEHE

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  18. you know, you didn't have to rape the caps lock button like a retard just to express this.

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  19. MVP is an excellent suggestion, if this happens we will have better than expected results

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    Replies
    1. I think if big-time private businessmen enter into politics, they will have the tendency to form dummy defense companies that will monopolize and control DND/AFP bidding projects.

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  20. http://www.angmalaya.net/world/2014/10/31/5350-south-korea-deployed-20-fa-50s

    Just like to share

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  21. South Korea have 170 F-5E/F Tiger IIs and 69 F-4E Phantom IIs for phaseout and replacement by FA-50s. The PAF, with no reliable fighter planes for air defense against Chinese long-range bombers and MRFs, can lease-to-own these F-5s and F-4s from S. Korea for PAF pilot and aircraft mechanic training purposes , as temporary air defense assets, as spare parts source for our decommissioned F-5s and as a starting platform to develop our own indigenous MRF while waiting for the 12 FA-50s to arrive. Maybe the S. Korean gov't. will agree to sell them to the Phil. under credit loan if we buy more brand new weapon systems from S.Korea.

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  22. Ang kapal talaga ng Mukha ng mga Heneral ng AFP.....sa akin lang di ko pa talaga nararamdaman ang modernization ng AFP unless kung may missile firing capability eh wala ni Barko o Eroplano o SAM base wala...Diyos ko Gob Bless the Filipino..Mr. President Pnoy san ang sense na fast fast fast modernization na Pinangako mo.... na di disappoint na ako sa administration mo..pano kasi sinosunod mo ang mga Heneral mo sa AFP na walang kwenta.. Be firm naman sana sa mga binibitawan mong pangako sa SONA mo. naalala ko pa nung sinabi mo na may paparating na barko galing ng Europe (maestralle class frigate) pero ala naman. Please please wag ka makinig sa mga Heneral mong walang alam kasi masisira ka lang sa taong bayan..marami nag aantay sa modernization ng AFP.. kung ako lang eh abolish ko na yan ang mga heneral na yan at palitan ng Civilian kasi parang marami pang alam ang mga civilian kisa sa mga heneral mo dyan sa AFP.
    simply lang ang tinatawag na minimum credible defense:

    1: 12 FA50 (from Korea) - OK (I agree)
    2. 2 New frigate (missile firing) - Drawing (asan na?)
    3. SAM missile - Drawing (asan na?)
    4. Radar - Drawing (asan na?)
    5. Helicopter - soon to receive - OK (I AGREE)
    6. Main Battle Tank o brand new APC - Drawing
    7. M-4 RIFLE - Ok (I Agree)
    8. CAS - On Order ( I agree)
    9. 2 C-130 - On Order (I agree)
    10. Patrol ship for Coast Guard - Only a report possilby draiwng na naman.

    -- sana tong sampo na to matupad lang bago matapos term mo..madami talaga matutuwa sa mga enlisted natin sa AFP at yungmga taong may concern sa West Philippine Sea.

    Mr. President Pnoy I beg you to please please fast track the modernization of our Armed Forces.. Please

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    1. I don't consider those 10 planned military procurement items of Pnoy Administration as Minimum Credible Defense. They are more like Miniscule Discreditable Nonsense items. For initial Minimum Credible Defense against Chinese Naval & Air Aggression, what we need are 12 batteries of coastal Anti-ship Missiles, 12 batteries of Surface-to-Air Missiles, 6 squadrons of MRFs, long-range aircraft & land-based radar systems, and a fleet of small Fast Attack Crafts & Missile boats. Funding problem ? Confiscate all the cash and assets of corrupt government officials and AFP generals, sell the GOCCs, use PAGCOR profits, improve the tax collection system, minimize customs smuggling, increase sin taxes, etc.

