Friday, May 22, 2015

The Philippine Navy embarks on the acquisition of missile-armed Multi Purpose Attack Craft (MPAC-M)

The Philippines' Department of National Defense (DND) has recently released the Terms of Reference for the Multi-Purpose Attack Craft (MPAC) acquisition project (Lot 1) for the Philippine Navy (PN). The Approved Budget for the Contract (ABC) is Php 270 million for 3 brand new units, The boats shall be delivered together with mission essential equipment and integrated logistics support (ILS) package for the first 2 years.

The project is actually divided into 2 lots: Lot 1 involves the acquisition of the boat itself, considered to be good enough as a regular MPAC, and Lot 2 is for the acquisition of a remote weapons system (RWS) and a missile launching system. More of Lot 2 will be discussed later on, in the meantime, MaxDefense will focus on the current project, which is Lot 1.

The Multi-Purpose Attack Craft:
The Multi-Purpose Attack Craft (MPAC) is a fast boat used by the PN for different missions, which includes insertion and extraction of troops, maritime patrol, maritime law enforcement, and other purposes that the PN finds the boats capable of doing. Currently the PN has six MPAC in its arsenal, divided into 2 sub-classes. Being minor assets, they are not named in the PN fleet, but are only know according to their hull number. Based on the PN's hull numbering system, the boats are currently designated as Assault Landing Crafts with designation as "BA".

The current classes of MPAC in the PN are around 15 to 17 meters long, has a maximum speed of around 40 to 4 knots using


The first ship of class of the MPAC Mk. 1, BA-482, during tests.
Photo taken from the Philippine Navy's website.
The first ship of the MPAC Mk. 2, BA-485, during the presentation to the media a few years ago.


The first sub-class, locally known as the "MPAC Mk. 1", consists of hull number BA-482, BA-483, and BA-484, are designed and built for Filipino company Propmech Corporation by their subcontractor Lung Teh Shipbuilding Co. Ltd. of Taiwan, with propulsion system, fit-out, local sales,and support provided by Propmech. It is 15 meters long, has a maximum speed of 40 knots, and is entirely made of aluminum.




The MPAC Mk. 1's plan and cross section details.
Photo taken from Lung Teh Shipbuilding Co. Ltd's product brochure.




A second sub-class locally know as "MPAC Mk. 2", consists of hull number BA-485, BA-486 and BA-487. They are physically bigger at 17 meters long, and has improved performance like a higher maximum speed of 45 knots. It also made modifications to address shortcomings found on the Mk. 1 like position of gun mounts and access, aerodynamic design, location of ballistic protection armor, and other minor issues. Like its predecessor, the Mk.2 boats were also designed and made by Propmech and Lung Teh.  


The MPAC Mk. 2's plan and cross section details.
Photo taken from Lung Teh Shipbuilding Co. Ltd.'s product brochure.


Both sub-classes are armed with a single 12,7mm M2 machine gun and two M60 7,62mm machine guns, with the smaller guns positioned frontward. The Mk.2 also has an improved field of fire as compared to the Mk. 1, with the machine guns moved to a higher position near the boat's bridge.




The PN's MPAC Mark 3:

With the continuous experience gained by the Philippine Navy in using both 2 different types of MPACs in service, it was able to again come up with a redesign of the type, with a few changes on the MPAC Mk. 2, and additional weapons and sensors systems that will further expand the role of the MPAC from merely an insertion and patrol platform, into a small surface combatant.

Based on the Technical Specifications released by the DND, the changes include improvements on the safety features and ballistic protection, at the same time the installation of 12.7mm heavy machine gun in a remote weapons stations (RWS), plus a missile launching systems that will be provided separately by the Philippine Navy. Doing so means increasing the loading capacity the boats can carry while retaining the same agility and performance as the regular MPACs. This might be possible with the reduced required passenger capacity for the boarding team from 20+ men to just a minimum of 8 men. Although more can be made, it would probably be used by the designers as basis, as increasing the capacity to more than 8 men means increasing the design of the boat.

The reduced boarding team capacity also means using the space for the RWS and its operators, and storage for ammunition. This also means the troop insertion will become a minor role for the boats, as it becomes closer to a small fast missile craft rather than an MPAC.


The increased ballistic protection may include adding more armoring on locations that previously do not have this feature. It may also mean increasing the armor plate thickness, or improving the slope or material used on locations that were already armored in the MPAC Mk. 2, thus increasing the total weight of the boat without passengers and crew.




