Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A Frigate for $200 Million for the Philippine Navy? Why Not!

For all the doubting Thomases following the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Modernization Program, the question whether the Philippine Navy's budget of Php 18 billion (around $400 million) for 2 brand new frigates is enough has been asked for almost forever since they announced the existence of such acquisition project. With the DND recently announcing that awarding for the project is not possible within this year, it is timely to discuss the issue here @ MaxDefense.


An Incheon-class frigate of the ROKN.
photo taken from Flicker account of the Korean Ministry of Defense.


Before anything else, MaxDefense suggests that readers go through earlier blog entries related to this project, listed as follows:

1. An In-Depth Look at the Philippine Navy Frigate Program of 2013 - an initial analysis made by MaxDefense in the absence of technical specifications, and basing it on the capabilities found on the Maestrale-class frigates.

2. Philippine Navy Frigate Acquisition Project - An Analysis of the 1st-Stage Bidding Specifications - discusses the background of the project, the initial technical specifications released by the PN and DND, and an analysis of what can be expected based on these information.

3. Updates on Philippine Navy's Frigate Acquisition: 6 Bidders Qualified for the 2nd Bid Stage - discussed the pre- and post- bidding results of the 1st stage bidding done on December 2013, and an analysis of what the bidders could be offering.

Further reading and research is also advised, as there are many discussions made with regards to the Philippine Navy Frigate Acquisition Project.


The Kamorta-class large ASW corvette. Garden Reach of India is among those bidding for the PN's frigate project, and MaxDefense believes that they could be offering a variant of this warship.




Corvette vs Frigate: which is which?
There is a very thin veil separating the classification of small warships as either corvettes or frigates, and the Philippine Navy's new frigate may fall somewhere in this category. 

A discussion to explain this issue will actually take up a lot of reading, and MaxDefense would rather refer its readers to an interesting entry regarding the separation of Offshore Patrol Vessels from Corvettes from Frigates:

What is a Corvette? And What Next? - an entry for Center for International Maritime Security (CIMSEC), by Chuck Hill of Chuck Hill's CG Blog.

Based on the link above, it shows that size itself will not be a singular determinant on a ship's classification. It would not really matter much if the ship will actually be considered a large corvette or a light frigate, but will be determined more according to its mission profile. Since it is also up to the PN to determine if the ship is to be considered a corvette or a frigate, then this could probably be considered a light multipurpose frigate that will be tasked to do combat, patrol, and escort missions. Following the PN's own Fleet Desired Force Mix whitepaper, this specific frigate project is actually closer to their requirement for an Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) corvette as the requirement for frigates actually emphasizes the mission profile to specialize in Anti-Aircraft Warfare (AAW). 

Per MaxDefense sources, the PN is likely to choose a design with a lot of future-proof capability to accept planned systems which was also indicated in the first stage bidding technical specifications, in a similar way that the British did with their Type 45 destroyers, or the Thais did with their Naresuan-class frigate. Also, the requirement for high sea state capability together with capability to mount more weapons systems plus allowance for future-proofing means that the ship should have sufficient size. It is expected that the ships would definitely be larger than most current corvettes in service with other navies like the Indonesian Diponegoro-class and even the new DSME-designed ships recently announced by the Royal Malaysian Navy.


The closest comparison MaxDefense can make of the PN frigate is that of Indonesia's ongoing PKR Frigate Project based on Damen's SIGMA 10514 design, which was estimated to cost between $220-250 million.



Background of the Frigate Acquisition Project:
The Philippine Navy (PN) originally planned to acquire two used Maestrale-class frigates that the Italian Navy was planning to retire starting late 2013. The budget allocated by the PN and DND was Php 12 billion for the two ships, training of crew and shipyard maintenance teams, refurbishing works, replacement of several electrical, electronic, and mechanical systems, spare parts, and a limited logistics support package. But the Philippines dropped the plan in 2013, which was discussed in a previous MaxDefense blog. Although the PN and DND did not confirm the exact reasons, all those pointed out on the previous blog entry seem to support the decision.



1. The Hyundai Offer:
Apparently, the Koreans, be it the Korean government (or any of its agencies), or Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), provided details and solicited offers to the DND and PN to sell a variant of their HDF-3000 frigate design for around Php 18 billion for 2 units. A juicy offer, plus all other negative reasons regarding the Maestrale-class' physical condition and deal details, made the DND and PN decide to go for new frigates by just adding Php 6 billion to its war chest.


The 2nd of class Incheon-class frigate, ROKS Gyeonggi (FFG-812) was built by Hyundai Heavy Industries.


(The Hyundai HDF-3000 frigate is the base design used for the used for the Incheon-class frigate of the Republic of Korea Navy)

Based on this reason alone, it already shows that the Philippine Navy can get an Incheon-class frigate derivative with its budget, even without a bidding. Previous accounts suggest that a standard ROKN Incheon-class frigate cost slightly higher than Php 9 billion each, the Philippine variant can be worth less due to its minimum initial specifications as compared to its Korean variant, an example of which is having only a 76mm rapid firing main gun instead of a larger 127mm gun.


2. Others Answered the Philippine Navy's Call:
To further maximize its budget, the DND decided to go for tender acquisition process instead of going directly with HHI's offer. They used the same budget and technical specifications that was loosely based on the HDF-3000 offer, with hope that there are other shipbuilders and suppliers willing to provide a product within the same parameters as what HHI offered earlier within the allocated budget.  

Based on the description provided on initial technical specifications, it can be categorized either as a corvette or a light frigate, depending on the size of the ship which was not provided. MaxDefense sources confirmed that the PN is giving priority to design allowances for future growth instead of a design that is compact, giving offers whose design exceed the marginal length of 100 meters. Nonetheless, this is not an issue as the ships are design-optimized for maritime patrol, anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and anti-surface warfare (ASuW), with limited anti-aircraft warfare (AAW) defensive capability. To note, the Philippine Navy's Fleet Desired Force Mix strategy whitepaper actually listed 12 anti-submarine corvettes or light frigates in its projected requirement together with 6 more frigates optimized for air defense.


Although Navantia's Avante 2200 Combatant design appear to be smaller than HHI's HDF-3000, as long as it meets the requirements set by the Philippine Navy for its light frigate requirement, then it is acceptable.


With 6 shipbuilders from Korea, Spain, France and India confirming their ability to provide a ship that meets the PN's initial terms of reference and budget, it only proves that what the PN wanted can be had for around $400 million. These shipbuilders are not stupid to enter such tender without knowing the risks of swallowing a contract they can't complete. Thus, not only is the budget capable of getting a HHI frigate, it can also buy the PN a frigate made by any of the shipbuilders that passed the first stage bidding, namely Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering, STX Offshore & Shipbuilding, STX France SA, Navantia-Grupo SEPI, and Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers.


Garden Reach's latest product, the Kamorta-class large ASW corvette for the Indian Navy. MaxDefense speculated that they could be offering a variant of this design to the PN's frigate acquisition project.
Photo taken from GRSE website.




3. Separation of Budget to Acquire the Frigate Hull and Weapons Systems:
Another recent adjustments made by the PN and DND was to separate the budget to acquire the frigate hull from that of the weapons systems and ammunition. 

After the presentations made by shipbuilders prior to finalization of the final terms of reference for the 2nd stage bidding, it was found out that they would encounter problems if shipbuilders will be tasked to acquire the weapons systems for frigates. There are unforeseen limitations on this acquisition set-up, and it was acknowledged by the DND that it would be best to have the weapons systems procured separately by the Philippine government, although installation can still be made by the winning shipbuilder or a selected systems integrator. 

No doubt, there were deficiencies on the Technical Working Group (TWG) tasked with this acquisition project, which is attributed to their lack of experience in similar projects before. It should be taken note that this is the first time the PN is acquiring a modern surface combatant in its recent history, and prior to that all major surface combat assets of the PN were handed over by the US Navy and US Coast Guard. But this serves as an important lesson to the country's defense planners, which they could now consider for future similar acquisition projects.


This definitely delays the project, but it does not cancel it as speculated by many people including people with previous military and government background. The changes actually gave the DND and PN a chance to catch-up with all the delays to allow the awarding of the ship hull while the PN still decides and negotiates for the weapons system.


The MBDA MM40 Exocet anti-ship missile are among those being considered to be installed on the upcoming new frigates of the Philippine Navy.


MaxDefense sources indicate that the Philippine government has already made several steps to overcome obstacles in acquiring advanced ship-based weapons systems. The recent signing of the Philippines-France Defense Cooperation Agreement this year is an example of such accomplishments to allow the Philippines to acquire weapons systems from France.



4. The Frigate Acquisition as a Major Priority Project of the Aquino Administration:
Among the major projects championed by President Benigno Aquino III includes this frigate acquisition project. This is evident by the continued announcements made by the president in his State of the Nation Addresses, speeches on major military and security events, and press releases by the government. Canceling this project for any reasons except from opposition from Congress or Senate will definitely have a negative impact on the current administration's ability to provide the Armed Forces of the Philippines the equipment they need to accomplish their mandate. 

MaxDefense believes that the current administration will do all means necessary to push for the awarding and contract signing of this project within the 1st half of 2015 to allow for a major accomplishment (launching or delivery) of the first unit before Pres. Aquino steps down by mid-2016.




So is the PN Frigate Project just another OPV?
There were several opinions made by other analysts and discussions in several websites stating that the Philippine Navy's requirement might be more of an Offshore Patrol Vessel rather than a frigate. But MaxDefense beg to disagree on this. 

In 2011, the US Naval Sea Systems Command released a Request for Information (RFI) regarding the possibility of a Philippine Navy acquisition of at least 2 Offshore Patrol Vessels. The projected specifications had a lot of difference from the PN's current frigate base specifications. The only similarity are the sea state requirement for operation, and the gun systems calibers and numbers. Differences can be seen on the requirements on speed, range, physical dimensions (the PN did not specified the exact dimension requirements for the frigate, but it is expected to be higher than what was requested in the RFI), guided weapons, and other details that were obviously less than those required on the frigate. The RFI actually gave a glimpse of what the PN might be looking for its future OPV requirement, and its dissimilarity from that of the current frigate requirement obviously separates the 2 projects as one and the same.

Also based on the RFI, it appears to be smaller compared to other OPVs in the region like the New Zealand Navy's Protector-class, the Royal Malaysian Navy's Kedah-class, and the Royal Thailand Navy's (RTN) Krabi-class, which was based on BAE Systems' own design with a similar design is used by Brazil as the Amazonas-class. According to multiple open sources, the Thais only spent around $85 million for each of the Krabi-class OPV, complete with its full systems complement. This is less than half of the budget allocated by the Philippine Navy for each of the frigates without weapons systems @ $175 million. The Amazonas-class were originally built by BAE Systems as the Port of Spain-class for Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard, and each of the ships costed them £50 million ($81.5 million) each in 2009Even if you consider inflation and price adjustments due to time, it is still far less than the frigate budget. 


The Krabi-class OPV of the Royal Thai Navy.


Another point of comparison is the recently chosen OPV for the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) to be built by French shipbuilder OCEA, which will cost around $113 million together with 4 smaller 24-meter patrol boats. It is expected that the OPV-270 design will only be less than $75 million.

Based on the aspects of costs and previous specifications for OPV requirements, it is acceptable to say that the current frigate acquisition project is not for an OPV, but for a surface combatant, either a large corvette or a light frigate, but will also be capable of doing patrol and EEZ protection duties. 



...But Other Frigate Projects Exceed $200 million apiece!
There are comparisons made during discussions to other frigate projects worldwide using the budget allocated by the DND and PN for the frigate acquisition. And it appears that the PN's budget of $200 million for a single frigate is too low.


Previous studies were made wherein they concluded that increasing the hull size was a cheap option, thus increasing the hull size to frigates size will not significantly increase the cost. But the bigger the hull, the heavier the ship is, and if the PN wanted a ship with speed to match its size, then a higher output engine aside from the usual cruising diesel engines is needed. This is where MaxDefense believes the ship's cost will escalate.Further price escalations will be coming from the electronics, mechanical, electrical, and sensors/detection system to be installed in the ship. Although the base specs indicated a minimum 2D search radar, MaxDefense believes that the PN would be getting at least a 3D air-surface search radar which is the current standard nowadays.

Without the weapons, $175 million would not give the PN much wiggle room, but would definitely be enough to build a frigate without its weapons systems. But it would depend on who will supply the ship as building it in Europe or other advanced countries may escalate the price due to production costs. This would have a negative impact for Navantia and STX France which are planning to build the ships in Europe. This could change if they are willing to build the ships on their partner shipyards in Asia.

