|Elbit Systems Land & C4I of Israel previously won the tender to supply the 155mm Towed Howitzer and Ammunition. But was disqualified after failing the post-bid qualifications. They are expected to join the project bidding again this time.|
The contract remains the same as the previous tender attempt, which includes the supply and delivery of 12 brand new 155mm towed howitzer systems, 240 rounds of high explosive (HE) cartridge, and an integrated logistics support (ILS) package for the entire system. The Approved Budget for the Contract (ABC) remains at Php 438,620,000.00. The pre-bid conference was scheduled last March 5, 2015, and the bid submission and opening was originally scheduled on March 19, 2015 but was moved to March 26, 2015 as per a new supplemental bid bulletin released on March 10, 2015.
So far, MaxDefense has not determined the interested bidders for the project, although it is expected that previous interested entities will be trying their chance to bag the project. This includes Elbit Systems Land & C4I, who won the tender last year but was eliminated after failing the post-bid qualifications.
Among the requirements released by the DND are for the product to be in use with the origin country's armed forces or by at least 2 other foreign armed forces, and that the bidders must be the manufacturer of the goods (howitzer system and ammunition). Changes in the requirement now is that the bidders should have also completed a similar project within 5 years from date of submission of bid. Previously the requirement was for 10 years, which could have been one of the reasons why the previous tender was only participated by a few bidders, and probably also the reason why Elbit did not got the project.
A supplemental bid bulletin released on March 17, 2015 made changes also on the requirements regarding the major parts of the howitzer system. Previously the requirement allowed subcontracting to a number of parts except for the barrel, breach lock, and central structure of carriage. This requirement reinforces its earlier requirement that the bidder must be the manufacturer of the goods itself.
|MaxDefense hopes that many other suppliers that did not participate in the previous bid attempts, like Hyundai WIA and it's KH-179 towed howitzer, will participate this time.|
Photo taken from KDN website.
Failure of bidding for this project will enable the DND to do a negotiated bid with possible suppliers, which was the same process applied with the acquisition of UH-1 helicopters for the Philippine Air Force.
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MaxDefense will be updating its readers on this project through this blog entry and at MaxDefense @ Facebook community page. It is expected that this project's bid submission and opening schedule will not move as much as the other projects of the DND. Hopefully more bidders will be interested in this project than before.
April 4, 2015 (morning):
The DND released a Supplemental Bid Bulletin Nr. DND-PA/PMC-155-2015-003 last March 26, 2015, wherein there were changes on the specifications regarding the outsourcing of components, which now allows for all parts EXCEPT the barrel, breech block, and central structure of carriage. It also changed the bid submission and opening schedule from March 26, 2015 to April 14, 2015.
But due to the late release of this supplemental bid bulletin, it appears that the bidders did not know of the changes and 2 interested bidders, Elbit Systems Land & C4I of Israel and local company Stone of David, were present last March 26. MaxDefense is still confirming if the claim of an anonymous reader that Stone of David made known their intention to drop out of the contest last March 26, and only Elbit Systems Land & C4I is the only firm bidder that remain in the contest. Otherwise, the bid submission and opening on April 14 appears to be final. MaxDefense will closely monitor this project as it is already in its 3rd attempt, and any failure will allow the DND to go for a negotiated bid.
April 4, 2015 (afternoon):
It was confirmed by a source that Stone of David cancelled their participation in the 155mm Towed Howitzer Acquisition Project. Stone of David's principal for the 155mm Towed Howitzer, BNT-Tvornica Masina i Hidraulike, d.d. based in Bosnia-Hercegovina, provided 2 reasons for their cancellation:
1. The specified test and acceptance procedures indicated in the project's technical specifications "are not adaptable with the National Military Standard Testing Procedure being used (by their principal), BNT-TMiH".
2. Their principal for the 155mm HE ammunitions, Israel Military Industries (IMI), cannot open their production line as the quantity required by the contract is not within the acceptable quantity.
With this, then Elbit Systems Land & C4I remains the only other bidder for the project. It remains to be seen what will be the outcome of the bid opening on April 14, 2015, as anything can still happen if documentation becomes a problem again. MaxDefense hopes that there won't be any hook-ups from now on as the losing side on these delays are the Philippine Army and Philippine Marine Corps, and the Filipino people in general.
April 24, 2015:
This project has finally moved forward again, as the bid submission and opening proceeded last April 14, 2015. Only one proponent submitted their bid, Elbit Systems Land & C4I, as expected from our previous update due to the withdrawal of Stone of David-BNT-Tvornica Masina i Hidraulike.
Elbit Systems was declared the single lowest calculated bidder with a bid amount of Php 410,849,184.00, with all their documents and requirements found to be complying to the tender requirements. Their offer is the Soltam M-71 39-caliber 155mm towed howitzer. According to MaxDefense sources, the budget allocated (ABC) for the project could not afford to acquire 12 units plus ammo of the Soltam Athos, which is the foremost 155mm towed howitzer product of Elbit Systems-Soltam and is more automated than the M-71.
Post bid qualifications is expected to be made soon in Israel by next month. If Elbit Systems passes the post bid qualifications, they can be awarded with the project and a contract may be signed soon.