Use of Remote Weapons Stations and Missile Launching System:
The installation of the remote weapons systems, which was rated to be weighing only a maximum of 800 kilograms, which appears to be a single system that will both carry and integrate a 12.7mm heavy machine gun and missile launching system. MaxDefense believes that the DND & PN are actually leaning on having Rafael's Mini Typhoon stabilized naval RWS gun-missile mount. Including the ammunition, the total weight of the ammo and weapons system is 1,500 kilograms.


The Rafael Mini Typhoon naval RWS mount as shown with a Spike missile launcher.
Photo snipped from Rafael Mini Typhoon brochure.



This RWS system can be mounted with a Philippine Navy-standard Browning M2 machine gun, and Rafael's own Spike ER or Spike NLOS surface to surface missile, which has a navalized variant. If this would be the choice, MaxDefense hopes that the DND and PN choose the NLOS variant of the missile, which has a reported maximum effective range of 25 kilometers as opposed to the Spiker ER which only has an effective range up to 8 kilometers. 

Not only Spike NLOS a better weapon than the Spike ER, it is also a missile that can be used by the Philippine Navy for other purposes. With the PN also embarking to acquire a naval helicopter with anti-surface and anti-submarine capabilities, the Spiker NLOS can be a good candidate. It is further bolstered by the PN's possible choice of the AgustaWestland AW159 Wildcat helicopter, which was also chosen by the Republic of Korea Navy with the capability to fire the Spike NLOS. That makes 2 possible platforms where the Spike NLOS can be used.


The Spike NLOS missile from Rafael. 


Aside from a RWS mounting, the boat will still feature at least 2 manually-operated machine gun mounts for 7.62mm general purpose machine guns, probably on the same location as those found at the MPAC Mk. 2.




Requirement to be Locally Made:
The PN has been the most interested armed service to have its assets built locally, in line of its goal of partial self-sufficiency as part of its long term goals. A requirement for the project are for bidders to build the boats locally, unlike the earlier MPACs that were actually built aborad (Mk.1 was built in Taiwan, and it is still unclear if Mk.2 was built locally by Propmech, or was built in Taiwan by Lung Teh Shipbuilding for Propmech).

The size of the boats are reasonable enough to be built locally, as it does not represent a large technological leap for local shipbuilders. As a country that is considered the 4th largest shipbuilding country in the world, it is expected that this should be attainable with high degree of success and quality.




Is it the Platform Best for use in the West Philippine Sea?
The MPAC has shown its versatility in several occassions, as a troop insertion and special operations boat, as an inshore patrol boat, and as a fast search and rescue platform. But it will always be limited by its size in many capabilities, like in the sea state it is going to operate, the range and endurance in operation, weapons and load it can safely and optimaly carry, and in the comfort in which the crew can operate.

Arming the boat with a missile system may represent a leap of capability for the Philippine Navy, but this technological capability can only be used on threats that are inshore or within a few kilometers away from land. It can't be used well to operate in offshore waters with high sea state, and where most of the armed threats the country is facing can be found. 

The missile system it may use is a good one, but is small and not enough to really stop large patrol vessels or frigate-sized ships the neighboring countries are fielding in case a shooting war starts. The missile system is designed for lower ranges and will need the missile MPAC to get close to its target, and if the target is a missile armed corvette or frigate, it would definitely be fired upon first several kilometers away before the MPAC reaches its optimal launching distance.

In short, the missile-armed MPAC is not optimized for the West Philippine Sea. 

For the West Philippine Sea and other offshore threats, it would still be best for the Philippine Navy to invest on vessels that are at least designed to operate in high sea states without degradation of the weapons and sensor system's performance, and has enough size and endurance to stay longer and carry a larger, more powerful anti-ship missile system.


Larger vessels that can carry larger missiles and can operate at deeper waters are advisable for the West Philippine Sea area, rather than using small missile-armed MPACs. The minimum size would be similar to the Korea Navy's Gomdoksuri-class fast attack craft (above), although something larger would be better.
Photo taken from Korea Defense Network website.



