Your 1st in Philippine defense

Exclusive! First photos of Hermes 900 UAVs in PAF livery!

The first batch of Hermes 900 UAVs for the PAF are finally

BrahMos missiles for the Philippine Army?!

We discuss the Philippine Army's plan to acquire the BrahMos supersonic missile

The Philippine Army finally has self-propelled mortars!

The Philippine Army's M113A2 81mm Amrored Mortar Carriers are now in service!

The return of the self propelled howitzer is coming soon!

The Philippine Army is close to acquiring 155mm self-propelled howitzers

Let us welcome BRP Conrado Yap (PS-39)!

The Philippine Navy finally welcomes its latest asset, the Pohang-class corvette BRP Conrado Yap (PS-39)

Hermes 450 MALE UAVs arriving soon!

MaxDefense presents the first photo of the Elbit Systems Hermes 450 MALE UAV of the Philippine Air Force!

Friday, July 27, 2018

The Philippine Air Force finally got a Proper Maritime Patrol Aircraft

Finally, after a lot of delays and roadblocks along the way, the Philippine Air Force (PAF) can now really say that it got itself a proper Maritime Patrol Aircraft. This is after decades of not having one in its inventory.

A photo from Philippine Plane Spotters Group (PPSG) revealed the modifications made on one of the PAF's Lockheed C-130T Hercules heavy tactical transport aircraft, which was seen with a protrusion near the rear paratroop door, and an oversized door glass in it.


The PAF's C-130T with tail number 5040 was seen in Mactan-Cebu International Airport with what appears to be a SABIR system and a sensor pod on the starboard side.
Cropped from original photo by Darvs Bautista, posted at Philippine Plane Spotters Group (PPSG) Facebook page.


In its Facebook community page, MaxDefense made an initial assessment that the photo is an evidence of the delivery and installation of the Airdyne Aerospace Special Airborne Mission Installation and Response (SABIR) system, with possibly an Electro-Optical Infra-Red (EO/IR) module in it. It appears that we are partially righr in this.

MaxDefense was also able to obtain another photo of the same C-130T aircraft with the SABIR upgrade and a mission sensor pod attached to it.

The same C-130T with tail no. 5040 can be seen here again with the same SABIR upgrade and a sensor pod attached to the retractable arm near the paratroop door.
Photo provided by a MaxDefense contributor who wish to remain anonymous for PERSEC reasons.


The Source - US Maritime Security Initiative:

The delivery of these upgrades for the PAF's C-130 was born out of a commitment made by the former US Pres. Barrack Obama to the Philippines in 2015 as part of the US Maritime Security Initiative. Among the programs allocated for the Philippines was the delivery of a palletized Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) kit for use on then recently-acquired C-130T Hercules transport aircraft, under a package which was estimated to be worth US$8.7 million.

While other parts of its commitment were partially or fully completed, the ISR kit appears to be the last to be realized, with this specific kit seen on PAF C-130T Hercules with tail number 5040 said to have arrived in the Philippines for installation only several weeks ago.


The Airdyne Aerospace SABIR System:

The US military made use of the Canadian-built SABIR system, that allows the mounting of modular pods externally without the need for modifications on the airframe except for the rear paratrooper doors.

It involves the replacement of the standard rear paratroop door into a SABIR AS-6 door panel system with an oversized bubble window which allows a wider view of the outside by an observer. It was also designed for a seating observer which can swivel the seat between the door panel and the T-4 computer control workstation positioned nearby.

There is an option also from Airdyne to allow the dropping of sonobuoys for submarine detection although the PAF may not have included this in its system. But it can always be an option in the future.


Some of the mission pod options that can be used by the SABIR system.
Photo from Think Defence UK blog page.


The module also includes a retractable arm (AS-7) with a standard ejector rack ready to accept different kinds of modular pods including ISR equipment like EO/IR systems, radars, intelligence equipment (COMINT, SIGINT and ELINT), among others.

Mission pods can easily be installed or removed while the arm can be retracted to a minimized position during mission changes or when not needed for use once the aircraft is being used for usual transport duties. All this can be made within less than 2 hours as confirmed by a source with the PAF.


The typical components of the SABIR system which is the same as what the PAF uses.
Photo taken from Think Defence UK blog page.