What actually concerns MaxDefense is the $25 million allocated for the weapons systems and ammunition. But the separation of the weapons systems from the frigates may actually give a new hope that the PN could actually provide more to arm the ships properly. Being a separate project, the DND and PN has the option to improve the budget allocation without affecting the schedule of the frigate construction. If the PN cannot allocate enough budget to fully arm the ships upon its commissioning, then it would be capped in the meantime to limited roles although the allowances in its design will allow future growth should the budget allows.




Latest News Confirmed Earlier Analysis:
The latest press release made by the DND c/o USec. Fernando Manalo is a relieving news, a sign that the DND and PN has not abandoned the project after awarding has been delayed for several months now. It also confirmed that they are indeed using a revised terms of reference (which includes a technical specification molded by the inputs of all the shortlisted shipbuilders) which will give to rest to the speculation that the frigate will be nothing more but a OPV with bells and whistles. 

With a new target of 2015, which collaborates with all other MaxDefense sources from both DND and PN, it is still possible to actually have a major accomplishment made by mid 2016. There are certain bidders that can actually complete an entire frigate from the ceremonial steel cutting until launching in less than a year, and delivery period can be also be a consideration on choosing the winning bidder.

So let us be more patient in awaiting for a positive outcome of this acquisition project. If this proves to be successful, succeeding major ship acquisition projects would definitely be easier and take shorter to complete next time.



==========
UPDATES:
==========
April 20, 2015:
For archive purposes, MaxDefense has decided to update the frigate project with the last information released to the public.

Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI):
During the ADAS 2014 Exhibition, HHI executives confirmed to IHS Jane's that they were offering a variant of their HDF-3000 frigate design to the Philippine Navy. This is the design used by the Republic of Korea Navy for their Incheon-class frigate. According to HHI, the design will integrate specific requirements of the Philippine Navy, including the weapons and sensor systems they intend to install according to the mission profile intended. 

Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE):
IHS Jane's confirmed that GRSE was indeed offering a variant of their Kamorta-class ASW corvette to the Philippine Navy. Further information revealed that they were offering the ship with the Tacticos combat management system from Thales, and that they have already teamed-up with a local shipyard to provide the long-term logistics and maintenance support should the contract be awarded to GRSE. 





200 comments:

  1. A 200 Million dollar So-called Frigate that the Philippines thinks they are getting. Is nothing more than a High end OPV/Cutter to a Guns only Corvette with mountings for Missiles and torpedoes. Basically the Philippines can't afford anything NEW and they need to Realize that getting NEW may not be in their best interest and need to get used like the Chileans

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    Replies
    1. Obviously you did not read the blog, Nick.

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    2. If the shipbuilders can't provide the minimum requirement of having the anti-ship and anti-aircraft missiles, and torpedoes as indicated, then they are just wasting time and money joining the bidding. I don't think shipbuilders in the same caliber as DSME, HHI, STX, GRSE and Navantia are that stupid.

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    3. Here's your problem. You say the PN is looking for a Frigate. Looking at their specs and what they are asking for is more akin to a Corvette than a Frigate. Implying that PN wants a Frigate, means that the PN wants to do long range missions, land attack and long range escort missions. What they are really asking is a high end OPV to a Corvette. Since they are gona be sailing around their EEZ, then all they are looking for is a Corvette than a Frigate. It shows the PN can't spec out a Frigate cause they really don't know what they want in a Frigate. They should instead look for a Corvette or a High end OPV.

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    4. Just because a ship does not have a land attack capability, ability for long range missions, and long range escort missions doesn't mean it can't be a frigate. There are different sizes of frigates, what you are describing as a frigate are the larger types like the FREMM. But just because a frigate is small doesn't mean it's not a frigate anymore. If you think everyone can just play around with the specifications and not follow them in the end, that's plain BS. I think you really haven't read the blog because all your points have already been answered before.

      Delete
    5. Actually if you look at the BASE specifications, the range (4,500nmi) and endurance (30 days) can match or even surpass frigates in service with other countries. Thus, it can be used for long range missions and long range escorts. Not all frigates or even destroyers have land attack capability, but if the PN decides to get this, it can easily do so with minor modifications.

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    6. 200 Million for a decent ship? The Incheon class cost 232 Million a piece. Without weapons it could be still in the price of 150-180 Million,. Weapons and radar systems makes a ship expensive. SIGMA cost 220+ Million, Absalon class cost 269 Million, the MILGEM class cost 260 Million, Steregushchy-class cost about 150 Million, Gepard Class of Vietnam cost 350 Million for 2 ships. So why can't we have a decent ship at a price of 400 Million.

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    7. Does not matter hell if the ship fails to meet the expectations of everyone else just as long as it satisfies the requirements set on its 200M USD then that's that. As far as anyone is concerned after nearly 3 decades of efforts to finally come to terms with the fact that with both houses of congress hands tied with their pork for so long that they actually forgot that to stay in power the militaries capabilities should also be better. With that they allotted a sick as budget that forced the DND to go shopping like there was no imminent danger to lingering. Accept the damn bids choose one and get it over with and proceed to the next project.

      Delete
    8. I remember someone who base their OWN FRIGATE to our acquisitions....

      Sir, every country had its different requirements just like our HAMILTON CLASS CUTTERS, many of you says that this ships in this generation are useless, but the main purpose of buying those is to have a VERY GOOD HULL FOR FUTURE WEAPONS, have you tried to look for a "Endurance cutter" that is "cheap" and "reliable" and had the size that could be fitted with "anything". Im not a soldier or a a navy guy, but I ALWAYS READ AND COMPARE. so please. before you compare your country to OUR country, read first. please. im begging you.

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    9. IMHO, the Philippines can afford NEW and well armed frigates ONLY if Congress, Senate and the the Office of he President all agree to increase Defense budget up to world-class standards.

      But the thing is, there's a LOT of these so-called law makers and officials in the government that:

      1. Do not see the modernization as means for them to get even more money for themselves.
      2. Are in China's payroll - no explanation needed.

      Until the Philippines gets it's act together, budget will always be a problem.

      As for the new frigates - after waiting this long. It doesn't really matter if it's a high end OPV or a corvette. For many of us, we see these upcoming ships as the most capable ships of the Philippine Navy. And we're going to be happy about it.

      I just hope, in due time, we arm these up coming ships with what is apt for it. These would be our top assets, and our top assets must be capable to withstand a fight or two.

      - Neo

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    10. Basically if you look at what the PN is asking for, it isn't a Frigate by international standards. What PN is looking for is more akin to a High end OPV to a Corvette and their specs really say corvette than a Frigate such as;
      However, a closer look at the requirements calls into question if the program is really seeking a frigate:

      Perform Economic Zone Protection Roles
      Operate up to Sea State 6
      Operational Range of 4,500 nautical miles @ 15 knots
      30 Days Endurance
      Minimum upper speed of 25 knots

      Other aspects to consider:

      Embarked helicopter and rigid hull inflatable boat (RHIB) facilities, including full hangar space for the aviation asset
      Accommodations for special warfare or other occupants
      Selection of a 2D air search radar and Electro-Optical (EO) sensors
      A quadruple Surface-to-Air (SAM) launcher with infrared or semi-active homing missiles (5km minimum range)
      Two dual-box Surface-to-Surface Missile (SSM) Launchers (total of four missiles, 50 km minimum range)
      76mm main gun
      One (1) secondary stabilized gun

      Notice the fact that Pn wants a 2D Radar, when most Frigates in Europe and Asia run on 3D radar to APAR or SMART-L. Which is why PN may say a frigate, but what they are asking for is more of a OPV or a Corvette. That's cause they want a ship for their EEZ. which implys that they are not looking for a Frigate but a Corvette and Corvettes mostly operate in the EEZ and seldom deploy beyond their EEZ. http://cimsec.org/philippine-navy-frigate-program-opv-name/8059

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    11. Nick, you're still using the baseline specs used for the 1st stage bidding. We're already focusing on the 2nd stage bidding which will be using a refined and improved terms of reference and specs. It would be best if you can reread the entire blog, think deeper about it again, amd also try to understand the concept and procedures of a 2-stage bidding. It is actually openly available in the internet so you should not have a problem looking for it.

      Delete
    12. Max,
      I still think the PN is really looking for a Corvette than a Frigate. The PN knows that they can't afford a High end Frigate so instead they are looking for a Corvette that is common in Europe, Asia and the Middle east. PN knows they can't afford all the Frigate weapons and systems.

      Delete
    13. actually there is no such thing as high end opv or corvette.

      Delete
    14. Then what is the difference of a Corvette to a Frigate? Mr. Anonymous? A Destroyer is usually in the 5000+ ton class,
      A frigate is about 2000+ ton class, and a corvette is less than 2000 tons. So what is our Navy Requirement for our 2 Frigates? They are procuring a Frigate, not a Corvette.

      Delete
    15. I think the 6 qualified bidders knew what they were getting into and what kind of vessel the PN is looking after all those bidders have years of experience between them. And as this blog implies and sources from the net, the separation of bidding for weapons systems indicates there is an available budget that can be topped up if needed.

      Delete
    16. That's the problem with the Philippines and many pinoy military fanboys. They think ideally they are getting a fully loaded Incheon class Frigate, but in reality, what they can only afford, will be stripped down, light frigate, guns only Frigate. Minus the High tech radar/sonar/communication systems, weapons, torpedoes and missiles.

      Delete
    17. He Nicky...you are in the service of the USCG, be respectful to this Phil government's move coz they are our allies...I saw the bravery of this Philippine Navy Marines myself.

      -Retired US Navy LCDR-

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    18. ^ That is why they are buying a Frigate that can be upgraded in the future. That is why weapons are separate because we might be getting Mistral for Point air defense and anti missile. The DND might be also looking for Exocet or RBS-15. And even if we got 2 fully loaded expensive frigates, it will just be a target practice against china's mass naval power. What we need is presence in the WPS. Weapons are just for display damn it.

      Delete
    19. nah. just Ignore this "military professional" wannabe, hes got a internet PTSD thats why he cant even realize such small thing.

      this budget is the closest stuff to have a HEAVY CORVETTE or a LIGHT FRIGATE. if you cant even accept this fact why dont your RESEARCH. I told you Nick ONCE when Im in your group that YOU MUST RESEARCH. but what you rather did is you kick me up. seriously. rather than being a such a broken person. why dont you try to read. dont be too bitter in life.

      Delete
    20. What's in name?? If it can carry 76 Melara, guided missiles, torpedoes, one bird, one good battle management system, and can sail around the Philippine Sea all for USD400, does a name really matter ?

      Delete
  2. The DND could select between Hyundai STand DSME fine tuning the design but retaining the capability. Actually the weapons thAt the Koreans have somehow equal of those european builder. DND may consider the offer of Hyundai for intended frigate. The PN is still on the learning stage on this kind of project. Actually this is only the beginning as time transgress we learn and improve as what best is needed. Who knows the Korean might donAte another pohang if we choose any from their shipbuilders. The Pn should think that this is not the last project. but rather think for a fruitful one. Arcee

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    Replies
    1. This is not the last, but actually the first of many. There is already another project being lined-up after awarding this to the winning shipbuilder.

      Delete
    2. well... Im hoping for such thing too in the next administration, actually, we had the money, but most presidents who lead us prioritize the cutie side for the MEDIA, leaving our armed forces like a pickled dust.

      Delete
    3. another project max?? is it the weapons for the current 2 frigate bid or a pair of new boats??

      Delete
    4. Goof morning mga kababayan! The national policy is to have a Maritime Domain Awareness and a Credible deterrent. The $400M base on Maxdefense blog is either a corvette with ASW, ASuW with point of defense for AAW. The other analysis is to have a light frigate with future provisions for AAW.

      My own opinion, base on my research on ihs janes and other reliable defense referenses to have a reliable AAW you must have a verticle launching system fot missiles with longer radar rangr surveillance fpr anti-air and a very reliable C4ISR?

      A joint operational concepts will come in relation to threats in WPS. These are: quiter diesel submarine with ASM, Cruise Missiles; UAV with precision munitions; Fighter aircrafts and surface platforms with small RCS
      compared to fishing vessels.

      I believe that to have.a credible platform it must ready to defend herself at sea when threat is eminent.

      Remember is a joint operational to concept to have a credible deterrent.