So is the MPAC Mk.3 a Bad Investment?
Not really. After all these shortcomings, MaxDefense does not discount the plan to arm its latest generation MPAC with missiles. The boats can be a good platform to use in patrols near the borders between the Southern Philippines and Sabah, where pirates and illegal activity has always been rampant. Its speed and size can be of good use in this area, and it can easily be based on the thousands of small islands with ease.

The Philippine Navy needs more small patrol boats and MPACs to guard its southern corridors, while it would be best for the Philippine Coast Guard and the Philippine National Police Maritime Group to patrol the archipelagic waters of the country.

Another suggestion of using the MPAC is operating from the Kalayaan Group of Islands. But the lack of a decent port facility in any of the islands occupied by the Philippines might be detrimental to this plan. But having missile armed MPACs ready for deployment once these facilities are available is better than having nothing at all.


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So far, the last publicly announced communication made by the DND regarding the Lot 1 of this project is the temporary suspension of the project until further notice. But MaxDefense believes that this project has only hit a temporary issue that has also affected several other projects of the AFP Modernization Program.

MaxDefense is hopeful that the government will finally clear all the obstacles hindering the DND and PN from continuing the program to acquire its needed equipment, including this latest MPAC endeavor.

50 comments:

  1. why not buy the Fast Patrol Boat of Israel Super Dvora Mk 3.Loa is 27.4 mtrs,width 5.67 mtrs, draft 1.1mtrs. Engine 2x Detroit Diesel,Speed 45-50 knots.Range 700 Nautical miles,Armament 1x30 mm cannon,Missile AGM 114 Hellfire Surface to Surface,Guns 2x20 AA, 2x 12.7mm machine gun and 1 recoiless gun.60 tons full loadGood for littoral activity and open ocean,personnel 9person..Used b Israel Navy and Sri Lanka Navy.

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    1. Why should the Philippines opt to replace a proven local design, and pay a premium for a foreign-made craft? The vessel you cited does not have any major advantages compared the proposed MPAC Mk. 3, considering that the doctrine behind the usage of the MPACs is vastly different compared to the Israel and Sri Lanka uses their Fast Patrol Boats.

      A Spike-NLOS armed MPAC already outclasses the FPB by range alone--8km of the AGM-114 versus the 25km range of the Spike-NLOS. Not to mention that the MPAC accomplishes this while having a shorter overall length, a lighter weight, and at lower cost.

      The DND isn't looking for a boat with gimmicks like twin 20mm AAs and recoilless rifles; the threats those systems are meant to face aren't within the MPAC's envelope--that is a job better accomplished by OPVs.

      Next time, curtail your fanboyism and understand what the DND is looking for. This article is for about the DND's specifications for the MPAC, it is NOT a fantasy wishlist article.

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    2. max your right.. gomduksori class is the ideal platform for west philippine sea as we can field more of them. considering the price tag of gomduksori class of 38 million dollars, we can have 11 platforms instead of purchasing 2 frigates for 420 million us dollars. west philippine sea is within our 200 mile exclusive econmic zone or 320 kilometes from our shore. Considering the distance, the gomduksori class vessel with a speed of 45 knots only need to travel 200 kilometers from our shore to spot the target within the kalayaan group to fire its haeseong antiship missile with an effective range of 150 kilometer. using its own radar it can scan the surface 100 kilometres away for any potential threat and if aided by aw159 anti submarine helicopters radar with a 400 + kilometers range the entire kalayaan group would be at range by the aw 159 radar even if it only hover above palawan airspace . these gomduksori class and aw159 antisub helicopter would be a good platform for hit and run tactics when shooting war starts. if we have a two dozen of these that is a headache for the PLA navy. during patrol mission the gomduksori can harassed PLA FRIGATE if we deploy 2 gomduksori for one PLA frigate. I could not imagine what would be the reaction of PLA navy if we deploy three gomduksori class within their manmade islands.

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    3. Don't get me wrong. Boats like the Gomdoksuri-class are not meant to replace frigates. They are totally different types. Without a proper air defense component, boats like the Gomdoksuri-class can be killed by a few air assets. Frigates are still the best assets the PN should acquire.

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    4. The Hamina-class does almost everything our supposed frigates can do, except land a chopper on it.

      - Neo

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    5. the philippine navy needs a frigate that is capable to accomodate the barak 8 missile for air defense and a dozen gomduksori class as a force multiplier. it could be a bad day for the PLA navy if they will encounter 4 gomduksori class back by 1 incheon class frigate armed with 16 barak 8 missile.