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    2. you got my vote on 2016

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    3. it will happen count 40 years from now lol

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    4. is will happen count 50 years from now

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  23. I am very much worried of our galant soldier specially those assigned in a remote place particular in Sulu and all other areas infested by the NPA..Im hpoinng that our President Pnoy will see this one and choose for the protection of our troops against ambush.. I prefer this APC rathen than light tank because our land is more on terrain.. Please see below link of what I am talking about. I want this NPA, Abu Sayyaf and all other infested criminal to suffer... To MILF and the Government congratulation for the peace agreement. I salute all of you to all our Muslim brother.

    http://www.military-today.com/apc/boxer_mrav.htm

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    1. this is an article about Torpedoes. take this somewhere else. okay, even if the DND considers this, tell me something: what's the rationale? what does this do that makes it better than APCs we have now? care to explain your reasoning behind this?


      -rant over-
      seriously, sir Max. we have to enforce a timawa.net-like atmosphere here, if you know what i'm saying. posting rules and all that.

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    2. o alam mo na ang nagyari sa mga sundalo na inambush nitong huli sa basilan? 6 ang napatay sa mga sundalo natin? alam ko kung ano ang kulang? itong si RANT OVER dapat talaga iban to sa timawa.wala talagang alam sa modernization.. tama dapat magkaroon ng mga APC na sinabi sa taas para sa protection ng mga sundalo natin

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  24. Hi Max, the Koreans are set to retire their F 5s, can't we have some of them as a bridge to improve the capability of our pilots asthey transition to the F50 in the next three years? Freddie

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    1. Just a matter of government-to-government negotiations. Commiting our AFP to send a regiment, batallion, or Brigade of Phil. army soldiers to assist the South Koreans if invaded by North Korea would probably make the Korean government grateful and happy to offer their F-5s to us.

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    2. are you kidding me..

      they're retiring their F-5's for a reason. their airframes are all used up.

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    3. How do you know that. Are you connected with the South Korean Air Force. Do you know how long we operated our older F-5 Freedom Fighters as against the Korean F-5 Tiger IIs. Do you think new airframes cannot be fabricated to replace the old ones. Why are all the Korean F-5s still active in service.

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    4. Do you know that the 40-year old Kfir fighters of IAF was up-graded by the Israel Aerospace Industries and guaranteed for another 40-year operating lifestan.

      http://jewishbusinessnews.com/2013/08/06/israel-aerospace-industries-selling-upgraded-kfir-jets-for-20-million/

      Do you know that the old F-5s of the Brazilian Air Force was up-graded by Embraer and Elbit to operate till 2030.

      http://www.janes.com/article/44881/elbit-to-upgrade-f-5-fighters-for-undisclosed-asian-country

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    5. How do we know that? Easy. South Koreans said that. Americans said that. I can find you numerous newspaper articles both from South Korea and America saying that the ROKAF's F-5 fleet is aging and needs replacing. Backing that assertion is the fact that South Korea is actively preparing to replace them with FA-50 and KFX. They didn't bother upgrading them like some other countries did. Their airframes are used up.

      Oh sure, you can fabricate new airframes to replace them. But no one makes them anymore. The factory is gone. Northrop Grumman doesn't even make fighters at the moment. South Korea stopped making them in 1986 too. What does that mean? It means that to make new airframes you need to build the factory from scratch first. Who's going to front the money to build a factory for obsolete jets?

      Philippine's latest F-5 A/B purchase was in 1998 from South Korea. They were retired in 2005 for good reason. South Korean on the other hand had over 200 F-5 Tiger II and can cannibalize them for spare parts as they replace it with FA-50. And what do you mean all of them are still active? Their numbers have gone down steadily over the years.

      Sure, if the South Korea offers some F-5 for free, go ahead and get it. There's probably some 3-7 years left depending on which batch they offer. But understand that this is not a long term solution. Worse, it can actually backfire as the cost of maintaining them might be worse than getting newly build fighters. Setting up a logistic chain takes time and money and significant effort. That's fine if you end up using it for two decades or three or even four. But if you are just going to use it for 5 years or even less, is it really worth it?