      Delete
  3. Hi Sir Max,

    I think this guy named Nick who posted Anonymous...He is the stupid one and I would really laugh at Him. This Nick pretends to know everything...He is envy of the Philippines and it's AFP modernization. He is not a Filipino by blood at all and only He knows is to humiliate the patriotism of all the Filipino's that is supporting the Modernization efforts of the Philippine government. "Shame on you Nick".....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nick Kamokamochupaengko

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  4. sir, any news about the Pohang frigate donation is a go?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. High chance it'll only be a go if we select a Korean shipbuilder for the frigate program.

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    2. Dont worry about the Pohang class donation. Even if it will be decommisioned this year as per news reports, it would probably take some time for the ship to be commisioned by PN. The Donghae class ship donated to Columbia also took some time before it was transferred to the Columbian Navy. Maybe the Koreans are waiting for the result of Frigate bidding.

      Delete
    3. Yes, if the Pohangs are indeed provided, you won't see then yet within this year as part of the deal include refurbishing them in Korea. It would probably require the incoming crew to have some form of training in Korea similar to what the crews of PF-15 and PF-16 did before.

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    4. Am told that there will be a pohang related mission going to korea in january. Crew training?

      Delete
    5. I can understand the dilemna of the navy in this frigate project in trying to standardize the weapon system of the fleet. The up-arming of the Goyo class, the Pohang system then now the new frigates. Max, will the Pohang's system influence the system they will finally procure for the rest?

      Delete
  5. Delays are normal with a big project like this and - if they lead to a good - acquisition - can be useful. It's a shame that they didn't separate the weapons systems until late in the bidding process, though, as there likely would be more quality bidders if they had done that earlier. Like Damen Shipyards, with it's Sigma Class of heavy corvettes/light frigates. Let's hope that this mistake is only due to inexperience and not something nefarious.

    In regards to the OPV for the Coast Guard.... I must say, this seems like a terrible acquisition decision. The PCG and PN need inexpensive, sturdy, quality OPV hulls in the water that can handle ramming episodes with the Chinese white fleet, and not some aluminum hull OPV best used for rescuing refugees in the Mediterranean. The PCG and PN need to urgently take a look at the Fassmer OPV80, which could be built in the Philippines(just like Colombia and Chile have done it) and would provide 2 OPV's for the money spent on just this one OPV while also providing Philippine shipbuilders invaluable experience in building warships.

    Laurence

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  6. I agree with you tabuk! I think DND want to make it sure that the project will be successful.

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  7. HDF-3000 the price is are not cheap
    Korea Navy frigate originally wanted 26 Plan
    Incheon frigate objective price of $ 220 million, respectively (2004)
    Weapons integration in the design process, sensor integration, generating higher costs in systems integration
    price exceeded the objective.
    1 # stealth design -----> 2 # 70% stealth design ----> 3 # stealth abandonment (10.5 million decrease)
    Quantity 26 --- 24 ---> 22 ---> 20 (2014) Plan
    In frigate hull price are low price.
    Philippine Navy contract must have been in 2014.
    Time is money.
    HDF-3000 has officially exceeded $ 300 million in 2014
    Philippine Navy frigate 2 (option + 4) Stop the inflation price
    Recommend 2 frigates abandon plans!
    1 Plan Sigma heavy weapons corvette recommended (Smart -S radar)

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  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  9. Korean Incheon Class- $232 million with 127mm main gun,Phalanx CIWS,RAM launcher,KDAGAIE,TACM..

    PN Version: 76mm main gun, 1(one) MSI DS30 or MK38mod2 secondary gun in place of phalanx, Mistral Tetral in place of RAM (will be upgraded later), Terma SKWS decoys

    ReplyDelete
  10. Do you think the Navy`s Desired Force Mix is really perfect for our country?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As we all know, the Philippines is an archipelago, we should have a very capable Navy compared to protect our territory, and that only means the more hulls -- the better.

      The Desired Force Mix IMHO, is still lacking but our Navy is almost starting from scratch so a goal like that would be good enough.

      Not great, but good enough.

      Problem is -- we'd be lucky if we get to see that goal fulfilled in a span of 15 years.

      - Neo

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    2. Yeah, the biggest problem here is not really money i think we lack the political will to modernize our armed forces , i honestly think that we have the money to be build a decent navy.....

      Delete
    3. you have the money to build a great navy and as you said its about political will

      hoping to see your navy return to its former glory

      Delete
    4. what if our government build our own battleship?
      dating back in the 1970's. government under President Marcos formulated a Philippine-made missile (either SAM or SSM) that is actually working. it's not a ship that they achieved. but we need to have a leader who is very intelligent and curios enough to make our own weapon systems. we need a leader as great as Ferdinand Marcos (but without the martial law hehe... :) )

      peace!! just suggestion,opinion or what so ever!!

      any reactions??
      either Positive or violent is accepted....

      Delete
    5. in additional. the missiles i am talking about is supported by somewhat like a radar system and it is supposed to be a shore based anti-ship missile. they also made an aircraft, a helicopter and a barrage missile system called "sumpak" which is on prototype stages.... see?? we should really need a leader like Marcos.

      but sad to say... all of these achievements are rejected and mothballed when Marcos was kicked out of presidency. and Cory Aquino took charge of the government.. and there goes our air force and navy crippled until now...

      - Concerned citizen...

      Delete
  11. Now that the specs are laid down by the bidders a thorough selection has had to be made. Its a simple choice. Ilagay mo base sa pangangailangan at hindi sa napili o gusto mo lang ilagay. Those bright boys from the PN must think harder. Alugin ang utak, or else we will wind up again on another Cutter ....+
    As i always predict the Awarding and signing of contract for this project is on the middle year of 2015

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  12. Oh Nick, you are so obvious. You're not fooling anybody by being Anonymous. By the way, how early is 'early next year' sir Max?

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  13. I believe Sir Max that you already have an idea of the outcome of this frigate bidding. It could be that the release of your blog will surely have a follow up news release sooner or later as what has happened before with your pronouncement similar to the ASW helicopter and other topics. Hoping for the best this coming 2015.

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  14. We go for 2 frigates!

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  15. Baka Ito naman mangyare magagawa nga any frigate pero iyung bidding ng weapon system baka umabot din ng siyam siyaman lalo na pagmagpalit nang administrasion mawala pa tuluyan Ito bale magiging glorified gunboats na lang ito tulad ng peacock class na planong lagyan ng missile system pero naudlot din. Ano kayang kasiguradohan para do mangyari Ito?

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  16. Sir Max, I have been following the development of this frigate acquisition of the DND. I have also somehow research on what are the capabilities of the floreal from france, avante 2200 and avante 2400 from spain, dw-2000-H and the incheon ffx frigate from south korea. For me the best choice is the avante 2200 even if it is a light frigate. But based on the informations that I have found mostly on the internet, it is most likely that the korean incheon class would be the one that would be pick by DND.

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  17. The South Sea Fleet of China has 40 warships composed of 1 Aircraft Carrier, 9 Destroyers, 17 Frigates, 5 Corvettes and 8 Submarines to protect it’s occupation of Paracel Islands, Spratly Islands and Scarborough Shoal. Our PN ships will just be sitting ducks for target practice by the Chinese naval ships in the event of a shooting war. To protect our PN ships, we must also have at least 120 long-range coastal-based Anti-ship Missiles for offensive sea capability and 120 SAMs to protect our airspace. Even if UNCLOS decides in our favor, China will never back-out without a fight. Within 3 years time, China will already have an operational airbase and naval port at Spratly Islands capable of hitting any US military targets in the Philippines.We will be involved whether we like it or not and it’s just a matter of time as to when WW3 will erupt between the US & its allies against China, Russia & North Korea. And with the slow pace our government is modernizing our AFP, it will be too late to even protect our mainland.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Will you be one of our Next Leaders,.. Coz the leaders right now does not understand that we need to strengthen our AFP.

      Delete
    2. to achieve minimal defense capability against china we need destroyers and frigates and corvettes the desired force mix states 6 frigates and 12 corvettes if we go on an all out fleet battle with china we will lose for sure they have more ships and weapons this is where long range missiles come in if were going to strike opponents in the WPS we are going to need ballistic missiles which will give us long range striking capability not necessisarily ballistic missiles as long as it can strike from the shore



      like britain , our islands are unsinkable battleships we just need to give our islands or "battleships" long range striking capability


      the government has SAMs in the pipeline but do not understand the need for long range missiles add to that china has more than enough capability to jam radars

      we need fighters as well the jas-39 gripen is good but what happens if china uses its new stealth fighter? we do not have the capability to acquire such jets but maybe a dozen f-35 is enough all though having the f-35 is virtually hopeless


      this is only my opinion anyway

      have a merry christmas and happy holidays and may we see the fruit of our governments hardwork in modernizing our AFP

      Delete
    3. to achieve minimal defense capability against china we need destroyers and frigates and corvettes the desired force mix states 6 frigates and 12 corvettes if we go on an all out fleet battle with china we will lose for sure they have more ships and weapons this is where long range missiles come in if were going to strike opponents in the WPS we are going to need ballistic missiles which will give us long range striking capability not necessisarily ballistic missiles as long as it can strike from the shore



      like britain , our islands are unsinkable battleships we just need to give our islands or "battleships" long range striking capability


      the government has SAMs in the pipeline but do not understand the need for long range missiles add to that china has more than enough capability to jam radars

      we need fighters as well the jas-39 gripen is good but what happens if china uses its new stealth fighter? we do not have the capability to acquire such jets but maybe a dozen f-35 is enough all though having the f-35 is virtually hopeless


      this is only my opinion anyway

      have a merry christmas and happy holidays and may we see the fruit of our governments hardwork in modernizing our AFP

      Delete
    4. Our incompetent leaders and their advisers just need to sort, read and analyze suggestions or comments by bloggers who has better ideas and has no personal political interests to consider unlike the politicians.

      Delete
    5. I agree with Arthur, we needed a land-based long range anti-ship missiles system and surface to air missiles system installed in Palawan. China will think twice in destroying these missiles as Palawan is part of MDT with USA.

      Delete
    6. just another opinion but i think your governments goal in this so called "minimum defense" is defense against asean countries because if its minimum defense against china it needs at least 12 destroyers 18 frigates 6 cruisers 24 corvettes 6 submarines and 2 aircraft carrier or 4 helicopter carriers


      6 frigates and 12 corvettes can easily match up with other asean navies , on my opinion if you spend 5% of our gdp in the next 3 years for 15 years you can easily match up to japan or chinas navy and perhaps even our USN your economy is much more bigger than north korea but why do they have nukes in their arsenal? why do they have missiles and complete equipment despite having a smaller gdp than the philippines?

      its all about political will your country does not promote war but there are times when the nerd has to man up and beat the bully something your politicians lack as of now i belive philippines is only spending .8% of its gdp on defense when the minimum requirements states at least 1.5% of gdp must be spent on defense

      if u ask me i think you have more than enough capability to design ,build,and arm you own ships

      recently ive seen lots of ship blue prints in google such as the jose rizal class destroyer, the bangus class submarine,and on youtube the marcos class mega carriers add to that marcos has some sort of missile project maybe you guys could resume that project and add guidance capability and maybe you guys could use that as a baseline for ICBM's plus you have the PVAR system that you could apply to your m16 so that they could be versatile
      in any situation add to that you guys developed your own rmote controlled machineguns

      you guys hold lots of potential and raw resources its just that your government doesnt understand the military capabilities of the philippines

      as for the nerd part sorry about that its the fastest situation i could think of where i can compare the philippines and china so if you guys got offended sorry about that

      as always its just my opinion anyway have a merry christmas and happy new year i look forward to the philippine navy returning to its former glory as the best navy in the ASEAN

      Delete
    7. 5% GDP? The government wont allow that. And 12 Destroyers? 18 Frigates? 6 Cruisers? 24 Corvettes? 6 subs? 2 Aircraft Carriers? Do you know what you are saying? Maintenance cost of those would be our National Budget for a year. Just use your mind Fan Boy. According to our constitution, the only war we can fight is a defensive war, so no Destroyers and Carriers,. I agree with 6 subs. But I prefer 10. 6 Frigates and 18 Corvettes are ok for me as the desired force mix. What we need are Missile batteries, both Anti-Ship and SAM's. And also multi-role fighters, patrol aircraft, air lifts, and anti-sub aircraft. That's a minimum credible defense. china is 1 of the 3 Triads of Nuke power,.. US, Russia and China.. So there is no chance of defeating them. What we need to do is defend ourselves against the giant. And also boy, we need more coast guard ships to counter the chinks.