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    6. arm the gomduksori class with barak 1 missile would be big threat to PLA navy. aside from a force multiplier , it will serve as a good deterrent to PLA navy patrolling within the west philippine sea. that do not need to expose our few build frigates in the future. if armed with 8 cell barak 1 missile and 4x antiship missile the gomduksori class could match TYPE 056 corvette of the PLA navy.

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    7. Or replace.the gun mount at the back with a viable CIWS. It would still be only a show of flag though. PLN can out deploy whatever we put out. It would however, make a PLN think twice about flybys. If we want a show of flag, we can remove those as well and paint it white. The extra cannons can be placed on other future platforms

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    8. The problem with this post is commenting on the bigger more expensive SK plat form no wonder some are considering the mpac on the bid as insignificant. Better it be compared to similar platform so that the comparing envelop will be similar. The MPAC's on bid the budget is about 270M Pesos not USD and last I read at timawa.ner that SK OPV costs 60M USD +/- our MPAC's is roughly 8M USD so it follows re its expected limitations.

      This program is only good if ink meets paper and frankly I don't get the reason behind the long delay for the project to push through its not as if its a big ticket program. Also 3 units? why not 4 or go for 6 units. anyway don't know why its taking so long. Also 25KM missile range is far better than 8KM.

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    9. Why not combine the gumdoksori and the pohang, whatever happened to the pohang we're supposed to receive as donation?

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  2. A few notes:

    1. "Aside from a RWS mounting, the boat will still feature at least 2 manually-operated machine gun mounts for 7.62mm general purpose machine guns"

    An MPAC with missiles and RWS needs at least 2 manually operated machine guns? Why? For what purpose? Do we intend to fight Chinese corvettes with machine guns? or have pirates became rad enough to get close to MPACS with missiles?

    2. As sir Max has stated, having missile capable MPACs operating on the KIG is better than having none-at-all. I agree with him fully. It's knowing we have some type presence, if we pose some form of threat, then we're already a pain in the ass for these Chinese.

    However, if a shooting war erupts. These MPACs would be the first to go, and I mean go down the bottom of the sea.

    I have come to realize that MPACs aren't going to be as useful as I thought these boats could be, specially after China has finished constructing their illegal WPS structures.

    Six MPACs attacking at the same time could possible damage a frigate, or on a lucky day, maybe take it out for good. But the bad news is, PN is targeting 42 MPACs to compromise its swarm navy.

    Humor me on this one please.

    A swarm navy is effective when it outnumbers it's adversary in a confrontation - I don't see 42 boats outnumbering the bigger ships China can deploy at a given area.

    3. To counter a Navy such as China's, where we can't really outnumber or outsize it, we would to be creative. MPACs wouldn't cut it, and so will "light" frigates that would possibly come in meager numbers to be the back bone of the PN.

    Although I would like a Gumdoksuri Class ships to be the backbone of the PN , I find it lacking in capability, what we need is a versatile ship that's not going to be as expensive as a frigate but not as limited as an MPAC. A boat which resembles the Hamina - an FAC with a lot of capabilities.

    I'm not saying we stop acquiring frigates, the hamiltons and the pohangs, but a Hamina or a similar ship like it poses as a better threat to the enemy than having a swarm of MPACs or a very few full sized frigates.

    4. With the PCG acquiring MRRVs and possibly more in the pipeline, I think we'll have to give 'em the duties of driving away pirates and poachers. With that in mind, the PN should concentrate on what type of ships that could "bring the pain". Leave the patrol duties to the PCG please.

    5. We still need the MPACs, just not a whole lot of them. Building a swarm navy is waste of money if you can't "swarm". A few more mk.2s is good enough for transport and a few missile capable MPACs would be just fine.

    6. Off-topic but, maybe.. just maybe the A-10's are going to be our CAS. And we may get them at a discounted price. Which could mean, we can add more funding to additional FA-50s and MRFs.

    - Neo

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    1. Sebastian here:

      1. To give more covering fire to the landing troops as Sir Max have mentioned.

      2. It's not made to fight China. Even the dumbest Naval officer will not send this small boat to a suicidal attack against China.

      It will be use in other area beside WPS, like for example: patrolling island that have rebel on it, or capturing smuggle of narcotic or support secret mission by the marines, etc.

      Low intensity combat only.