The Philippines' C-130 ISR Modification:

In the case of the Philippine Air Force C-130T, several systems were installed to convert the aircraft into a dual use surveillance/maritime patrol - heavy tactical transport platform.

Both port and starboard side rear paratroop doors were replaced with the SABIR AS-6 door, including the installation of the SABIR AS-7 retractable arm.

Each arm carries an ISR equipment, one with an L3 Wescam MX-15HD EO/IR turret for day and night visual surveillance, detecting heat signatures, for target tracking, for video and photo recording, among other capabilities.


The PAF system uses am L3 Wescam MX-15HDi EO/IR system. Above photo shows a typical configuration of an MX-15 system which provides high definition day and night imaging
Credits to owner of the photo.


This configuration is similar to what the PAF uses for the EO/IR pod, except for the actual model of EO/IR which in the PAF's case is the smaller L3 Wescam MX-15HDi system.
Photo taken from Think Defence UK blog page.


The other arm carries a large circular pod with an Israeli-made Elta ELM-2022 synthetic aperture surveillance radar which allows the aircraft to detect surface or ground targets with a range of 200 nautical miles forl ships. This is the pod visible from the photo shared in PPSG's page.


The PAF uses the Elta ELM-2022A maritime surveillance radar for the SABIR-equipped C-130T. The panel antenna is small enough to fit in a encased dome pod as seen on the photo from PPSG.
Photo taken from Elta's website.


Both sensors are connected to modular control computer consoles operated by men of the 300th Air Intelligence and Security Wing, while the aircraft is flown by pilots from the 220th Airlift Wing.

A Satellite Communication (SATCOM) / Line of Sight system, as well as military radio communication systems are also installed on the aircraft to allow the crew to communicate with other ground, naval or air units or stations.

Two T-4 workstations are available for the operation of the surveillance radar and EO/IR system.


A typical layout of the SABIR system. The one used on the PAF's C-130T is essentially the same except for the sensor pods used.
Photo taken from Think Defence UK blog page.



Other Details:

So far, sources confirmed that there is only one of the PAF's C-130 that has this upgrade, although we believe another set could be provided by the US to be installed with the other C-130T of the PAF. This upgrade is said to be the easiest, least costly alternative in the market at the moment, and the US might even be willing to provide more sets for the PAF in the future, this despite the PAF acquiring real Maritime Patrol Aircraft under its stalled Long Range Patrol Aircraft (LRPA) acquisition program.

Apparently it took several weeks for the upgrade works to be made, including maintenance works done of the C-130T. To cover its absence, the PAF's C-295 fleet was put to good use in providing logistics support to the AFP. All works were only done locally at Benito Ebuen Air Base in Mactan, with minimal foreign assistance.

Training of operators and maintenance crews are said to be ongoing, although the PAF has an experience advantage with the L3 Wescam MX-15D EO/IR system due to it being used in their Cessna 208 Grand Caravan ISR aircraft also provided by the US government through military assistance program.

The PAF is also said to be interested in making use of the platform for Electronic Intelligence (ELINT) and Signal Intelligence (SIGINT), as well as Communication Intelligence (COMINT) missions by using specific mission sensors that can be acquired by the PAF in a latter time. This is actually related to the overall C4ISTAR build up of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, considering SIGINT and ELINT capabilities are being sought after as well by the Philippine Navy and its Naval Air Group, which wanted to utilize its existing fleet of Beechcraft C-90 King Air for such missions.

MaxDefense believes that the PAF should have considered using the larger MX-20 EO/IR system which was designed for larger aircraft like the C-130. The MX-15, in MaxDefense's opinion, is small and is better equipped on smaller aircraft like the Cessna 208 Grand Caravan or the upcoming OV-10G+ Combat Dragon II Broncos.


With the modifications expected to be visible always, MaxDefense expects more photos of the aircraft to be posted online as taken by various amateur and professional photographers or plane spotters. Expect MaxDefense to also make more updates on this project, or if there will be any follow-on deliveries or related news on this.