      Delete
    8. as i stated in my first comment we certainly need missile batteries the purpose of my proposed fleet is for an all out fleet battle against china beyond the range of any shore battery and as i have stated on my second comment its all about your political will

      as i have read in the earlier posts of sir max the coast is well on its path of modernization as well

      and as i have read china is embarking on its own carrier acquistion projects as well so it would be nice for you guys to have carriers in your arsenal naval battle is now about aerial superiority

      but without carriers i believe you can send MRFs in the WPS but what about fuel? its best to send in a mobile airbase rather than to have planes sent to battle short on fuel or if you dont want carriers you can have an aerial tanker but the tanker would just be a sitting ducks for chinese carrier based aircraft

      and as i said its just a proposal a mere opinion i just recommended my proposed naval fleet

      Delete
    9. Yes, the Philippines is capable of buying all the military hardwares the AFP needs to the level of Taiwan's military or Japan's SDF if our next president has the political will or is a warmonger just like the North Korean leader by allocating to DND 15-25% of the yearly Phil. national budget. Or if the Phil. is under martial law and on a war-footing to kick China out of our EEZ by military force,

      Delete
  18. The present threat to our country now is China’s occupation of our reefs and shoals. If Pnoy is preventing our 2 Hamilton-class Cutters from confronting China’s ships, how can we expect the modern Frigates we are going to buy will be of use. The Phil Navy’s primary mission of defending our maritime sovereignty against China’s aggression is futile even if we buy 10 Incheon-class modern Frigates. Better use the $400 million budget of the 2 Frigates to buy 20 MPACs (@$20 million each) for the PCG and be used in catching Chinese illegal fishing boats. That is more practical.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ships of MPAC's size is good for defending territorial waters but is incapable of protecting the EEZ. Please understand that. Ships do not magically teleport itself whenever illegal fishing happens. It needs to be out there first, patrolling. This means carrying sufficient fuel and food and water (or a desalination plant).

      MPAC has a range of 560 km. The distance from Palawan to Pag-Asa alone is 518 km. The EEZ is 200 nautical miles counted from the 12 nautical miles of territorial waters. That alone is 392 km. The MPAC does not have the range to go to the outer edge of the EEZ and back, much less patrol the area.

      The MPAC, AFAIK, has no berth, so the crew can't sleep comfortably. It has no kitchen, so the crew can't cook. I don't know how much fresh water it carries, but given the size of the ship it can't be that much.

      Concentrating on small ships equals giving up the EEZ. If you want to protect the EEZ, you need ships of at least OPV size.

      Delete
    2. The solution to the limited range and short patrol time of MPACS is to accompany them with a Sea-State 6 civilian Supply Ship that will provide the living quarters, food , ammunition, medical and fuel needs and berthing of the MPACs beside the Supply Ship. Surveillance helicopter on the supply ship will do the job of scouting for illegal Chinese fishing vessels.

      Delete
    3. Other than the civilian status, the supply ship you describe fits the SSV. Which is not a small ship either. The PN is already buying two of them for $90 million and that's without significant armaments and sensors. Add those in and they won't be cheap either.

      You are right that a ship similar to the SSV will be able to support the MPAC, but my point is that small ships alone is not the answer. Small ships are just one piece in the system necessary to allow the PN to do their job. Focus on small ships and neglect the bigger ones and the PN loses the capability to defend the EEZ. So whenever people point to MPAC or missile boats I feel I have to remind them to see the bigger picture. The bigger ships are necessary too.

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    4. As I have said before, even if the PN has 10 modern Incheon Class Frigates, they have no chance of facing off against China's naval ships entering and leaving our EEZ at will let alone being prevented by Pnoy from engaging our PN ships. The better option is to utilize the capabilities of the civilian PCG in arresting illegal Chinese fishing vessels. 1 Supply Ship w/a scout helicopter or an SSV (as you say) accompanied by 4-10 MPACs can do a great deal of catching many Chinese poachers which produces good results. During the 2012 Scarborough Shoal Stand-off, Pnoy pulled out BRP Gregorio del Pilar which failed in arresting the illegal Chinese poachers and kicking out the Chinese maritime vessels. So how can we expect a single bigger Frigate can catch Chinese poachers compared to 4-10 MPACs arresting Chinese poachers at different locations.

      Delete
    5. Yes, of course. we need big expensive fully-armed warships but sad to say we cannot match China's naval migh in protecting our EEZt. So for now, small, fast and cheap attack crafts in great numbers are more useful especially if they are escorted by US Navy ships while doing it's law-enforcement activties.

      Delete
    6. If this frigate is the last acquisition of the Navy in the next 10 years, then I'd side with "yeah-it's-a-waste-of-taxpayer's-money" to some degree.

      But it isn't. OPVs and MPACs are in the pipeline.

      Why not MPAC's first just to secure our EEZ from poachers and illegal fishermen? I would say, MPACS and the firgates should have come together. MPACs are needed, but the frigate is equally important. If we don't secure modern warships now to train our Navy people, then when is a good time? The time must be NOW.

      People would say, 2 frigates is just target practice for the Chinese, yes we're severely outnumbered and outgunned, but from my view point, 2 new frigates > zero new frigates. And from the looks of it, we're not stopping at 2 frigates.

      We're going to war my friends, IMHO our time frame is less than 20 years, so better have the capability today so we can at least fight the good fight tomorrow.

      The case for the MPACS? We need them too, but an MPAC only Navy is going to be slaughtered without cover from aircraft, missile batteries and yes - other bigger surface combatants.

      - Neo

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    7. 100 100footer Bering Sea fishing boats with 40mm RWS built by Filipino shipyards as OPV's, supported by tens of local commercial ports

      50 Aguinaldo NG/PKM class in myriad FAC configs also built by Filipino shipyards

      25 improved 56m corvettes with SSM SAM for ASW also Filipino built

      10 Semi submersibles to 50 ft depth with 4 Russian torpedoes, Filipino built from narco/LTTE adopted technology

      all supported by shore SAM SSM sensors

      covered by 100 UAV's from light aircraft and 72 capable surplus fighters upgraded in the PH

      These will give a good fight. Then let the chinese and US majors finish it off

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  19. Did you know that US congress had hearing on litoral combat ship specially this uss indefendence.....a 3000 ton plus ship....they say this ship is big but under arm......in of that hearing the conclusion is US need small but decent size full of fire power not under arm like this lcs....so US is changing tactic with dealing with china.....so pn need only a decent size ship but full of fire power....when i say decent size its around 2000 to 2400 tone ship.

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  20. Hi Max, I hope you wil be able to do another article as you did last year, summarizing the status of all the other modernization projects like the seaplanes, additional c 130s, MPAs and even the M114s. Thank you too for covering the Coast Guard too, a long much awaited article. Congratulations for the quality and very informative articles you have published. Enjoy the rest of your Christmas season.

    Freddie

    Freddie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i think its not worth to do it for this year, since what was listed down last year still have the same status this year....

      Delete
  21. Biding bidingan na lang yan..10% trust to Pnoy administration. let see in 4 months. Or else Brp Sierra Madre will lost.

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  22. What is really needed in missile batteries in those hills and on those islands. Or resurrect the Bong balistic missile. Those revine boats can do with a few SAMS

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  23. Sir Max this is indeed good news. Is it possible that a transfer of technology arrangement can be made with the winning bidder so that in the future we can build frigates on our very own shipyard?

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  24. Thank you sir max for this information..

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  25. Sir max..thank you for this information..i think our PN technical procurement guys have their hands full...hope they get their acts right early next year and proclaim a winner... sir max, considering a separate weapons system procurement...it seems the only course of weapons selection are from the usa and france...for korean systems stll under testing conditions... iMan G.

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  26. You got to be kidding.....the PN isn't capabale of opperating and maintaining ships of this class. Corruption within the Military and the Government results in no funds to support the opperation and maintenance of military equiptment. In the past they received several ships from the US and were provided with wearhouses full of spare repair parts. In just three years the ships were non-opperational because no repair parts that seemed to just dissappear.

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  27. Ganito na lang.. sa darating na eleksyon..kung may kakilala kayong bumoto o buboto sa corrupt...o dahil popular at inindorso ng artista..pwede paki batukan...ng matindi...please lang ng matauhan....nakakapikon na eh..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. kaya nga.... kasi we need a president who is responsible and intelligent like president Ferdinand Marcos!!!!!!! POWER!!!!! sinu-sinu ba yung mga tatakbo ng President sa 2016 at para ma asses na ng taong bayan... Ilabas na kasi ba...

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  28. 2015 Budget for DND close to Php 100 Billion only while Budget for Pantawid for 2015 almost Php 80 Billion & Pamana almost Php 7 Billion excluding the DSWD 2015 Budget close to Php 200 Billion. It appears the government is more concern on giving away money to the "poor" (for 2016 elections for LP?) and their social projects without significant effect to out economy (give these so called poor people jobs not money). And AFP modernization is the lesser of their priority. In fairnes to Pnoy somehow he is allocating money for modernization but its not enough. He could have augmented AFP modernization thru his Presidential Pork instead of throwing it away for his so called social projects. We have to have a President with Total Commitment & support to AFP Modernization not half-hearted

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    Replies
    1. I'm in the belief that PNOY really wants a strong AFP. IMHO, he's a fan boy, someone who just like many of us could tell if a Jet fighter is pretty or not. He's like that, when many others see a jet as just a jet, PNOY sees a jet, armed with missles, blazing thru the skies with the TOPGUN soundtrack playing on the back ground. I feel he is just like that.

      I feel that way too. In a sense, we both want a strong AFP.

      But unlike me, PNOY has to look out for himself, he has allies to satisfy, he has to be careful with the media, he has to help the poor at the same time tend to other non-military needs of this country.

      PNOY has done his part, it's time for Congress and the Senate to do theirs. The executive body can only do so much, so don't blame him if the DND is slow, or if the law makers aren't willing to pass laws to protect this country from internal and external threats.

      God be willing I want PNOY to stay, his track record for modernization is better than any president sans Marcos. Logically Ramos should have made the AFP better since he's from the ranks, but we all know what he did.

      So.. who could say the next president will top what PNOY has done? Would BINAY, DUTERTE, POE, ROXAS, SANTIAGO favor modernization? Maybe Duterte can or Santiago can, but I doubt it. When PNOY steps down, we're back to the Gloria-Erap-Ramos-Cory days.

      Thank PNOY for the new ships and planes, because the next president may not want more.

      - Neo

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    2. Pnoy AFP modernization effort lacks total commitment. While I agree that he has done some effort to modernize the AFP but it is NOT ENOUGH. The problem with Pnoy is most of his top cabinet are former Arroyo cronies who did their share of corruption like Abad, Dinky to name a few. It is a fact that the government social projects are not working thus they are just throwing billions of pesos in Pantawid & Pamana. What these people needs are jobs not alms. Further, Congress (Senate & House) is at the mercy of Pnoy because he has the numbers to pass any laws to fund the AFP Modernization as most of these legislators are either allies of the Pnoy or LP party mates so dont tell us Congress has to do his their part. As what DND Gazmin told me, it is Malacanang that is always delaying or stopping additional funding because Abad says they either dont have funds or not a priority project. When a leader is surrounded by corrupt officials from previous Arroyo administration, you will have a corrupt system no matter what you do. You burn your opponents but you protect your corrupt allies. It is also a distorted concept that the next President will not continue to modernize the AFP. If you or most people always think like that, nothing will happen in our country. There will always emerged a leader better than their predecessors, its a falacy to ASSUME too much thay the succeeding President will not do something about the AFP Modernization. As they say, YOU ONLY DESERVED THE KIND OF GOVERNMENT YOU HAVE. So in 2016, use your brains & vote wiseley and not be swayed by vote selling or popularity contest.

      Delete
    3. Tama, sa pnoy ang presidente na nag modernize ng military naten, sa mga existing na pwede kumandidato wala pa ako makita na pwedeng may concern sa military.. siguro in 15 years time may lalabas pero matagal pa yun.

      Delete
    4. We all know Pnoy's efforts are not enough, but let's not hate the man, PH military modernization is a daunting task, much more run a country which has other needs. It's not one man's job, it's a collective effort.

      Some effort you say..2 frigates, 12 FA-50's, 21 Hueys, 2 ASW Choppers - and basically jumpstarting and supporting the modernization effort of the PH military which has long been forgotten is considered "some effort".. you make it sound so easy. It's never been easy with the Philippines in the last 30 years.