      Swarm tactics is useless against China that have more ship and each ship have more firepower. Plus they have air force and radar that can detect the incoming attack.

      3. Again not for China and the rest is another topic not related to this, but i support it.

      4. Sir max is not the one that made this policy.

      5. Your navy it's not building a swarm navy. Swarm navy exist in border line of suicide boat, where high casualty is expected. Your navy don't have the capacity to endure such high lost.

      They build it to secure another area in Philippine sea. WPS is not the only Philippine sea with problems. Other area also need to be guarded.

      6. Agree.

      - Sebastian

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    2. This i dont understand with the leaders of our military organizations; why do they limit the procurement of military hardwares to RA 10349? There is such a thing as supplemental budget in the gov't which they can employ to procure other military hardwares necessary to strengthen our external security capability. Such budget is possible and will be approved by congress if the items to be purchased are included in their Annual Procurement Plan

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    3. Sebastian:
      Just to point out..

      1. In your opinion, how much more covering fire does a landing unit need when these MPACs already features a Remote Weapons System and one manually operated gun?

      2. Honestly, even the dumbest Naval officer won't even send our supposed brand new light frigates against China - that's also suicide.

      One could always say these MPACs are merely for patrol and their main use would be against poachers, smugglers and for pirates -- there's that. Low intensity environments as one might say.

      But the thing is - right now, we have no real asset which we could deploy in these high intensity environments. Not the Jacintos, not the Hamiltons and probably not even our supposed light frigates.

      And even if our bigger ships have missiles - given the choice, would the PN rather station deadly little MPACs in the KIG or go with the bigger more suited ships? Will they risk a more expensive PN ship to be blown to bits on the first salvo if-and-when things get out of hand?

      IMHO, if a shooting war erupts, China has to get rid of the annoying little pawns in close proximity with their bases first. Leaving our bigger ships a few more minutes to re-act.

      3. The one thing to remember here is that - the AFP is focusing on external defense. And they should be, given the situation. And these MPACs, although we could say these are for patrols, for pirates and the like - it's not to say this would not be meant for China. If you think about it, the Mk.2 would be sufficient designs against pirates, poachers and smugglers but the PN is considering missiles. For what purpose? Yes - the PN has border patrol in mind, but once you get missiles on a vessel, it becomes an assault vessel. And if you haven't notice, the DND has a habit of acquiring assets which could do one thing well, but has the capability of something else when a need arises.

      And quite frankly sir, when shit hits the fan, everything at our disposal will be sent against China, not just the MPACs.

      4. But of course, I know that. I'm not implying sir Max has the authority or in charge of this. LOL.

      5. Read some of the articles around the net. The PN specifically wants a swarm navy. But the thing is -- one can't build a swarm navy with just 42 boats.

      Just like I said, the MPACs are okay, a sufficient number will be fine. But 42 boats? I could understand 42 FACs the size of Haminas, but 42 MPACs would just be a waste of resources. Specially given our Coast Guard has been very active at acquiring hulls - let the white ships do patrols, and let the PN get the "hardware" that matters.

      - Neo

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    4. Sebastian Here, sorry for late reply.

      Neo u are to focus to China and hopping that everything can be solve decisively and quickly. But that is not how the world work.

      Look these boats is not for high intensity battle, we both understand that. But it does not mean it will not have role in war against China if that happen. Not everything is high intense battle in war nor the need to always to attack China massive fleet.

      This small boats can have it's own role that big ship can't done in war. Like evacuating besieging troops or sending reinforcement or supply. It small enough and fast enough to out run most of China ship. It maybe to small for China to waste their anti ship missiles. It can even be use as scout when Philippine Orion P3-C haven't arrive or already down at the war.

      It has it's own role in war. But it never design to engage China big ship. It's missile is not for defeating big ship, but it's more to defending against enemy fast attack boat. Imagine when u carry special force when infiltrating China waters and meet their fast patrol boats, that is when the missile come handy. Not for sinking bigger ship.

      If u still hard to understand it, then think like this: in land war, we have Jeep, APC, scout vehicle, artillery, truck, mortar and other type of vehicle. None of them have firepower of a tank that is the most popular land vehicle. But they have their own role in war. And unlike tank, some of them is still useful at peace time. Like Jeep and Truck. The same with this boats, they have their own role.