Summary:

1. Upgrade of PAF C-130T Hercules to ISR Platform


End User: Philippine Air Force (220th Airlift Wing and 300th Air Intelligence & Security Wing)
Modernization Phase: US Military Assistance (not under any Horizon phase)
ABC: unknown
SARO Release: N/A
Proponent: US Government, most probably through HISS Canada and Airdyne Aerospace Canada
Bid Price: N/A
First post by MaxDefense:
Concept: 18 April 2016
Delivery: 26 July 2018




U P D A T E S:

11 August 2018:

MaxDefense received confirmation that the Philippine Air Force will be formally accepting the SABIR system installed on one of the PAF's C-130T Hercules this 14 August 2018. No exact time has been provided yet although the event will be held at the 250th Presidential Airlift Wing's hangar @ VIllamor Air Base in Pasay City.


The guest of honor is Defense Sec. Delfin Lorenzana. As expected, Pres. Duterte won't be there to grace the event as the SABIR system came from US Military Assistance. It is well known that Pres. Duterte has hatred of the Americans and attending here would be against his policies.

Also, it was revealed to MaxDefense that the C-130T ISR would indeed be used as Maritime Domain Awareness platform, with focus on patrolling the West Philippine Sea, Scarborough (Panatag) Shoal area, Batanes and the borders with Taiwan, and the Philippine Rise. 

Meanwhile, the PAF is using the smaller Cesna 208 Grand Caravan ISR aircraft in the southern corridors of the Philippines, near the borders with Malaysia and Indonesia.

Another SABIR system is also expect to be provided by the Americans that could be installed on the 2nd C-130T in the PAF's fleet. This would allow the PAF to conduct more ISR missions while still being available when needed as a transport asset. As explained before, the sensor pods and the control consoles can easily be removed by PAF technicians within 2 hours, while the the SABIR retractable external arm can remain while the C-130T is used as for cargo missions.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

OV-10G+ Combat Dragon II Broncos & Spare Parts for Transfer to the Philippine Air Force

As early as 04 February 2018, MaxDefense made a photo post that left many of our readers puzzled. It was of a black horse-like illustration with several stars underneath it. Many were able to guess what it was although majority were not able to identify it, even until now. For those who are long time MaxDefense readers or followers, it is known that we usually leave clues, meanings, or ideas in almost if not all the posts that we made. And many back then speculated that the PAF was to acquire something very soon there is no reason for MaxDefense to post the illustration considering they are not something from the Philippine military.

To answer the question what the illustration was, it was simply a "bronco",  a type of feral horse that habitually bucks, according to dictionary. The bronco is also the name of Rockwell International's OV-10 aircraft, which is in service with the Philippine Air Force (PAF). Aside from the PAF, there are a few flying units that remain in the United States. And the illustration of the bronco came from the OV-10G+ Bronco, which were made as part of the Combat Dragon II program of the US Special Operations Command (US SOCOM).


One of the OV-10G+ Combat Dragon II Bronco operated by the US Special Operations Command. Two of the aircraft plus two unmodified OV-10As will be transferred to the Philippine Air Force.
Photo taken from Defense Media Network's website.





Come July 2018, and the website "The Drive" posted an article by Joseph Trevithick discussing the possible transfer of  these OV-10G+ Combat Dragon II Broncos to an unspecified US partner, which the author believes is the Philippines, being the only remaining user of the type.

It turns out, the author's guess is right if MaxDefense is to say it. Here's why:

To those following our page regularly, you may have remembered when we changed our Facebook page's profile picture to this one last February 2018. Now its out.
Credits to Defense Media Network for the cropped photo.
By the way, yes, it came from this picture.
Photo taken from Defense Media Network's website.




OV-10s in the Philippine Air Force:
The Philippine Air Force is said to be the last and only operator of the Rockwell International OV-10 Bronco, which it has been operating since the early 1990s when it replaced the T-28B/D Trojans used by the 15th Strike Wing. Depending on sources, the PAF currently has around 8 to 10 operational OV-10s, composed of OV-10As acquired from the US in the 1990s, an OV-10M upgraded from OV-10A, and OV-10Cs provided by the Thai government under a PAF-RTAF swap agreement for F-5A/B spare parts and previously operated by the Royal Thai Air Force.

Some, if not all of the remaining OV-10s in PAF service are upgraded with the capability to deliver Paveway II laser guided bombs via the Wireless Paveway Avionics Kit (WiPAK).