      South Korean F-5 is one of those things where it's cool if they're given away for free but if not, it's no big loss.

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    6. exactly. and knowing the retarded mindset of some officials in the upper echelons of the AFP, they're gonna let their "pwede na yan" mindset get to them if we do get the F-5, even for free. it's true, the F-5 is scary effective in the right hands, but let's be honest here. they're well-past their primes now. Brazil managed to upgrade theirs because they know how to and they have the industrial capability to do so. but current reports suggest that they're gonna be replacing them with brand-new Saab JAS-39 Gripen NGs soon.

      https://medium.com/war-is-boring/it-took-a-while-but-brazils-finally-getting-a-new-fighter-a47fc9df3333

      "With the Mirage 2000s having flown their final operational sortie at the end of last year, the first in-service Gripens will therefore replace the comprehensively upgraded F-5s that now represent the backbone of the FAB fighter arm.

      These Tiger IIs are very capable in their own right, with recent updates having added a new radar, beyond-visual-range missile capability and laser-guided bombs.

      However, the basic F-5 design dates back to the late 1950s, and Brazilian airframes have each accumulated around 4,500 flight hours. The fleet of 57 Tiger IIs includes 11 aircraft purchased second-hand from the Royal Jordanian Air Force."

      plus, getting those old, worn-out F-5 airframes would greatly hamper us from getting true, modern multi-role fighter craft in the future. and like what the poster above me said, it would be a lot more expensive down the road to just keep them flying.

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    7. Lets not get derailed. My point is get the F5s for upgrading the skills of our pilot before they jump inside the cockpit of the F50s. Using them for the next three years should be good enough. Its better than our current jet trainers. Essentially it is going to be used to increase the flying hours of our pilots. If they will offer 4 to 6 of them then take it. Freddie

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    8. Of course, any rich country with the ready cash money can afford to replace their old military hardware with the latest brand new, more sophisticated and advance systems & platforms and in greater quantities w/o the need for up-grading and that is why S. Korea is replacing their aging F-5s. But for developing countries like the Philippines, the most that we can procure is 12 FA-50s and wait for 3 years before the delivery is completed. China must be laughing hard to the stomach. FA-50 is not even a real MRF but more of a trainer. In an actual air combat, it is more likely that an up-graded F-5 or Kfir MRF can beat an FA-50. I have already given you examples that an MRF can be upgraded to last for another 30 to 40 years. My point is if you can procure 24 up-graded F-5 or Kfir MRFs compared to 12 FA-50s with the same total cost, it would be more advantageous to get the F-5s/Kfirs than wait for another 6-12 years for the DND to get MRFs and the PAF is still only air and no force for the next 8-12 years. Forget about the higher maintenance costs in the long-run, our country’s sovereignty is at stake here. We need all the weapon systems we can get at the soonest time possible. An unexpected Spatley Islands conflict against China will not wait for us to get minimum credible defense.

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    9. MRF's should be the number 1 priority over any other items - and that should be firm and non-negotiable. Anti-ship missiles fired from MRF's are highly effective against naval assets . For example during the Falklands War - Exocet missiles fired from French-built fighters sank at least 5 British ships - including one destroyer! !!I n case of conflict - MRF's can be scrambled intp the battle zone in minutes.

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    10. Roberts Roberts, please believe me when I say that both DND and PAF know that FA-50 is a lead-in fighter-trainer, not an MRF. And yes, depending on the upgrades, an upgraded F-5 or Kfir might be able to destroy an FA-50. I am sure PAF is aware of that too. FA-50 doesn't have BVR capability yet while some upgraded Kfir and F-5 may have that capability depending on configuration.

      However, the decision to go for the Golden Eagle over Kfir is correct. The capability gap between the S-211 and a modern MRF is big. You can force cadets to clear that hurdle, but the wash-out rate will be big. Given the high cost of training pilots, wash-outs cost a lot of money. Plus there is a considerable risk to the pilot trainee, the instructor, and the aircraft in question. A lead-in fighter-trainer is intended to bridge that gap.