      Again don't bother thinking about swarm tactics, that is for nation that can handle high casualty and have a very large number of small fast boats. Just because u have boat at the same size with the boats that Iran use in swarm tactics, doesn't mean u will use the same strategy. The same way that just because u only have outdated jet, u will use it in kamikaze attack like North Korean will do.

      There is many problems that your nation face, not only China. So for now this small boats at least can solve some of the little problem that u have. After that done, it may bring your nation to a better condition to solve a more bigger problem.

      Sebastian

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    5. Thanks for the reply Sebastian.

      With regards to swarm tactics, seriously, it's a bad idea and I have been saying this for the last two posts in this thread. AND it's not my idea (LOL). The PN is making hints on going forward with that, NOT me.

      I have already stated, dual roles for every AFP asset. Even in peace time, these MPACs will have other roles other than attack purposes, so I don't see why you are arguing here.

      But I'd try to simplify this, just so you can see my point:

      Two questions:
      1. Are you in favor of the PN acquiring 42 MPACs or not? (let's say the PN splits those MPACs into 2 groups - 21 with missiles, 21 without).
      2. Let's say the PN approves 42 boats for acquisition (we only have 6 now and probably 3 more in 2017, and let's be generous about it and say they will acquire 3 more by 2018 - so that's 12 boats), given the lack of funding and the time constraints, would you rather have the PN spend more time and money on the remaining 30 boats? or would you rather shift the focus on.. say giving more capabilities to existing assets to PN assets? or more ammo for the PN ships? or more funding for the submarine project? or more AW-109s? or more ASW-choppers?

      I'm not against the MPACs sir, my opinion is that 42 of these boats would just be to many, given the fact that the Coast Guard is acquiring hulls in a faster pace than the PN - and those hulls are mainly for solving "the little problems" PH has on it's territory.

      - Neo

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    6. Sebastian here:

      Just ignore those swarm tactics that PN talking about. As soon USA fleet have a base in your nation, they will talk differently. Or lose his jobs.

      The problem with your "dual role" version (at least base in your writing and i could be wrong in this) is that one of the role is for fighting China big ship.

      Every weapon/equipment and vehicle can have multiple role, but only some them that have role as capable in sinking China big ship. This boat is not one of those.

      Im an outsider in saying what is good for Philippine, but since u say, currently u only have 6 boats, i will say Yes, im in favor. Your nation is to big for 6 boats to patrol and most of your existing assets is seem concentrated to WPS.

      There is already a several acquisition program for new assets in your military. So i don't think 42 MPACs should be a problems.

      But maybe a compromise can be made where the number is reduced and the money that was safe can be use for other purchase. My favorite will be anti ship missiles purchase, but Sir Max probably know what is more better needed for Philippine.

      That being said i disagree to kill the program entirely. Because your existing 6 boat is not enough.

      Coast guard get more faster, because their boat is more easy to obtain, smaller and cheaper. Give your Navy some slack, the ships that they need is not cheap and the weapons is also more expensive than coast guard basic weapon.

      Wait until your government give a better funding and use it's diplomatic charm to your allies and then your navy will have new ships with a decent weapon.

      Sebastian

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    7. One use I can find for the MPAC is to ressuply BRP Sierra Madre (if we can find some way to give them the range to get there, Chinese OPV'S would fuck off if they saw a missile armed boat heading to Ayungin

      Rodney

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  3. Nice sana matuloy na kc paghindi hanggang pangarap nalang tlaga..kahit dahan dahan basta tulytuloy...salamat sa bagong info sir Max..

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  4. The Phil Navy should have several layers of defense with various adapted assets. The MPAC should have several model to address security and defense issues of the country. Likewise,our AFP should look for various missile and gun boat in the market to suite our needs for immediate acquisitions however, It would be better if we can locally manufacture and produce our own assets and learning the curve of weapons and sensors technology. I believe the Filipino can,,,,,

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  5. Chinas reclamation in the West Philippine Sea will be a big headache for all the Filipino and Hoping that our President knows this. Whoever leftist who will going to block this AFP modernization will going to crucify. AKBAYAN, ANAKAPAWIS, BAYAN MUNA and the rest of this party, please shut up we don’t need you. You did nothing, but I wish that all of you will going to die soon so Philippines will going to succeed.

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  6. sir max any update about the anti-submarine helicopters?

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  7. This is for supporting landing operation or light patrol, not to fight China.