      A few more points:

      1. Let me make this clear, allies of Pnoy or not - MOST of the Congress and Senate are ME-first individuals who would look after themselves first and foremost. PH is a mess, it's not only the corrupt allies of Pnoy or the remnants of GMA to which you are point out are pulling the country down. The men and women of the lower house and the Senate are either indifferent, or not helping - and that's regardless of who's pro-Pnoy or not. Don't make this sound political because it isn't.

      2. Let me quote you on these:

      "There will always emerged a leader better than their predecessors, its a falacy to ASSUME too much thay the succeeding President will not do something about the AFP Modernization."

      After going through 4 presidents, each of which seem no better than his successor, plus the span of 28 years, without significant movement in military assets, I think we're allowed to have doubts.

      To be honest, I didn't vote for Pnoy, but for all his faults and errors in his bid to modernize the military, one thing is for sure. He is trying. That's a lot more than anyone, has ever done so far.

      PS. Say hello to Voltz for me and tell him his thoughts are on Maxdefense. I'm sure he'll be happy about it. :)

      - Neo



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  29. why is it taking too long? just buy a ship frame then upgrade it later.

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    Replies
    1. Seems you did not understand the essense of the blog and past blogs.

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  30. The Philippines should build their own frigate just like Malaysia and Indonesia.

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  31. Incheon batch 1 -------> $ 320 million (2014)
    Incheon batch 2 -------> $ 450 million (2014 ~~~)
    Source: Korea National Defense Report 2015

    Incheon batch 2 is canceled and the French DCNS FREMM 8 plan introduced!
    Incheon batch 1 is garbage.
    Korea shipyard is garbage. Do not buy ~ !!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. not a relevant reason why you junk Korean Shipyard Mr. Kim.

      Delete
    2. The cost of the frigates continue to rise!
      Development Domestically sensors, sonar, electronic warfare, combat systems, radar cost problems

      Delete
  32. Biding bidingan na lng yan...maniwala kayo...

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  33. Pres. Aquino is a peacemaker but under his administration, we will lose all our remaining reefs and shoals in Spratly Islands to China without a fight as China slowly invades and occupies our territories one by one. Pres. Aquino has miserably failed in defending our territorial sovereignty. Sana ay mapalitan siya ng isang presidente na hindi rin corrupt at talagang may tapang at handang ipaglaban ang territorial sovereignty natin.

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    Replies
    1. like bongbong?? ha ha ha ha

      Delete
    2. So you want to fight against superpower no.3 China in Spratly just to prove Pinoys are brave. It is easy for you to say that but how about those poor Pinoy soldiers, marines, navies and airmen who will surely die because they were outnumbered, outclass, in everything. China will see us from above (satelites, AWACS, UAV, jammers), controls the skies with their stealth fighters, controls the sea (aircraft carriers, destroyers, frigates, corvettes) and controls undersea (nuclear and conventional submarines). Let's not provoke them or we start the fight, to justify their attack on us.

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    3. That is why we have a Mutual Defense Treaty with the US to protect us. China will never dare attack our mainland if it doesn't want the US to get involved. China will probably engaged us only at Spratly Islands and other reefs and shoals it controls within the 9-dash line in a limited war.It's either we give-away our Spratly Island territories and Scarborough shoal or defend our territorial sovereignty at all cost.

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    4. The reason why missiles are better than frigates. If we start a fight against China, many of our Filipino sailors will die if we send our PN ships to Spratly Islands and Scarborough shoal to engage the Chinese naval ships. But if we bombard them with our land-based anti-ship missiles, China will be thinking twice before attacking the naval and air bases in our mainland because American military personnel living and staying in our military bases will also die together with the Filipino soldiers and that will drag the US to counter China's aggression under the RP-US Mutual Defense Treaty.

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    5. The 1950's era Mutual Defense Treaty mandates that an attack on either the US or Philippines will cause the armed forces of one to help the other. The catch, the Mutual Defense Treaty was ratified only by the Philippine Senate but never the US Senate. We may obligated to defend the US ig attack but the US is not. Case in point, when then US State Secretary Kerry or Pres Obama was asked if in case China will attack the Philipines will the US defend the Phils? We got a NON-COMMITAL answer from the US & their reluctance on complying with a treaty only the Philippine Senate approved but never the US. I think its time for the Phils to break-away from being a US puppet and look for elsewhere allies one that can really help us modernize AFP. After 60 years of being an American puppet, AFP is only ahead of East Timor in military strenght and lag most of the Asean countries armed forced who are not dependent on US for modernization of their armed forces unlike the Philippines we will give everything to the US.

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  34. Wrong approach to naval defense. Why would you tie up a large amount of limited available capex on two light frigates that will not survive the first day of hostilities? And this non sense of future proofing, what, just to raise the price so better commissions. The DND missed a lot of opportunities of retiring corvettes worldwide that with the money they could have acquired 6 operational corvettes with almost similar capabilities. At least the opponent will spend more than 3 times resources and time to neutralize, compared to the 2 light frigates. This wishy washy decision making all boils down to the dependent-on-the-Americans mentality of the people in the DND and AFP. Only us Filipinos can defend our own interests and we better start acting correspondingly.

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  35. The proposed budget of the acquisition,for me,is suited only for the countries in the carribean,which has short coastlines.Come on,we have a 3,000 km. coastline,second only to the US.That budget defeats its purpose of protecting our maritime integrity.Everyone is dreaming of Philippines becoming a force to reckon with,but it will only be realized when corruption is wiped out.(I hope I'm still alive by that time)

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    Replies
    1. Like what I have been saying.. Congress and the Senate are too preoccupied with their ME-first activities.

      Anything that doesn't concern them or rather -- anything that wouldn't bring them anything of monetary value is priority Z.

      If the budget for our acquisition is this small.. we know who's fault it is.

      - Neo

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    2. I think it's about time to evaluate the leader and members of National Defense & Security Committee for both Senate and House Rep.....we didn't hear them supporting or defending the Malacanang Palace on AFP Modernization Program.

      Delete
    3. The leaders and members of National Defense & Security Committee for both Senate and House of Representatives including Pres. Aquino's military advisers are a bunch of idots. China has already invaded and occupied our territories in Spratly Islands and Scarborough Shoal in broad daylight. Are they blind, deaf and no common sense what has been happening. Vietnam already learned it's lesson and rushing to procure as many weapons systems as it could possibly can while our government is modernizing our AFP at a very slow turtle pace.

      Delete
  36. Sir max any news on the pohang class being donated by south korea

    ReplyDelete
  37. Ok ang desisyon ni pnoy... dapat brand new ang gamiting barko ng ating Phil. Navy...preventing a war means you need to arm your soldiers too. It doesn't mean that we acquire those hardwares we going war agad.. angdami ng suggest ng dapat ganto... di dapat ganyan... Ang dami marurunong...l guest we should leave it to the experts..They studied it and this is there profession.. They know what's gud and not.. Just wait and see...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes they are experts alright, on tactics of the rich US. And then other considerations come in. Net results = no warship, no warplane after 4 long years. And the US acquiring new military bases in our country that are against our Constitution. When will we ever learn to think of our interests only, and snap our chains of slavery. This is the only way to prevent the tragedy of being in the middle of the CN-US war. A strong Filipino Defense of, for and by Filipinos. Junk your dependence brainwashed mentalities.

      Delete
  38. Sir max aint the pohang could be tied to frigate deal?we buy frigates frm sokor and the pohang is the frebei?u c Pnoy jst left sokor,he even vsitd the fa 50 we ordrd and met its COO,then why the pohang was not even mentnd?Pnoy thank sokor for dspite chnas presure on sokor the deal wd the fa50 stil pushd ahead! Or it could be the the pohang deal is being sekretly work out so as not to antagozd our prend?who knows guys if we ordrd our frigates frm korea,when they are dlvered,they have the pohang as escort!thus we have 3 nstd of 2 shipz! All is not lost!we thank Pnoy for his initiatives in enhancing the afp's cpability!mbuhay ang Pinas!

    ReplyDelete
  39. If our government are buying 2 light frigates but only to be used for monitoring the movements of Chinese naval ships in and out of our EEZ from a distance without engaging them defeats the purpose of it’s primary mission of defending our maritime sovereignty. How can it scare away the Chinese warships. Better use the P18 billion pesos ($400 million) budget of the frigates in buying a combination of 290-km range Harpoon/Brahmos, 450-km Tomahawk and 930-km LRAM missiles for sea offensive capability and a combination of Hawk/Patriot air defense systems within our EEZ. These will probably scare away the Chinese warships to stay outside of our EEZ

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That missiles will not gonna deter the chinese for encroaching our territory if a chinese warship enters our territory are we just gonna fire our missiles to them? That is gonna be an act of war already what we need really are more ships to patrol our territory the reason the chinese can just encroach in our territory is because there is no one patrolling it if we have enough ships to patrol our waters the chinese cant go in. They cant just shoot our ships its going to be an act of war too

      Delete
    2. The anonymous guy saying that missiles will not deter encroachment is correct.

      Ships of any nation can freely come and go in any country's EEZ as long as they don't to any economic exploitation of the resources therein. Even when they do, you need proper procedures to prove their guilt, which means boarding inspection, arrest, trial, and conviction.

      Missiles can't do any of the above. Only ships, crewed by people, can.

      The Philippines needs missiles, but that's because a good defense would include missiles even without the EEZ dispute. But missiles in lieu of ships can't do it. The missiles are to support the ships, not to replace the ships.

      Delete
    3. In war or peace, coastal-based Anti-ship missiles will provide the necessary offensive capability for the PN ships to counter-attack any Chinese ships that attacks and sinks any of our PN or PCG ships within our EEZ. What we need today are more PCG ships that will enforce our maritime laws. Our PN ships has no capability to engage and kick out Chinese naval ships. We cannot use PN ships in patrolling our EEZ against civilian Chinese maritime vessels if you do not want China to use their naval ships.

      Delete
    4. It is already obviously clear that China is sending naval & maritime ships to reclaim and occupy our reefs and shoals and letting loose hundreds of fishing boats to poach on our maritime resources. Does that make them have the right of passage inside our Exclusive Economic Zone. The sad part is it is Pnoy himself who is preventing the PN & PCG from enforcing our maritime laws & sovereign territorial rights. It is either a bright or stupid decision.

      Delete
  40. I'm with you on the missiles. PH needs them ASAP. In fact, I would like to add midget subs to our arsenal just so the Chinese will be more wary of entering PH waters. And just in case all hell breaks loose, PH is going to down a lot of Chinese planes and ships before any Chinese soldier sets foot on Palawan.

    We can't match China, ship for ship or aircraft for aircraft, so the next best thing is populate the islands with SAMs and AShMs.

    BUT.. still we need forward assets. Assets that can detect approaching sub surface threats that can deploy missiles deep into our territory or deploy squads to neutralize our batteries.

    And how do we detect these subs if we only have MPACS and missile batteries? Deploy MPAs with ASW capabilities? Deploy land based Panthers and Lynx 24/7?

    I think I know what the AFP is doing. Notice our big ticket acquisitions are geared towards submarine detection. The frigates are anti-subs, the ASW choppers obviously, and the MPAs -- anti-subs.

    Why worry about subs? China has a LOT of them and they are in PH waters as we speak.

    What I'm saying is, PH needs the missile batteries as well as the ships. They protect each other. I hope the AFP gets down to business when it comes to coastal batteries. It would help our surface ships immensely. It's a morale booster knowing you have the big guns with you when shit hits the fan.

    We can't defend our islands with missiles alone, at the same time, we can't engage Chinese ships with ships alone.

    PH needs presence in the EEZ, and the missiles are NOT considered presence. They're there, but once you fire one, you know what's going to happen. And the Chinese will keep on provoking until we fire one.

    - Neo


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Even if our government is able to procure 6-10 modern lightly-armed frigates, all of them will be sunk by China's naval might and air power within a few days once a shooting war starts. And all the thousands of Filipino sailors manning them will just die in vain. We imperatively need Surface-ro-Air Missiles to protect them.

      Delete
    2. Neo - did you take into account the fact that PI has exisiting mutual defense treaty with the biggest gorilla of them all - Uncle Sam? What you want to do is for the Reds to attack Palawan thereby drawing the US into the mess. You then get first world defensive capability at no or very little cost. Maybe we should not worry much about the subs.By deploying brand-new frigates just for presence or ASW - we are just slowing down US involvement and wasting precious little $$$ that should go into land-based firepower. The missiles alone should do just fine.