More information on PAF OV-10s can be found on our old blog entry, which can be found on the link below:

"The PAF OV-10 Bronco: A Short Story (1st of 2 parts)" - first posted in June 2013.




OV-10G+ for the Philippine Air Force:

MaxDefense was informed about the negotiations to acquire the OV-10G+ Combat Dragon II Broncos as early as February 2018. The acquisition was really focused not on the aircraft itself, but for the transfer of OV-10 Bronco spare parts in possession of the US government.

The Philippine Air Force was originally after the OV-10 spare parts pool, which is said to be worth several millions of dollars. With nothing to use them for, the US government offered them to the PAF for far less, by just paying the transfer and shipping costs, which MaxDefense believes to be at just over US$2 million for everything. And as part of the deal, the US government is gracefully including 4 air-worthy airframes with it, plus some new equipment to replace some of those they removed. The spare parts are said to be enough for the Philippine Air Force to allow them to operate whatever flying OV-10s they have in their fleet up to year 2024, and might even be enough to revive at least 2 more cannibalised units that can also continue operating for several years more.

The Philippine Air Force currently has a rapidly ageing and depleting fleet of OV-10A/C/M Broncos, which are expected to continue service until the Super Tucano which will replace them becomes fully operational and in sufficient numbers. The spare parts included in the deal with the US government will allow the PAF to extend the life of these OV-10s until 2024, and might be even able to resurrect a couple of cannibalised aircraft in its yard. Here it is seen dropping Mk.82 dumb bombs on hard targets during the Battle of Marawi last year.
Credits to owner of photo.




Due to the urgency of the deal, the Philippine Air Force was said to have been forced to use its own annual operating funds to pay for the package, instead requesting for funding from the national government, which would take several months. Case in point: the Jordanian AH-1Fs which are unpaid until now despite the transfer funds requested almost a year ago, and the Pohang-class corvette transfer which took almost 2 years to fund.

As for the airworthy airframes, it was mentioned to MaxDefense that it would be two of the OV-10G+ Combat Dragon II Broncos, and 2 unmodified OV-10A Broncos. All four aircraft are currently with the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), are will be disposed off if by scrapping if nobody is interested in taking it from them. Naturally being the only user of the type in the world, the Philippines was informed of such plan, and the PAF immediately started negotiations for the transfer.

A few months ago, some Philippine Air Force officers went to the US to inspect the aircraft and the spare parts. They found that all are in acceptable condition, in correct content and are indeed what the PAF needed. MaxDefense got confirmation that inspection was not only made once but at least twice.



OV-10A and G+ Details:

According to our sources, the OV-10A Broncos included will be standard models, no modifications made, and have acceptable airframe life left in them compared to the OV-10s still in service with the Philippine Air Force. The PAF's 15th Strike Wing won't have any problem accepting them into service, as they are very similar to the standard OV-10A they have been using since for almost 30 years.

But the OV-10G+ would be something else. These aircraft were heavily upgraded and modified by the US military for use with the US Special Operations Command. They were equipped with a L3 Wescam MX-15D Electro-Optical Infra-Red (EO/IR) turret and cameras with full motion Vortex and ROVER capability and connected to a helmet-mounted targeting system, chaff/flare dispensers for defensive purposes, a partially glass cockpit, a Line of Sight / Satellite Communications (SATCOM) system, a Link 16 tactical data link, and Harris Falcon III tactical radios.

The OV-10G+ Combat Dragon II Bronco are equipped with an L3 Wescam MX-15D electro-optical infra-red (EO/IR) turret. Although removed by the US military prior to transfer to NASA, the PAF intends to acquire them immediately and install the turrets once the aircraft are assembled in the Philippines.
Photo taken from L3 Wescam's website



The OV-10G+ are also capable of carrying and firing the Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) which is essentially a guided rocket that is linked with the aircraft's EO/IR turret. This is in addition to the smart bombs (Paveway) that it could deliver.

Aside from that, the OV-10G+ also uses a four-bladed propeller from Hartzell, similar to those used by OV-10Ms of the PAF.

With the US SOCOM, the OV-10G+ was used as a test bed for capabilities while also used as  a terrorist hunter. It was flown as a test platform for the US Air Force's Light Air Support Aircraft program.