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  8. I hope we can come up with hamina class..someday

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  9. Why is everyone still think about China and WPS? Sir Max already say this is not for those.

    U other area of the sea still need to be patrolled and this ship is going to do the jobs.

    Come on people at least read the article first.

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  10. Its a waste of budget with little capable of performance from the real threat. How can we shoot the Chinese drone with no weapons capable to reach at high attitude? We need SAM and ASM capable to reach at long range.

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  11. The problem with our country is we have leaders who lack the political will... I am so impatient with the acquisition of these supposed brand new frigates. Our inept leaders are hoping to acquire 2 brand new frigates at prices lower than what our neighbors are paying for similar assets and what infuriates me is that it has taken them almost the entire term of Pnoy to do this. What worries me is that they will say in the end that the bidding has failed and they will leave the acquisition of these very important assets to the next administration. I was initially impress with Pnoy's declaration that he will modernize the Armed Forces but now that his term is about to end i see that he has done only minimal to increase the capability of the military. More could have been done to improve the sorry state of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. They could have done more! They could have allocated more funds and planned and funded the acquisition of more frigates, fighter aircraft, missiles and other assets necessary for territorial defense. Collectively our leaders have no shame and pride. They have allowed our country to be bullied and our nation to be disrespected. Our people in general are also uninvolve in the issue as a lot of them are troubled by poverty and we have yet to have a leader who can unleash the country's true potential. Israel, Vietnam and Singapore started as peasant countries and look where they are now. It has been 100 years since our independence and we have yet to find a leader who is honest, strong and has a genuine desire to make the country strong and powerful. A lot of our intelligent people keep on migrating to richer countries to escape the decadent situation in our country brought about by POOR LEADERSHIP...

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  12. If the PN is considering Spike ER or NLOS, wouldn't it be logical if the Naval AW-109s carry 'em too instead of rockets? Better yet, can the AW-109 carry additional 2 Spike ER missiles on top of it's FN Herstal rocket-machine gun pod?

    - Neo

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  13. Ano kaya plano ng afp.. Habang tumatagal lalong nagiging aggressive ang china habang tayo wala pa ring nabibili ng mga combat ship and etc. Ano ba naman tong pilipinas wala nang magandang nayayari, lrt sira-sira, bbl mga rebelde and etc. Paminsan-minsan nakakawalang gana na maging pilipino.

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  14. Sir max,
    Off topic. Is the philippine navy desired force mix the final "image" of the minimum credible defense posture the navy wants or is it still subject to change? Because it asks for 6 air defense frigates, 12 corvettes, 18 OPV's and 30 patrol gunboats.

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  15. any news regarding the 2 balikpapans?

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  16. And now indonesia is making a tank boat while us we cant even build a warship and finalize our frigate wannabe ship. This country is frustrating and sick. For the past years our leaders busy feeding their pockets, having hearing which is useless in the long run cause nobody will be sentence. It's fuck to be filipino!

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    1. Correction, a company in my nation make that. Still not been adopted by our arms force.

      Personally i think that tank boats it's stupid. A normal boat with a decent cannon can do just fine.

      Sebastian.

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  17. why not invest or buy for a full-blown, dedicated missile boat?

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  18. only practical use of this is pirate patrolling, it has inferior weapons targeting system. you arleady saw it during the zamboanga siege. the govt should use more science engineering rather than pretend rambo. you can put 5 machine gun mounts no trained operator can hit in rough water. if we want to produce our own start building indegenously. i want to see more on the indegenous UAV system, is there any update?

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  19. Sir Max, i think it would be smarter for the AFP to start investing more in land based assets. Hindi matatakot ang China sa frigates. Desidido silang tapusin ang ginawa nilang islands kahit magkagera pa daw with US. Kahit sa US hindi sila nagpapatinag. Kung magkaroon ng gyera at papasok sila sa main islands natin, mahihirapan tayo because we are not investing more on our land based assets. Kawawa mga kababayan natin. Opinion ko lang to but i think it would be smarter to invest more on SAMs, shore based anti-ship missiles, manpads, rpg, sniper rifles, mortars, howitzers, anti-tank weapons, MBT, IFV, MLRS, machine guns and ammunition. Protecting our citizens from a full scale invasion is more valuable than protecting these uninhabited islands.