      Delete
    3. Why would you sen those 6-10 Frigates to battle the chinese fleet, I would be suicide. That is why we need Land Based Missile system, Long range radars and Multi-Role fighters to battle them in case of a shooting war,

      Delete
    4. What if Uncle Sam declined our call? Then it's the end for us. We need more assets...

      Delete
    5. This is the beauty of this MaxDefense, everybody has a chance to express their opinion (our basic rights), I respect the opinions of our ex-military participants (better if they identified themselves) and also wish AFP to share their thoughts (they were the experts, their jobs and they have a lots of information (updated) we don't have.
      My opinion is China will stay away from Philippine territory (12 miles) and Palawan to avoid conflict with USA (MDT). And to patrol our EEZ (which China also claimed their territory), we need to sent a big & strong hull ships (PCG only) ready for water cannon fights and rammings with China CG.
      I think land based missiles is a very good strategy, but not sure if USA will sell/ allow it (politics). With all the modernization projects I didn't read or hear from AFP or to Pres. Pinoy about land based missiles system. My opinion was land based missiles system in Palawan means if China will destroy the missiles in Palawan.... USA will be get involved thru MDT (with US Congress approval). And the bottom line is right now USA doesn't want to have a conflict with China.

      Delete
    6. Unless Palawan is attacked or an asset within uncontested Philippine territory is attacked by China, the US will not respond. The US is not bound to help us in the KIG. It only means it may not lift a finger if we go on a shooting war with China within the Island group.

      Please correct me if I am wrong, but as far as I know, only Russian made missiles are capable of reaching the KIG . Would the US allow us to buy from Russia?

      Here's the thing with Uncle Sam.

      Apart from China, it's facing a renewed Russia, the Isis, North Korea and Iran. It's military is spread like peanut butter. IMHO, it's a country that is ready to fight, but is calculating if it should. And right now, with a president like Obama, I'm not very optimistic if it wants to. The good news is - eventually it would have to (okay that doesn't really sound like good news).

      So much about Uncle Sam..

      Before I forget, the task of the frigates is for presence, missile batteries can not do the same. If we talk about war, then we get coastal batteries, but if we talk about holding the KIG, forward assets are much more important than missiles.

      IMHO, in time PH will have both, it just so happen, PH is currently prioritizing presence over defense.

      - Neo

      Delete
    7. Try sending BRP Gregorio del Pilar near Mischief Reef, Mabini Reef, Scarborough shoal or Second Thomas Shoal to show our presence and enforce our maritime laws. In a few minutes, it will be surrounded by 3-4 Chinese frigates. That is what is going to happen.

      Delete
    8. ^ So you want ZERO presence than SOME presence. Fine.

      It's why we're buying more ships -- so we won't have to send a paltry force in the coming years. Why do you think China is upset about the Pohang donation? It's just ONE old corvette which wouldn't make much of a difference against the might of the Chinese Navy.

      But this one is too obvious. One more asset will always be good for PH, at the same time - bad for China. Maybe not as bad as we want it to be, but still it's our gain, no matter how small it is.

      - Neo

      Delete
    9. We can have more presence with 10 $2-million PCG MPACs supported by a civilian supply ship to arrest Chinese poachers than just a single $200-million PN Frigate which cannot be used against Chinese maritime ships & fishing boats if you don't want Chinese naval ships to intervene. Against Chinese naval ships, use ramming ships instead of frigates to avoid escalating the skirmishes into a naval confrontation. We need land-based missiles & MRFs for offensive capability first if we are to engage China in a limited regional war to deny China the ability to have sea control of the Spratly Islands. Our PN ships don't stand a chance unless we have an equal number of warships & submarines as China.

      Delete
  41. Dami atang war veterans dito ang daming nagmamarunong but as for me i support this aquisition for the first time in decades ngaun lng tayo magkakaron ng brand new na frigate

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ang dalawang frigate na bibilhin ng gobyerno natin ay pang display lang para masabing may malaki at bagong warship rin tayo. Pero sa bakbakan ay hindi tatagal yan laban sa China. Huwag na tayong mag illusion na may magagawa ang PN kahit pa magkaruon tayo ng isang frigate every 3 years. Walang mangyayari sa patingi-tingi ng bili at hintay ka pa ng taon-taon bago dumating. Bago natin matanggap ang frigates ay wala na siyang papatrolin sa Spratly Islands dahil occupied na lahat ng China ang natitira pa nating reefs at shoals.

      Delete
  42. It is all about minimum credible deterrence. Philippines needs to start from somewhere right? Initial approach doesn't have to be perfect but it is essential that it is continuous.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What the government need to do is to "take action" against Chinese intrusions in our EEZ with whatever naval or coast guard assets we presently have while procuring additional ships for the PN and PCG. Just watching and monitoring the Chinese reclamation activities is making our PN & PCG look useless and helpless. Not confronting Chinese ships in a stand-off makes China to be more bolder in bullying us.

      Delete
    2. i agree with you.

      Delete
    3. anonymous december 17 2014@2:58 am

      if only the BRP Gregorio del Pilar can fire warning shots then china will know that we mean business

      Delete
    4. Decades of neglect and corruption left the Philippines defenseless. That is why we are in this predicament, because the other side knows they can get away with it. It will take years to rebuild a credible deterrent force, everyone needs to understand that.

      Delete
    5. arthur - I won't ask you or anyone here to believe me, but Gregorio del Pilar has fired -- not just warning shots in 2012.

      - Neo

      Delete
  43. I agree we should get land based missile systems, the only problem is...will the USA going to sell it to us. It's up to the superpowers how they talks, negotiates, and agrees with each others..........remember USSR removing Cuban missiles in exchange for the U.S. not to invade Cuba and to remove U.S. missiles from Turkey.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. it doesnt have to be from the US, a whole gamut of suppliers from the Europeans to the Israelis and even now the Sokors (and maybe the Indian brahmos) are ready to supply systems as advanced (or maybe even more so) and cheaper than US systems

      Delete
    2. Any friendly countries, and not the US alone, will supply and sell us whatever weapon systems we need except nuclear weapons. The problem is "if" we have the "$ dollars" to pay for them.

      Delete
  44. Hi Sir Max, any update for the Air Defence Radar from Israel?

    ReplyDelete
  45. hi max, i just read an update about the Pohang class in wikipedia that more than one will be donated including the first two in the class (ie.Pohang itself will be reactivated from museum display before being transferred)...of course, its wikipedia but in light of the recent headlines about the comprehensive strategic deal between Sokor and Phils. maybe there's something to this? are you getting shoulder taps from your contacts concerning this? just wink if YES :))

    ReplyDelete
  46. As the frigate acquisition is going nowhere, it's time for PNoy to restart the Maestrale process and get other available surplus warships in the market before 2016.

    Even ex-militants in Nigeria beat the PH Navy
    http://www.janes.com/article/46982/nigerian-company-gets-ex-norwegian-naval-vessels

    We missed the 3 Danish Niels Juel frigates and other surplus European warships that became available since 2010. I don't see the urgency in what the DND, AFP and Navy are doing, even prioritizing logistics ships over defense ships. The Goyos that they are bandying about was started by Aroyo.
    It's time they get serious as we are continuously losing our EEZ to the chinese. Forget the US, they only protect their own interest, and they only want their bases in the Philippines and use us as cannon fodder in their coming war with china.

    ReplyDelete
  47. In the coming years, the US Navy will be decommissioning 5 of it’s 27 Ticonderoga-class of guided-missile cruisers. They are currently assigned primarily for home-waters duties, acting as command ships for destroyer squadrons assigned to the eastern Pacific and western Atlantic areas. These are the real multi-role warships that can operate independently, designed for anti-submarine, surface & air warfare and can perform varied missions such as tactical & strategic interdiction, escort, scouting, commerce protection/raiding and shore bombardment. I hope we can buy just even one of these as our flag ship for command and control of the Philippne fleet. Just a wishful thinking.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ticonderoga-class_cruiser

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I doubt if the United States would let us have the Aegis Defense System aboard that cruiser or we the Philippines have the money to maintain that ship. well if they do then its a good asset for PN.

      Delete
    2. Philipines can't afford it .., and don't have capabilities to maintain it

      Delete
  48. Sir Max, Can you write a blog on the possible submarine design fit for the PH Navy? Recently, Rear Admiral Caesar Taccad said that they formed the submarine office last 2013.

    http://www.rappler.com/nation/78243-philippine-navy-submarine

    ReplyDelete
  49. Interview with the Philippines' Top Military Commander

    http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/english/news/insideasia/20141216.html

    "We have three "horizons" as part of an 18-year capability development plan. The first horizon is finished, and we allocated about 90 billion Philippine pesos (approx. 2 billion US dollars). We are very grateful to our president for providing the modernization program, no other president has done this. The previous 3 presidencies were able to only scratch the surface of our modernization program. We have the first horizon, we have a law that allows us to spend 75 billion pesos [1.7 billion dollars] for the first 5 years. The president even authorized more than that, 90 billion pesos' worth of modernization equipment for capability upgrades. This will give us the eyes to see what's happening in the West Philippine Sea, and the naval and air capability to go on patrol to show our flag. The West Philippine Sea is ours, we have islands that we need to protect, and we want to show to the world that we can protect our sovereignty, our territorial integrity. In the years to come, hopefully we have the second horizon wherein we will be able to spend another 100 to 250 billion pesos [3.4 - 5.6 billion dollars] worth of capability upgrades, and then by 2028 we will really become a maritime power in the West Philippine Sea."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But what we have just shown till now is just show our flag from a safe distance while losing our territorial sovereignty over our reefs and shoals slowly one by one. What is the government doing letting our present assets lying idle in our harbors and run away whenever Chinese ships starts to go near them. Talking of 18-year development, within the next 3-5 years we have no more Spratly Island territories to patrol or protect.

      Delete
    2. For the 2nd phase of AFP's modernization program, I would allocate the P100-250 billion pesos ($3.4-5.6 billion dollars) to procure the ff. in the order of priority...
      1. Land-based long-range radar systems and patrol planes that can completely cover and monitor 400 nmiles of the WPS air and sea space beyond our 200-nmile EEZ.
      2. WPS land-based & mobile Surface-To-Air Missile batteries with
      150,250 & 400-mile range capabilities to protect our military
      bases against incoming long-range attack planes, cruise &
      ballistic missiles.
      3. WPS coastal-based supersonic Anti-ship Missile batteries with
      150,250 & 400-mile range capabilities to provide offensive
      capability support to our PN ships against Chinese warships.
      4. Several air squadrons of 4+ generation MRFs in different
      foreign variants (Swedish Gripen NG, French Mirage 2000-5
      M2, US F-16/F-18, Russian Mig-35/SU-35).
      5. Several naval squadrons of missile & torpedo-armed MPACs
      supported by SSVs (1 squadron of 4 MPACs and 1 SSV). Sea
      State-6 SSVs with 1 Assault/ASW & 1 Surveillance helicopters
      to provide support to MPACs on EEZ long-range/duration
      missions.
      6. 100 AFVs + 100 IFVs + 100 light tanks in different variants.
      7. 200,000 Assault/sniper rifles/pistols, protective gears &
      unlimited munitions.
      8. Supply trucks/troop carriers & small arms (mortars, bazookas,
      grenade launchers, artillery shells, machine guns, cannons, etc.)
      9. Several squadrons of Army/Marines Assault helicopters and
      troop Helicopter Carriers.
      10. Sumarines & Frigates are too expensive and of no use at this
      time. Better relegate it to the 3rd phase of AFP modernization.

      Delete
  50. The Department of National Defense (DND) earlier announced that it is allocating Php270 million to acquire three missile-armed MPACs. The PN currently operates a force of six MPACs. Ang kuripot naman. Hindi pa gawing One Dozen.

    http://defense-studies.blogspot.com/search/label/PHILIPPINES

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hinay hinay muna...syempre trial and error muna....bibili agad ng one dozen eh kung may mali sa design o hindi pala pwede lagyan ng missile ang ganitong design etc etc. eh di one dozen errors, magkano ang nasayang na pera? esep esep naman pa minsan minsan

      Delete
    2. the question is when? three years? oh my God how happy to know this from AFP which is an unreliable source. So disappoint.

      Delete
    3. Hindi na kailangan ng trial and error diyan dahil sa unang MPAC pa lang na prototype na matapos ay dumadaan muna yan sa mga testing bago ma-turnover. At kung may makitang problema ay ina-ayos muna bago ituloy. Hindi ibig sabihin na sabay-sabay silang ginagawa.

