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Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Was Former Navy Chief Really Delaying the Frigate Project? Here is Our Simplest Answer

With all the fuzz on the relief of Vice Admiral Roland Joseph Mercado as the Philippine Navy's Flag Officer in Command (FOIC), different reasons were floated out by the public and even by the media reports. But one thing is certain so far, all media reports agree that VAdm. Mercado was relieved because of his disagreement with the Department of National Defense with regards to certain systems of the future frigate. Specifically the Combat Management System (CMS).

While the CMS isn't the only issue of the future PN frigate, it is the most highlighted issue because it was the one whose conflict was in every black and white everytime the PN makes its position to the Defense Department, and to the Office of the President.

Some reports say that the reason for the relief was because VAdm. Mercado was favouring a French company, which MaxDefense understand as Thales, in supplying the Combat Management System, and was in conflict with the Defense Department who chose a Korean-made CMS, which MaxDefense understand is Hanwha Systems.

While the reason is partly true, there is a reason why the former Navy chief was in favour of using the CMS from Thales, which MaxDefense named before as the Thales TACTICOS BL2.

First of, Thales TACTICOS was the original offer made by Hyundai Heavy Industres when their bid proposal was accepted by the Philippine Navy's Technical Working Group for the Frigate Acquisition Program. Why would Hyundai deviate its offer from the proven TACTICOS to the less proven Hanwha Naval Shield?

Secondly, to make it simple, does the Hanwha Naval Shield meet the Technical Specifications set by the Philippine Navy for all subsystems of the frigates. If it doesn't meet the specs, then why bother using them? So far, TACTICOS met the specs of the project, and the Navy's own hired consultant for the project agrees to it too.

Thirdly, does the change from TACTICOS to Naval Shield conform with the Government Procurement laws under RA 9184? If it does not, then why push it to happen? Breaching the law is considered an illegal act and may be a valid reason to stop a deal and compromise the success of the project.

Also, in its recommendation letter to relieve VAdm. Mercado, it was indicated that the Philippine Navy's TWG rated the Hanwha Naval Shield as compliant to the project's requirement. The question here is, did the PN's FAP TWG really found the Naval Shield compliant, and did they agree to use it in the first place? Then why are the position papers of the PN TWG and Project Management Team (PMT) since early 2017 up until now all mention that the Hanwha's Naval Shield did not comply to the project's specifications. All position papers of the PN mentioned the same all this time.

With the insistence to correct the use of a non-compliant CMS, for people who do not understand the situation it may appear the VAdm. Mercado and his team are "delaying" the project considering that the Defense Department already issued a memorandum last October 2017 to use the Korean-made Hanwha Systems Naval Shield BL2 as the future frigate's CMS. But for those who understand the situation, is he really delaying the project, or was he just insisting that the project must follow proper process as prescrbed by RA 9184?

In a nutshell, these are at the simplest explanation for the FOIC's position that MaxDefense hopes that even the laymen can understand. MaxDefense will discuss the issues deeper considering that CMS is not the only problem hounding the Frigate Acquisition Project. As of my last count, there are also STRUCTURAL, COMMUNICATIONS, SENSORY, AND SAFETY ISSUES that are not yet discussed but are worth discussing too.

Until then, stay tuned.

Edit: with the Defense Sec. Delfin Lorenzana already releasing a statement on why he ordered the relief of VAdm. Lorenzana, MaxDefense believes its also time to answer and show evidence of what really happened these past few weeks. He even admitted that lots in Social Media has painted the DND into a bad light, and there is a reason why.

Until then, stay tuned.


  1. Eagerly waiting for the truth to come out Max. Si Adroth ang tahimik sa kabila eh. Tas ung mga bulag na Timawans lalo na ung isa dun sa laging "I'm from the Navy myself" ang statement di makaimik. Pag nababanggit naman pangalan mo ang bilis maka-react nung kupal.

  2. so Delfin Lorenzana is also a stupid moron right now? i thought he is one of the men in the administration that is still worthy of trust..

    anong nangyari sau Delfin Lorenza, napaka claro, pati narin ba ikaw gonggong na din?
    maski mga Jr. officers or kahit man mga layman maiintindihan na maling mali pinaggagawa nyo..naturingang SND..
    kakapanghinayang ka SND!

    1. SI Sec Lorenzana ay tipong kinain na rin ng sistemang Duterte.

      May 30 2017 04:10 PM
      Military Can Contain Maute Even Without Martial Law, Defense Chief Tells Senators
      =====After 18 Hours, Ito Ang Naging Pahayag Ni Defense Chief Lorenzana=====
      May 31 2017 10:34 AM
      Mindanao Needs Martial Law Even If Military Can Contain Maute: Lorenzana
      =====Kinain Na Rin Ba Ng Sistemang Duterte Si Defense Chief Lorenzana?=====

  3. Sabi ni lorenzana wala daw sa contract

  4. While the Philippine Navy is in disarray, Vietnamese​ Navy about to receive their new Gepard Class and Malaysian Navy just start the construction of the third Gowind Class ship.

  5. My humble gratitude to your courage and resolve, Max

  6. If nobody changed the specs and DND didn't agree to the changes, there'll be no delay

  7. Max is it true that according to the contract HHI can select, pick or change systems if they want to as long as it meets the specifications?? How about the ORIGINAL Incheon Class frigates? What’s the CMS on those ?

    1. It uses local korean cms navy shield, im ok with the navy shield, if korea stake their country on it, better something than nothing, any scandal on this project is a sure axed project, remember the night capable attack helicopter project? It was delayed and delayed and never happened when it was needed the most, we support korean products like trucks, rifles, mg, fa-50, its not just a purchase but an investment with korea, making them better will also benefit us, its just a frigate, if you want real warship better get a destroyer

  8. i posted your last two posts on your page and immediately marked as spam....."The farce is strong in this one...:" ha ha

  9. featured na din sa IHS Jane ang pagkakatanggal sa PN Navy Chief! Sad News for our country and for our navy..

  10. The country owes you for communicating the truth, Max.


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