The OV-10G+'s purpose is seen in this illustration from the US SOCOM. It was an observation aircraft capable of directing forces to terrorist targets, and have its own capability to attack targets if necessary.
Photo taken from US SOCOM c/o The Drive.


Transfer Package to the Philippines:

As already mentioned by The Drive's article, the OV-10s were previously with the US military and were transferred back to NASA in demilitarized mode, meaning all its military capabilities were removed prior to the transfer. The photos from NASA already show that the EO/IR turret is missing.

MaxDefense was also told that the TDL Link 16, the Helmet Mounted Targeting System, and chaff/flare dispensers were all removed too. So essentially, the OV-10G+ only has its 4-bladed propeller and the partial glass cockpit as the most obvious upgrade at the moment.

But based on the US Air Force's own solicitation as seen below, the US will retain the wirings installed during the upgrade, once it's transferred. The contractor was asked to reinstall the wirings once its assembled upon delivery, which is good news for the PAF.

The solicitation made by the USAF for the disassembly, crating, shipment and reassembly of OV-10A and OV-10G+ aircraft. Take note the special requirement on the wirings for the OV-10G+.
Photo cropped from FedBizOps (FBO) website of the US Government.




Now that the aircraft were demilitarized, then what?

The Philippine Air Force actually plans to reinstall some of the upgrades made by the US military, but it would be paid for by them. Among the items to be immediately acquired by the PAF for installation upon delivery is the L3 Wescam MX-15D EO/IR turret. It also appears that the PAF is negotiating if the US can provide some of its used helmet mounted targeting system, although the possibility is slim. The PAF could acquire brand news ones separately later on though.

All other upgrades will be made later on after the acquisition, as this deal is being rushed by the US government before the end of the year. Since the PAF paid for the deal in cash using its annual funds, it wull need to request for a separate funding for them to be able to upgrade the OV-10G+ with its desired capabilities.

The Philippine Air Force may already have some of the Harris Falcon III tactical radios available considering this is the standard tactical radio of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Equipping the aircraft with this allows it to communicate with ground and other forces seamlessly, as PAF Forward Air Controllers also use Harris Falcon III radios.

The PAF is also seeking for the acquisition of the APKWS, which is long in their plans and might also be acquired for the upcoming fleet of Embraer A-29B Super Tucanos which will start delivery by 2019. MaxDefense has yet to confirm if the TDL Link 16 will also be included in the re-upgrade plan. Plans to install chaff/flare dispensers and ROVER capabilities are highly likely to happen later on as well.

Like the upgraded OV-10Ms and OV-10A/C in the PAF, the OV-10G+ is expected also to be able to use the GBU-12 Paveway II and the GBU-49 Enhanced Paveway II, both of which are in PAF's inventory.

These additions will make the OV-10G+ Combat Dragon II Broncos still the most modern Bronco in PAF service once they join the fleet, and would be a good stop-gap measure and training platform for the upcoming Super Tucanos which will have the same capabilities as the Combat Dragon II Bronco.

Unlike its useage with the US SOCOM which is to observe targets at a safe distance, the PAF may not use this primarily as an observation aircraft, but will likely be used  primarily for day/night attack aircraft, capable of carrying out precision strike against hard or mobile targets, and as a close air support aircraft for ground troops. It could made to be linked to data from surveillance unmanned and manned aerieal vehicles like the Cessna 208 Grand Cavaran ISR aircraft, Scaneagle UAVs, C-130T ISR aircraft, future Long Range Patrol Aircraft, or other future UAVs of the Philippine Air Force.

Having the MX-15D EO/IR turret also allows the Combat Dragon II Bronco to use laser-guided bombs without the support of ground-based forward air controllers (FAC) which are usually PAF ground combatants embedded with other AFP ground troops to provide target acquisition or lacing to attack aircraft like the OV-10. Current PAF OV-10s and other attack aircraft were dependent on FACs during the Battle of Marawi, and the new capability to use the EO/IR turret for target lacing allows the aircraft to conduct its own precision bombing run without the need for eyes on the ground even or targets where collateral damage is highly likely to happen. This is something new for the PAF and the AFP in general.