      Compounding the problem is the fact that PAF supposedly has only four flight-worthy S-211. Read MaxDefense's relatively recent blog on the S-211. There's a plan on restoring two more. That's six total.

      You talk of getting 24 upgraded F-5 or Kfir. If they are obtained in addition of the Golden Eagles, that's great. They'll make a nice stopgap measure, assuming the price is low enough. But if you mean getting them instead of the Golden Eagles, that's dumb. Where are you going to get the pilots for them? A fighter jet without a pilot is so much useless junk.

      PAF foresaw the training problem as early as 2010. At least that's when PAF Chief Lt. Gen. Oscar Rabena publicly asked for a lead-in fighter trainer in an interview. They may have foresaw it even earlier still and quietly asked GMA but who knows. This is why they went for the Golden Eagles. Because this way they get a LIFT and a light fighter and in numbers sufficient to train new pilots for future expansion.

      Tone down the self-righteous anger, man. If you want the MRF faster, tell your congressman that the country needs a bigger defense budget and to stop stonewalling the issue. That's where the hold-up is. The global defense budget average is 2.4% GDP. The Philippine defense budget is consistently 1% GDP or less. If one consistently spend less than the rest of the world, is it any wonder that one gets left behind? So if you want to get angry, go get angry at the folks deciding the budget, not at the DND or PAF who's doing their best given what they're given.

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    11. FA-50 AIM-120B integrated cost $ 30 million!
      Korea Air Force is the AIM-120 powers the world's second (1000+ quantity)
      FA-50 is insufficient to mount AIM-120 number.
      So Korea Air Force FA-50 AIM-120 integrated Cancel

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    12. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  25. to rant over: who the hell are you to say that? I agree with that guy and I'm sure he want to say he's sentiment of slow modernization that we experience right now...just check the link he gave before you react. he has a point that could be the best I think for our marines and army for protection against ambush. you better put your hands up for timawa if you want. you are more in talking and talking and you can't even help just to push our government to modernize our AFP. lem1

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  26. I like the Korea policy of "Nationalizing" as much of their weapons systems as possible by using the Korea made Blue Streak light torpedo. Along these lines, would it be possible for a certain percentage of the Philippine torpedo acquisitions to be manufactured under license in the Philippines? Perhaps the PADC/PHILIPPINE AEROSPACE DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION could assemble torpedo parts in their workshops.

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  27. If you want to "upgrade" the skills of Filipino Pilots send them to the U.S. Navy "Top Gun" FIGHTER WEAPONS SCHOOL at FALLON, NEVADA. They have well maintained F-5 FREEDOM FIGHTER aircraft that are used for dissimilar adversary warfare training.

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    1. Sorry, it does follow that way Buff52. We are looking at increasing flying hours and basic skills using F5s given to us for free.

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    2. 1. They don't have any flight-worthy F-5. We are not in 1995.
      2. This is 2014, not 1998. In 1998 South Korea sold 5 F-5 A/B for a token $100 each. It is not impossible to ask for the same deal again, but as of today, no such deal has been agreed. Please do not assume that PAF will get F-5 for free or near free until and unless there is verified news. Keep in mind also that the F-5 needs to be refurbished and upgraded too, and this will cost money and time. Your "free" is not actually free.

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    3. not F-5 but T-38 talon...

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  28. Simultaneous priority dapat troop transport mrap with remote weapon system on the roof sa ground troop kasabay sa navy, airforce upgrade.

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  29. The solution to starting our own arms-manufcturing industries for big item projects like torpedoes, guided bombs, missiles, fighter aircraft,etc is for the government to enter into PPP venture with foreign arms manufacturers & local private industries and guarantee them that the gov't. will 100% buy-out all their products tax-free for next 6 to 6o years. As an example, the Northrop Corporation financed & already built the F-20 Tigershark demonstration aircraft w/c our government can enter into negotiation to manufacture it in the Philippines for 300 F-20s within 12 years which will probably entice Northrop to agree to. F-20 was the other competitor for the US FX program which lost to F-16 due to politicking but was a better fighter aircraft than the F-16. I think the F-18 Hornet was designed and derived from the Northrop F-20/YF-17.