      Delete
  51. In the case of a naval engagement between China & the Philippines, I think the likelihood of a single under-armed PN frigate sinking a fully Chinese frigate is nil. But if you launch 12 coastal-based long-range supersonic Anti-Ship Missiles from Palawan against the Chinese frigate, the chances of hitting and sinking it is greater at less cost. That is our advantage of being nearer to the Spratly Islands than China and our mainland protected under a mutual defense treaty with the US. One good reason why we should first have land-based ASM & SAM missile batteries and long-range radar systems before getting frigates.

    ReplyDelete
  52. If we choice India's Frigates they might provided us of there mighty Brahmos.

    ReplyDelete
  53. The US Navy plans to retire 17 ships in fiscal 2015, including all of the remaining Perry-class frigates and the last Tarawa-class amphibious assault ship, according to an internal naval message. Many of the ships will be made available for transfer to other navies under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS)program. Nandito na ang opportunity ng DND/PN na bilhin sa US ang mga ito (under loan or grant) for minimum credible defense capability.

    The Perry-class frigates listed below will be decommissioned, followed by the date in 2015 and expected disposition, such as an FMS availability:
    USS McClusky (FFG 41), Jan. 14, FMS.
    USS Elrod (FFG 55) Jan. 30, FMS.
    USS Ingraham (FFG 61), Jan. 30, dismantlement.
    USS Rodney M. Davis (FFG 60) March 21, FMS.
    USS Vandegrift (FFG 48), March 31, FMS.
    USS Taylor (FFG 50), May 8, FMS.
    USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG 58) May 22, dismantlement.
    USS Gary (FFG 51), Aug. 5, FMS.
    USS Simpson (FFG 56), Aug. 14, FMS.
    USS Kauffman (FFG 59) Sep. 21, FMS.

    Los Angeles-class attack submarines to be inactivated, date and disposition:
    USS La Jolla (SSN 701), Dec. 1, 2014, Moored training ship conversion.
    USS Norfolk (SSN 714), Dec. 15, 2014, dismantlement.

    Tarawa-class amphibious assault ship to be decommissioned:
    USS Peleliu (LHA 5), March 31, held in reserve.

    Supply-class fast combat support ship to be removed from service:
    USNS Rainier (T-AOE 7) Sept. 30, 2015, held in reserve.

    ReplyDelete
  54. The US Navy has selected the ff. Los Angeles-class attack submarines to be inactivated and removed from service from 2016 through 2019. The inactivate dates and dispositions are:

    USS Albuquerque (SSN 706) 2016 Dismantlement
    USS Houston (SSN 713) 2016 Dismantlement
    USS City of Corpus Christi (SSN 705) 2016 Dismantlement
    USS Dallas (SSN 700) 2017 Dismantlement
    USS Bremerton (SSN 698) 2017 Dismantlement
    USS Jacksonville (SSN 699) 2017 Dismantlement
    USS San Francisco (SSN 711) 2017 Conversion to moored training ship
    USS Buffalo (SSN 715) 2017 Dismantlement
    USS Louisville (SSN 724) 2019 Dismantlement
    USS Providence (SSN 719 2019 Dismantlement
    USS Pittsburgh (SSN 720) 2019 Dismantlement.

    Opportunity na ito ng gobyerno natin na bilhin ang mga ito sa US government.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Under Obambo - no way .. This Pres. is too cautious and accomodating with the Red Bully. Better hope for a Republican President in 2016 or at least Hilllary for a Democratic Pres. If John McCaine were Pres - the PLA would not even dare to cross our EEZ.

      Delete
    2. Naisip nyo po ba kung gaano kalaki ang gagastusin pra eh operate ang mga ito? Pwede mag isip muna bago mag suggest. .

      Delete
    3. Los Angeles class are Nuclear powered subs. Based on our 1986 constitution, Nuclear power is banned on our country. So this will be just in our dreams and maintenance of this sub is too costly. Better to acquire some Type 214 from Germany of Chang Bogo class from Sokor...

      Delete
    4. Kapag ganitong sinakop na ng China ang mga reefs at shoals sa loob ng EEZ zone, hindi ka na dapat nagiisip-isip pa kung mahal o reasonable ang halaga ng binibili ng gobyerno natin. Ang dapat mong isipin ay kung magiging effeective ba ang bibilhin nating weapon systems na panglaban. Sovereignty natin ang nakasalalay dito at dapat mong bigyan ng malaking kahalagaan ito tulad ng ginagawa ng China at Vietnam sa mga teritoryo nila. Kayang bilhin ng economy natin ang anumang gusto nating bilhin depende lang sa presidente na namumuno. Kung North Korea nga na mas maliit ang GDP kaysa sa atin ay nakakabili ng 50+ na submarines, eh di mas lalo na tayo.

      Delete
    5. The Los Angeles class (also known as the 688-class) is a class of nuclear-powered fast attack submarines. We don't have the technology, logistic, infrastructure, and budget to operate/ maintain it. Pny

      Delete
    6. no your wrong, he‘s right think 1st b4 u act unless ur a fool...history tells us marami ang natalo dahil sa ka mangmangan. malakas nga ang warship pero kulang ang suplies n logistic useless pdin. what we need to do is to gain effective efficient and usefull millitary hardwares within limited fund, were just started to rise so dont expect we will have a strong credible defense, it will take years or decades to come kailangan lang mag antay, and it is good we see the government started it coz if not nga nga pdin tayo Patience lang! dahil kung wala kang pagtitimpi, sa una plang talo ka na, ipaubaya na naten ang mga procurement na yan sa DND mas alam nila ang kailangan nilang gawin dahil yoon ang profession nla.

      Delete
    7. Yes, you are right, DND did not think first before deciding on buying 2 Frigates na kulang kulang naman ang bala at protection na gagawin lang target practice ng Chinese Navy. So maaaksaya lang ang pagbili dahil wala rin namang maibubuga sa fully-armed and more advanced Chinese Frigates. Takot nga si Pnoy na iharap ang 2 Hanilton-class corvettes natin kahit sa civilian Chinese maritime ships so ano pang silbi nila. In a million years, huwag ka nang umasa pa na mapapantayan natin ang military might ng China. Gamitin na lang ng gobyerno ang budget ng PN sa PCG makakatulong pa sa panghuhuli ng mga illegal Chinese fishing poachers.

      Delete
    8. Ilaban mo ang 10 PCG MPACs or 10 Anti-Ship Missiles ($2 million each) sa isang Chinese Frigate kaysa sa isang Phil. Frigate ($200 million) against 1 Chinese Frigate, mas malaki pa ang chances na mapalubog ng MPACs at missiles ang Chinese Frigate.

      Delete
  55. http://www.angmalaya.net/nation/2014/12/22/6853-dnd-set-to-issue-notice-of-award-for-eight-amphibious-assault-vehicles

    AAV winner will be samsung techwin

    ReplyDelete
  56. why just Philippines cant avail to buy this into US via FMS as what the Taiwanese did? How about EDCA? Please see below link..

    http://thediplomat.com/2014/12/us-finalizes-sale-of-perry-class-frigates-to-taiwan/

    ReplyDelete
  57. Kabayan, yung (3) bansa nabanggit mo ay pawang mga Communist countries. Walang tututol sa sinasabi at kagustuhan ng Presidente or Pinuno nila. Walang media ang sasalungat at walang mamamayan ang di susunod. Tayo ay Democratic country ang Presidente ay nag-rerequest lang ng pondo sa Congress at ang Congress ang nag-aapprove.
    Priority din ng Congress ang Defense natin kaya lang medyo limitado hindi naman tayo kasing yaman ng USA, Japan or China……Kahit na mas maunlad tayo sa North Korea at Vietnam mas priority nila ang military nila, walang kokontrang media or citizen nila…… Ang priority naman ng ating Congress ay ang kapakanan ng mga mamamayan gaya ng Social Services, kasama na rin yung biktima ng bagyo, baha at lindol.
    Di lang naman tayo ang inagawan ng EEZ ng China, pati na ang Vietnam, Taiwan, at Malaysia. Pati nga Japan may problema din sa China. Sa Vietnam nga nag-drill na ang China at may pinalubog ng Vietnam boat, pero walang nagawa ang Vietnam.
    Kaya nga nag-sampa tayo ng kaso sa UNCLOS (kahit di recognize ng China) at least recognize ng international community. Superpower itong kaagaw natin sa Spratly, hindi sila yung China noong 60s-70s, super advanced at super rich at super smart na sila ngayon. …like USA gagastos ng time & money for research and development ng new advanced war equipment then kopyahin lang ng China (halos lahat ng mayroon ang USA ay mayroon na rin sila….sa katunayan umuutang at malaking utang ng USA sa China). Pny

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    1. Either isa kang communist or democratic country, nasa decision pa rin ng leader ng bansa kung gusto niyang mapalakas ang bansa o hindi. Israel, Singapore at Brunei na napakaliit na mga bansa ay talo pa tayo. Ikakatuwiran mo na mayaman kasi ang economy nila dahil sa oil. Alam mo ba na ang Spratly Islands ay mayaman sa oil, natural gas at marine resources na magpapayaman sa Pilipinas. Asa ka pa na may magagawa ang UNCLOS na mababawi natin sa China ang nasakop na niyang mga teritoryo natin. Gusto mong maging Crimea ang Spratly Islands at ipamigay na lang sa China. Gusto mong lumakas ang NPA at communism sa Pilipinas pag totally na nasakop ng China ang Spratly Islands. Susunod diyan ay sasabihin ng China na part ng Spratly Islands ang Palawan Island dahil dumami na rin ang mga NPA duon at mga illegal Chinese fishing vessels na mangingisda sa coastline ng Palawan. Kung hindi nga lang dahil sa Mutual Defense Treaty natin sa US ay matagal na tayong nilusob ng China. Tulad ng sinabi mo, walang makakapigil sa isang communist leader na gawin ang anumang gusto niyang gawin kaya kahit kalokohan ang 9-dash line ng China ay yon pa rin ang masusunod wala naman tayong maibubuga. Yan ang problema sa mga politicians natin na hindi nakikita kung gaano ka serious ang problema na ito. As they say, military might is always right. Kung patingi-tingi lang ang weapons procurement natin at hintay ka pa taon-taon bago dumating, buti pang gamitin mo na lang sa social & housing services, salary increases & service benefits ng AFP soldiers at small arms procurements ang defense budget natin at mag concentrate sa internal insurgency problem natin imbes na external security.

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    2. Brod, tama ka di masyadong pinapansin ng ating politicians (congressmen & senators) ang problema sa Spratly Island at AFP Modernization Program. Kailangan ng ni Pres. Pinoy (Executive branch) and supporta ng Congress (Legislative branch) para aprobahan ang mas malaking pondo para sa AFP Modernization Program.
      Kaya medyo konting tiyaga lang muna at tandaan natin ang mga politikong walang malasakit sa bansa at huwag iboto.

      Tama ka Brod, Singapore, Israel at Brunei ay pawang maliliit na bansa na mas maunlad pa sa atin (at hindi corrupt).
      SINGAPORE –ex Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew siya lider na nag-ayos, nagpayaman sa economy ng bansa. Halos kasabayan ni Marcos gaya lang kabaligtaran sa mga ginawa ni Marcos.
      ISRAEL - The common figure given for U.S. aid to Israel is $3 billion per year—$1.2 billion in economic aid and $1.8 billion in military aid.
      BRUNEI - Forbes also ranks Brunei as the fifth-richest nation out of 182, based on its petroleum and natural gas fields. Crude oil and natural gas production account for about 90% of its GDP.] About 167,000 barrels (26,600 m3) of oil are produced every day, making Brunei the fourth-largest producer of oil in Southeast Asia.It also produces approximately 25.3 million cubic metres (890×106 cu ft) of liquified natural gas per day, making Brunei the ninth-largest exporter of the substance in the world.

      At tama ka uli Brod, may oil at gas at marine resources sa Spratly Islands. Kaya lang paano natin pakikinabangan ang mga ito kung inaangkin ng China na ito ay kanila.
      1. Later-on baka mag-drill na rin ang China gaya ng ginawa nila sa Vietnam. Mahirapan tayong pigilin ang drilling nila.
      2. Siguro kapag nanalo tayo sa UNCLOS case ay nakipag-joint venture tayo sa China for oil & gas exploration projects sa Spratly Islands para makinabang tayo naman tayo.