Like the OV-10 Bronco fleet used by the PAF, the OV-10G+ is expected to be able to carry and fire the GBU-12 Paveway II and GBU-49 Enhanced Paveway II smart bombs which are in PAF's inventory. The 2 upcoming OV-10A Broncos may also be upgraded to be capable of firing them by installing the WiPAK system found on PAF OV-10s.
Photo taken from PAF's website years ago.


The newest capability the OV-10G+ can provide the PAF is the ability to launch the APKWS guided rocket system, which is currently unavailable with the PAF. The PAF is also interested in arming its AW109E armed helicopter fleet with this weapon system, as well as the upcoming A-29B Super Tucano which will start to arrive in 2019.
Credits to owner of the photo.



Delivery Date:

Now the big question, when is the aircraft expected to be delivered?

MaxDefense was informed while we were writing this blog entry that it is expected to arrive on or before December 2018, since the US government wanted the aircraft and parts to be shipped ASAP, as they need the space it currently occupies in NASA's storeyard, If these aircraft and parts are not removed, the US government will be forced to scrap them all.

Therefore, it is also expected that the 2 OV-10G+ and 2 OV-10As will be operational with the PAF's 15th Strike Wing by early 2019, and will be operated by the 16th Attack Squadron.




More updates will be provided by MaxDefense later on, as the deal is still being ironed out as of the moment. But one thing is certain according to our sources - this deal will push through urgently and the PAF does not have any plans of not pursuing this acquisition.




Summary:

1. Acquisition and Shipment of OV-10 Bronco Aircraft and Spare Parts

End User: Philippine Air Force (15th Strike Wing)
Modernization Phase: PAF General Appropriations Fund (not under any Horizon phase)
ABC: ~US$2,000,000.00
SARO Release: N/A
Proponent: US Government, Still Unknown contractor for shipping and assembly
Bid Price: Negotiated Procurement, unknown value
First post by MaxDefense: 24 February 2018

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Is the Philippine Navy Ready for Submarines? A Full Background and Review on PN's Submarine Quest

On 20 June 2018, the Philippines' Department of National Defense, through its Public Affairs Director Arsenio Andolong announced that the Philippine government is returning the acquisition of diesel-electric submarines to the Php300 billion Horizon 2 phase of the Revised AFP Modernization Program.

This was met by mixed reactions by the public, considering the acquisition of submarines is a very big leap for the Philippine Navy and the Armed Forces of the Philippines in general due to  submarines being considered a "first world military asset" due to its acquisition and upkeep cost, although it is described as a game-changer in the country's defense capabilities.


But not all are impressed, considering it was mentioned by the DND that the Submarine Acquisition is being put forward without increasing the Php301 billion Horizon 2 Priority Projects budget. This means that certain defense projects may be sidelined to allow the Submarine Acquisition to be given priority, among other reasons.

But the main underlying question here is if the Philippine Navy is ready for submarines?


The Scorpene-class conventional diesel-electric submarine was among those offered to the Philippine Navy lately. This class was designed and made by Naval Group of France, formerly known as DCNS.
Photo taken from Navy Recognition website.




Background:


Many may not know this, but the Philippine Navy has been longing for a submarine capability since the 1950s. The Philippine Navy requested for 3 World War 2 era diesel submarines from the US government, together with PBY Catalina flying boats. In the end, only the flying boats arrived, which were assigned later on to the Philippine Air Force (thanks to naval historian and MaxDefense guest writer PCG Cdr. Mark Condeno for this heads-up).

In the 1970s, former Philippine Pres. Ferdinand E. Marcos expressed his desire to acquire submarines from other countries, specifically diesel-electric models from friendly countries like US and Germany. There were queries made with the German government back then for the small Type 206 coastal submarine, and larger Type 209 submarine, although that is as far as the Philippines has gone back then.

The submarine desire continued on until the 1980s up to the 1990s, when former Philippine Navy FOIC (now Maritime Academy of Asia and the Pacific President) VAdm. Eduardo Ma. Santos endorsed in 1998 the concept of the Philippine Navy having submarines under the AFP Modernization Program mandated by RA 7898 and approved in 1995, and opened up the possibility of acquiring midget submarines from Italy's Cosmo S.p.a. as a preliminary move, while moving on to conventional diesel-electric submarines in the near future. It also appears that the Philippine Navy sent officers to Pakistan to study their midget submarines built locally based on a design acquired from Italy.