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    1. F-20 is derived from F-5.

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  30. The F-20 tigershark became the AIDC F-CK-1 Ching-kou of Republic of Taiwan..

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  31. sir max, ang malaya reported that aw wildcat won the bid , is that official? kudos to the navy
    wel be seeing top of the line asset soon. more power brods

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    1. Not yet. AgustaWestland's bid will still undergo scrutiny, and since this project is a 2-stage bidding, then we need to see if AW can provide what the PN wanted. Let's also see if PTDI will submit a Motion for Reconsideration by tomorrow.

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  32. Just wondering why the North Korean Navy is able to acquire more than 60 hunter-killer submarines and the PN has not even a single one considering that our GDP is 3 times bigger than that of North Korea. What a pity.

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    1. There's no need to raise that question all over again. We all know that our defense spending is way below with our neighbors.

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    2. Our leaders especially our lawmakers are short-sighted. They failed to anticipate that we have such vast wealth in our seas that bullies like China would someday grab and hold on.

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  33. @Roberts Roberts: Because North Korea, although poorer than us, is an Authoritarian State where the whims and caprices of their Great Leader Kim is immune to any opposition thus their 60 subs. The Philippines has no sub because every tens of thousands of pesos of project the government plans to buy pass first on the scrutiny, debate of the acrimonious members of Congress who preferred that the project goes to their district for their usual 20% S.O.P from the private contractor that implement it than go to the improvement of the defense of this pathetic country.

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    1. @Mortz...I think the problem is not with the elected officials but with the ignorant voters or karamihan sa mahihirap na masang Pilipino na madaling utuin o madala sa pera na bumoto sa mga corrupt officials ang mga dapat sisihin din. At walang katapusan yan kahit sa anong gobyerno. Buti pang mag US Statehood na lang at bahala na ang US ang sumipa sa China at Malaysia sa Spratly Islands at Sabah. Mas lalong yayaman ang US pag nakuha ang Pilipinas, Sabah at Spratly Islands at mas lalakas ang US armed forces dahil maraming Pinoy college graduates na walang trrabaho ang magpapa-enlist. Marami ngang mga Pilipinong patriotic, nationalists sa atin pero majority sa masang Pilipino ay gustong magkaruon lang ng maayos at maginhawang pamumuhay. Wala silang pakialam kung either Independent ang bansa natin o hindi.

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  34. you know max, all what you have written in this article are imaginary. All these sophisticated missiles , torpedoes and other armaments and naval instrument are all useless if you do not have the frigate and asw heli. So much RED TAPE. Why are the DND and Navy official taking this bidding too long. Dont they realized the urgency we are facing. Ano pa ang gagawin sa damo kung patay na ang kabayo. If they cannot decide, the best thing to do is RESIGN. Any way what these official are doing are PALPAK, FAILURE

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    1. I think kahit pa mayruon tayong 20 modern frigates at 20 ASW helicopters, wala pa rin silang maibubuga sa lakas ng PLA Navy. Ang kailangan natin ay 500 land-based Anti-Ship supersonic cruise missiles, 500 long, medium and short-range Surface-To-Air Missiles at radar systems para matakot ang China. Mga $2.5 billion dollars lang lahat yan. Kayang kayang bilhin ng gobyerno at financial institutions natin yan. Ang mga large-scale government projects nnatin ay lagpas pa sa 10 billion dollars ang nagagastos.

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  35. The fight is over. The wildcat got the deal. I believe there are no more obstacle. maybe before the end of 2015 we can see one wildcat in action on one of the cutters. Thank you Lord

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  36. Patingi-tingi kung bumili ang gobyerno natin. Kaya namang bumili ng by the dozen for each of the services...PN, PAF, PA, PM...

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