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  20. Sir Max, what do you think about fitting something like the Spike NLOS on some of our other small surface combatants, like the BRP Mariano Alvarez (ex-USS Cyclone) or our Peacock/Jacinto-class corvettes?

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  22. the MPACs are force multiplier, sure they cannot go in high seas but is very useful in patrolling the spratly groups that we still possess and with its missile system that's even better. this are are also useful for patrolling the muslim rebel infested areas like Sulu sea, tawi-tawi, Zamboanga etc. so it is indeed a multipurpose sea craft. Navy need more of these. while waiting for bigger ships and subs.

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  23. The snail pace of the AFP modernization is just disappointing. It has taken China 2 decades to build a very strong navy and occupy the disputed territory in the West Philippine Sea. In all those years the sucessive leaders of our country could have done more. I do not see any urgency in our leaders. Why is the contract of a mere 2 frigates not yet finalaized?! Those won't do much but having them would signify our country's determination to protect what rightfully belongs to us. It will also send a message to our strong allies that we are not reluctant when it comes to the defense of our territory.

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  24. would you agree with Senator Drilong about he's sentiment with regards to West Philippine Issue? Please see link below.

    http://newsgru.com/senator-drilon-to-filipino-people-we-cannot-join-war-because-our-afp-is-weak/#comment-30

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  25. Sorry for the OFF TOPIC but, there's been a lot of developments happening lately that I am inclined to think, the DND is giving serious thought on altering its modernization plans.

    There's the A-10s that I have mentioned before, and there's a pretty good chance we get them for cheap.

    Then there's this JAPAN-PH stuff we are reading lately that could net us some Japanese assets. In terms of aircraft, the sure thing is that the Japs would decommission the Kawasaki C1 and the F4-Phantoms. Yes I know these assets are old, but if we get these for cheap? -- I'm in favor of it.

    I don't know for how long will the F4s remain in flying and fighting condition, but the situation we have right now calls for any asset that could help right away. There's 71 of these planes in the Japanese inventory, imagine if we get these for cheap and we get the A-10s for cheap -- forget about your swarm Navy let's make a swarm airforce instead.

    - Neo

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  26. I hope our boss, Uncle Sam,..would donate a Nimitz class aircraft carrier to Philippines, due to historical relation, and Major Non NATO ally also mutual defense treaty between US-RP.

    US will always help us, and always be our protector.

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  27. The DND should revise our AFP modernization plans. They should give priority to the immediate threat form outside. WE SHOULD HAVE THE CAPABILITY TO DETECT ANYTHING WITHIN OUR TERRITORIAL SEAS AND AIR SPACE, AND THE CAPACITY TO HIT IT IF IT'S A FOE.

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  28. MPAC series Fast Attack Craft could be the replacement for the Andada class patrol boat If fundings are provided.

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  29. Let us all campaign against Chiz Escudero, Franklin Drilon and many other politicians who don't support the AFP Modernization Program. Let us not forget Bongbong Marcos who blames the government for escalating the tensions in the West Philippine Sea by seeking the help of the US. Bongbong Marcos still wants to maintain a friendly relationship with China despite China's aggressive behavior by building islands inside our territory. These politicians are very unpatriotic.

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  30. During the Zamboanga Siege, we had the opportunity to use our MPAC for troop insertion but we never did it. Our Marines always trained for this type of mission and scenario during Balikatan Exercises but we did not apply what we have learned. MNLF rebels were spotted near the shoreline during that day and they were trying to make their escape through the waters. Our MPAC simply maintained a distance from the MNLF and fired their 50 cal machine guns toward the shore. The MNLF still managed to flee. Our MPACs should have been used that day for troop insertion. Sayang lang ang ginagawang practice sa Balikatan Exercises kung hindi naman pala gagamitin sa tunay na Bakbakan.

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  31. at least the navy is building ships locally

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  32. ..korek...one at a time lang..basta sunod sunod at tuloy tuloy lang...wag padala sa hugot ng kwarta..pra sa bansa nman eh.....patriotism nman minsan ang pairalin...wag lang puro sarili....

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  33. Philippines should counter China encroachment in three fronts: 1. Land based mass demo against China bullying, 2.General boycott of China made products, 3. Serious diplomatic stand on PCA Hague decision and serious diplomatic initiative and lobbying with ASEAN and other allies to have UN come to our aid. Also please FAST TRACK MODERNIZATION OF OUR DEFENSE CAPABILITIES.

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