The Cosmo MG120/ER midget submarine, which was considered by the Philippine Navy back then should they push to acquire midget submarines to train and familiarise the service in Submarine Warfare.
Photo taken from Cosmo Spa through Maritime Review Philippines.



Aside from that, the Department of National Defense even sent a Philippine Navy officer to study submarine design and construction in preparation for any future requirement to acquire new submarines.

The AFP Modernization Program from 1995 to 2010 passed without the Philippine Navy acquiring submarines, or even a meaningful surface fleet that it can actually say as modern. And it was only natural that submarines will again be floated for acquisition when the Revised AFP Modernization Program mandated by RA 10349 was approved in 2013.

In the Revised Philippine Navy Modernization plan as shown on the "Desired Force Mix" released by the PN in 2014, the plan was to acquire at least 3 conventional diesel-electric submarines within the 2013-2028 timeframe. 


The Philippine Navy Desired Force Mix plan released in 2014, as a guideline of acquisitions for the Revised AFP Modernization Program between 2013 to 2028.
Photo credited to the former Timawa.net forum.



In 2015, another info-graphic was released by the Philippine Navy, again with the conventional diesel-electric submarine still in the acquisition plan, but clearly defined to be part of the Horizon 3 phase from 2023 to 2028.



The Philippine Navy's infographic releassed in 2015 on expected acquisitions under the Revised AFP Modernization Program from 2013 to 2028. It shows that the Submarines are to be acquired in the Horizon 3 phase from 2023 to 2028.
Photo taken from the Philippine Navy's webiste.



Finally, another info-graphic was published by the Philippine Navy in their April 2016 official publications, indicating that the Submarines are integral part of the Surface Action Force of the Philippine Fleet. In a departure from previous plans, it now indicates that the Philippine Navy will need to acquire 6 submarines instead of just 3 to provide a better deterrent capability.




This infographic was released by the Philippine Navy in April 2016, shows that the Philippine Navy will now require 6 conventional diesel-electric submarines for the Revised Navy acquisition plan from 2013 to 2028.
Photo screenshots taken from the Philippine Navy's official publication.




This was later on supported by the submissions made by the Philippine Navy for their Capability Plan under the Horizon 1 to 3 phases, wherein they submitted in 2016 a plan to acquire 2 conventional diesel-electric submarines within the Horizon 2 phase, and 4 more similar submarines in the Horizon 3 phase.


This was taken from one of the submitted reports of the Armed Forces of the Philippines to the Department of National Defense in 2016 which highlights the proposed acquisition program of the Philippine Navy from Horizon 1 (and remnants of the old RA7898 AFPMP), as well as the Horizon 2 and 3 phases of the Revised AFPMP. It clearly indicated the need for 6 submarines, in which 2 to be acquired in Horizon 2 phase.
Photo taken from MaxDefense's sources from the Philippine Navy.



Between 2016 to 2017, further improvements were made by the Philippine Navy for their Horizon 2 and 3 phases proposal for submission to the Office of the President. With a new president at the helm of the country with promises to improve the Armed Forces of the Philippines into new heights, the Philippine Navy again tweaked their acquisition proposal under the Horizon 2 phase. Instead of just acquiring 2 conventional diesel-electric submarines, they now moved even more aggressively forward by instead requesting a fleet of 3 conventional diesel-electric submarines worth Php20 billion each, 7 Midget Submarines for Php5 billion each, and 6 two-man Swimmer Delivery Vehicles for Php35 million each. This is by far the most ambitious proposal made by the Philippine Navy, and was among those submitted to the Office of the President in Malacanang in early 2017 as part of the Php367.7 billion Horizon 2 program for the Philippine Navy alone.

Aside from that, the Philippine Navy has finally made a Submarine Group in its command under the Philippine Fleet, to allow the study of submarine and submarine warfare, as well as prepare the Philippine Navy in its acquisition of submarines. Officers and men assigned to this group were given the chance to study abroad on basics in submarine warfare as well as in submarine construction.