      Pny

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  58. Merry Christmas Max! Hope you can do a year end summary and what we can look forward to in the next 6 months.

    Freddie

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  59. Hi Max,

    Can this be verified "the government is also expecting delivery of two brand new frigates from the South Korean government and two strategic sealift vessels (SSV) and other vessels it procured from Indonesia." This is from a report that came up today.

    Did they already pick SK for the frigates?

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  60. Max,
    I've read all of your blogs about the frigate acquisition and they're really informative, so for a change, could you tell me the top 5 submarine classes that are suitable for the Philippine Navy. Thanks.

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    1. i think the most feasible sub for the PN to acquire in the forseeable future is the Sokor Donghae which are almost mini subs and served as their initial practice sub before they acquired experience to operate more advanced ones. They will be retiring these maybe in the next 10 years so this could be feasible as long as the PN starts the process of acquiring the capability to operate subs. the other subs may be too advanced or complicated for a navy starting a submarine force.....except maybe for the russian mini subs.

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    2. I would love it if PH acquires 2 Andrastas. These babies are small, but they are very capable subs.

      - Neo

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  61. Sir Max, please help us to understand/ evaluate what will happen if our Philippine Supreme Court made a decisions on EDCA and its implications: Below are just my opinions, please feel free (and to everyone) to correct and/or made comments.

    A. SC may declared EDCA constitutional:
    1. RP will develop and shoulder the cost for developing (construction) new naval base in Subic Bay, Ulugan Bay and army base at Fort Magsaysay (to accommodate USA).
    2. USA will not pay for rental in using RP military bases.
    3. USA gave no guaranteed that RP will receive new or excess military equipment in exchange for USA using RP military bases for free.
    4. USA still not obligated to help RP in case of war with China in Spratly Islands? Spratly not part of Mutual Defense Treaty.
    5. So EDCA is more of an advanced defense system for USA (protect USA mainland).
    6. What are we going to gain with EDCA?


    B. SC may declared EDCA unconstitutional:
    1. Or SC may sent it back to Philippine Senate (Senate may revise/approve it or just junk it).
    2. Is China will be more aggressive in Spratly Islands? (With or without EDCA China is aggressive).
    3. USA may give us more EDA equipment to RP to counter China military build-up in West Philippine Sea.
    4. USA may increase military support/ approval of more FMS to RP to counter China military build-up in West Philippine Sea?
    5. Japan & South Korea may increase military support to RP counter China military build-up in West Philippine Sea? This is also to protect their interest (free navigation-sea lanes).
    6. RP and the rest of the world will witness how the USA will respond in helping/ supporting USA old, dependable and ever loyal allies (since WW2 in the Pacific) against mighty China?
    7. We still have MDT with USA, not including Spratly Islands.
    8. What are we going to gain without EDCA?

    Pny

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    1. The hell with SC!! What is unconstitutional is if you let a bunch of Commie lawyers who have never fired a gun be the ultimate judge and jury on defense mattters!!! EDCA is the ultimate deterrence, The idea that the US is using the PI as a first line of defense is nonsense! The US mainland is a world away - just look at the map.

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    2. the plan B should have been done 20 yrs ago but our stupid politicians did nothing and now we are paying for it. we always learn the hard way.

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    3. If the Supreme Court decides that EDCA is unconstitutional, it will show that we are unreliable ally. Hindi nakakalimutan ng US ang pagsipa natin ng US military bases nila sa Clark at Olongapo.The US is giving us protection only because it has it's own interest to protect in South China Sea. We have to modernize the AFP sa sarili nating pera at hindi sa paghingi ng mga lumang armas sa US na mga patapon na at kailangan pa rin nating ayusin at gastusan.

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  62. check this out, Floreal frigate for the Philippines :)

    http://i.imgur.com/PHeAGzH.jpg

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  63. Merry Christmas and happy new Year Sir max and to all those who follow this blog.. 2014 is such s great year for our AFP modernization and two thumbs up to our President Pnoy and Sec. Gazmin for all the effort. Hoping next batch of procurement for modernization is Main Battle Tanks (MBT) for our Army and Marines to be deploy in Mindanao just to face out all the pest such as BIFF and Abu Sayyaf. To MILF and our Muslim brother mabuhay po kayo. Sana matupad na natin ang kapayapaan sa Mindanao and hoping the MNLF will follow soon.Thanks, Lem1

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    1. MBTs might take time but will be among the major tickets for the Army.

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  64. Hello Max, I was just browsing and found this interesting on the Wiki entry for the list of ships of the Philippine Navy and found 2 entries for the Pohang-class corvettes.

    And also, from the article Military eyes 2 more naval bases in Palawan from PhilStar: "Aside from the guided missile boat Pohang Class corvette that South Korea is giving to the Philippine Navy (PN) for free, the government is also expecting delivery of two brand new frigates from the South Korean government and two strategic sealift vessels (SSV) and other vessels it procured from Indonesia."

    How true are this information? And if the Pohang's will be the sweetener, will these serve as a base platform for the crews to train until the new frigates (assuming its Incheon-class frigate) will be delivered?

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    1. Although there are plans to acquire more Pohangs, there is no confirmation yet that Mokpo is already being offered.

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  65. OFF TOPIC Sir Max.

    Saudi Arabia is selling 79 F5's.

    I'm not really in favor of acquiring these planes, given their airframes, but if they come at a reasonable price, and wouldn't hinder DND's plans for acquiring a true MRF, then I'm all for it.

    These planes would quickly strengthen PH's airforce. I am not really thinking in the lines of "modernization (although F5s are BVR capable), but my point is immediate assets which PH can use while waiting for it's true MRF.

    18 of these, together with 12 FA-50s and we're looking at an interim force in 2017 that started from zero fighters not too long ago.

    - Neo

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    1. I agree with Neo, if they are available at a very reasonable price and will immediate help and strengthen our PAF.

      Besides still many countries operating Northrop F-5 Tiger (based on Wiki):

      Bahrain Air Force, Botswana Air Force, Brazilian Air Force, Ethiopian Air Force, Honduran Air Force,

      Indonesian Air Force: (all retired & reserved),

      Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force, Royal Jordanian Air Force, Kenya Air Force,

      Republic of Korea Air Force: The ROKAF plans to replace the U.S. made F-5E/Fs with 60 newly built FA-50 aircraft.

      Mexican Air Force, Royal Moroccan Air Force, Royal Malaysian Air Force,

      Royal Saudi Air Force: 110 F-5E/Fs withdrawn from active service aside from in the trainer role, some squadrons such as #10 based in Taif will be replaced with Eurofighter Typhoon.

      Republic of Singapore Air Force, Spanish Air Force, operates 19 F-5Bs as trainers for fighter school.

      Sudanese Air Force, Swiss Air Force: Operating 42 F-5E and 12 F-5F Tiger II.

      The Swiss chose the F-5 because it was simpler to maintain than the F-16.

      Republic of China Air Force(Taiwan): locally AIDC licensed production of Tiger IIs were fitted with flare/chaff dispensers, plus handling qualities upgrades with enlarged LEX and F-20's shark nose, and radar warning receivers(RWR).,

      Royal Thai Air Force, The last F-5 fleet, upgraded F-5T Tigris and F-5F will continue to serve to 2015–2020.

      Tunisian Air Force, Turkish Air Force, Venezuelan Air Force, Yemeni Air Force

      Pny

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  66. ndonesian PKR - Guided missile escort price is 220 million for hull only, and for weapon, sensors etc are separated which is worth about 50-75 million

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  67. Damen's Sigma frigate design is very artistic. Why not let the winning shipbuilder use this design? It is nice to have a collection of good looking frigates. Just my opinion.

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  68. sir max, how about the Oliver Hazard Perry class?

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    1. RPG OR RPG PROJECTILE MAS MAGANDA PANG AMBUSH SA MGA BARKO NG CHINA DI NILA PANSIN ANG ISA O SAMPU NA TAO SA DAGAT,, NAVY,MARINES,COASTGUARD,, MARAMI SILANG PARAAN PARA TUMAGAL SA DAGAT, KAILANGAN LANG NILA NG MARAMING PARAAN SA PAG LAGAY NG TAO AT KUNG PAANO KUKUNIN ANG TAO,,,PAG WAR NA SA PALAGAY KO MAS MAGALING MANG AMBUSH NG BARKO NG CHINA ANG PINOY,,MORE 10,000 RPG AT ANTI AIRCRAFT BATTERY

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  69. ^^^ There is a blog entry for that. But if you're too lazy to read, allow me to tell you the reason why the DND won't get the Perrys. It's because of their gas turbine engine. Too thirsty for fuel. It would drain our military budget just to keep those ships moving.

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  70. Sir, May I ask that you post a tribute for our boys that perished in Mamasapano. Your site would reach other people who feels that their sacrifice isn't for them. Thank you.

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    1. Hindi sana umabot sa 44 ang patay kung hindi dahil sa sakim na si Purisima. Hindi lang pala siya sakim sa pera. Pati sa intelligence information sakim din sya. Pinasekreto nya ang buong operasyon para lahat ng papuri mapunta sa kanya at gagawin nya yung susi para makabalik as PNP Chief. Sumakay naman ang Presidente sa idea ng kaibigan nyang sakim na si Purisima. Nagdududa na ako ngayon. Hindi kaya Mason din ang Presidente natin? Ang alam ko may kinalaman dito ang FBI ng US. Karamihan ng mga FBI Agents ay membro ng Mason. Hari ng mga Mason si Purisima dito sa Pinas. The Mamasapano operation was meant to bring back Purisima. Ngayon sumasakay ang mga walang hiyang mga magnanakaw na mga Congressman at Senador sa usaping all out war para bumango sa mata ng publiko kasi malapit na naman ang election. Kung totoong nagmamalasakit ang mga walang hiyang mga magnanakaw na pulitiko na to para sa bayan, tigilan na nila ang pagnanakaw at maglaan sila ng malaking pondo for AFP modernization. Sa tingin ko para tuluyan ng malutas ang problema dapat siguro patayin muna natin lahat ng pulitiko para wala ng sagabal sa AFP modernization at kung malakas na ang AFP magiging madali na para sa atin na ubusin lahat ng rebelde at terrorista.

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  71. If the DND would not come up with the deserving winner by May, might as well dump the project and buy second hand warsip from UK GERMANY and KOREA The second hand ship might enhanced the KNOWHOW of the TWG on the overall techs and specs for future acquisition. Our countrymen are getting more impatient on the DND snail pace deliberationi. Somehow when a winner is declared it is no longer interesting but rather frustrating because the essence for its presence did not justify for its existence. In other words PANDISPLAY to proudly say that w e got new vessel at last.

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    1. you are right it's almost a year now and nothing happened on the bidding of two (2) brand new frigates.....my god akala ko top priority ito.....eh bakit until now mid na ng 2015 wala pang winner sa mga nag bid??? Eh di sana binili na lang ang Maestrille class ng Italy eh di nag papatrolya na dapat sa WPS to protect our interest!!!!!

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  72. Indonesian congress announced that the will provide a budget increased in their Military spending for the next three (3) years budget by 2016 on wards.

    Wow, sana ganyan ang utak ng mga politiko at namumuno natin hindi puro pagnanakaw ang alam......kawangwang Plilipinas natin....tsk..tsk....Kaya kayo learn to vote wisely lalo na sa 2016....

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  73. Sir Max,

    Matanong nga ano ba cause ng delay? ng yung ang pokpokin at matutukan?

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  74. What happened in 1986 ? Quo vadis Filipinas? pwee!!!

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  75. Quo vadis Filipinas?

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  76. Still no update sir of whos the winning bidder for 2 brandnew frigates?

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  77. Sir max still no update if whos the winning bidder for 2 brand new frigates? Why?

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  78. Sir MAx..
    I bet you have got a lot in your plate already but do you think its worth looking into or do a piece on Naval Research and Technology Development Center progress about their program "ilalim or Itaas etc" a future frigate for the country as part of the SRDP efforts.

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  79. Sir Max... May update na po ba kayo tungkol sa nanalong bidder na gagawa ng frigate natin??
    Kinakabahan na po kasi ako na baka ma delay ang pagbili ng mga frigate natin...

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  80. provide na lang ang us ng sentry system.airborne dessipating wave system. if a missile from a sub is launched, travelling at supersonic speed. a break to the wave is immediately assess by a supercomputer giving the projection and direction. the sentry system can be installed every 10 km on top of mountain ranges or on top of buildings. very cheap.

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