The last version of the proposals made for Horizon 2 phase included the acquisition of 3 conventional diesel-electric submarines, 7 midget submarines and 6 swimmer delivery vehicles, all for a total proposed budget of Php95.21 billion. This proposal was shot down by the government due to high costs. The resulting approved Horizon 2 acquisition did not include any submarines.
Photo taken from MaxDefense sources from the DND.



Unfortunately, the aggressiveness might be too much, as the proposal was shut down by Pres. Duterte and his economic team due to the high price of the proposal. The Philippine Navy was again requested to revise their program to under Php75 billion pesos only. The result of this became part of the recently approved Php300 billion Horizon 2 Priority Projects program, wherein the Philippine Navy is getting Php77.6 billion only. In this approved acquisition program, none of the submarines proposed earlier were included. Not even the two-man Swimmer Delivery Vehicles was there. Instead, any submarine acquisition will be made in the Horizon 3 phase of the RAFPMP, which is scheduled from 2023 to 2028.

Nonetheless, the Submarine Group continued to exist and continue its mandated task of preparing the Philippine Navy for submarine operations.

Then the unexpected happened when in June 2018, DND's Public Affairs Dir. Arsenio Andolong announced that Pres. Duterte and Defense Sec. Delfin Lorenzana has agreed to the request made by Philippine Navy FOIC VAdm. Robert Empedrad to front-load the acquisition of at least 2 submarines into the Horizon 2 phase.




Offers Made to the Philippine Navy:

As early as the Submarine Group's formation, the Philippine Navy has already released a Request for Information (RFI) addressed to several international submarine builders to provide information about their respective products. This is to allow the Philippine Navy to determine what can be acquired with the proposed budget.


According to MaxDefense's sources from the Philippine Navy, among those that replied and provided information are Saab Group - Kockums of Sweden, ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) of Germany, Naval Group (formerly DCNS) of France, Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) of South Korea, and Rosoboronexport of Russia.

Based on information we gathered, the offers made by these shipbuilders were: a derivative of the A26 submarine design from Saab Kockums, the Type 209/1400, Type 210mod, and Type 212A from TKMS, a derivative of the Scorpene-class from the Naval Group, the Chang Bogo-class from DSME, and the Project 636 Kilo-class from Rosoboronexport.


Due to this blog entry's focus on the Philippine Navy's readiness on submarine operations, MaxDefense will discuss the submarine offers in a separate blog in the future.


Aside from providing information on their submarine products, these shipbuilders already came forward with providing different offers to the Philippine Navy. It appears that numerous meetings have already been made between the Department of National Defense and/or the Philippine Navy, and these foreign shipbuilders or their counterpart defense ministries. 

Remember the visit made by Pres. Duterte to Russia, which was shortened due to the Marawi crisis? He was supposed to visit the Admiralty Shipyard in St. Petersburg, Russia, which builds the Kilo-class submarines. This was a move made by the Russian government to convince the president and his defense and naval leaders to consider Russian submarines for the PN's modernization program.

TKMS, DSME, Saab Kockums and Naval Group executives were reported to have visited the Philippine Navy and the DND for meetings in the past 1 year alone, with the DND's team led by Defense Asec. Jesus Avilla even met with DSME executives in South Korea just last March 2018 as part of the PH-SK Joint Committee Meeting, including a visit to one of the Republic of Korea Navy's Chang Bogo-class submarine ROKS Park Wi, which is now in Hawaii participating in RIMPAC 2018.



TKMS was said to be offering the Type 210mod (top) and Type 209/1400, while DSME offered the Chang Bogo-class submarine (above) which is actually a Korean version of the Type 209/1400.
Credits to sources of photos.





Philippine Navy's Submarine Acquisition Roadmap:

The Philippine Navy has been studying the acquisition of submarines for several years now, and the results of these studies can be seen on the Philippine Navy's decision to organize and open the Submarine Group under the Philippine Fleet.

Among those made by planners from the Philippine Navy is to study the following:

- what is the purpose and rationale of acquiring submarines in the Philippine Navy;

- what approach is best suited for the Philippine Navy in acquiring submarines;

- how type of submarines are needed, and how much is needed to be allocated for the program;


MaxDefense will base its statements below on the Philippine Navy Submarine Group's roadmap.



Rationale:

The primary purpose of acquiring submarines is to raise the combat strength and capability of the Philippine Navy, and in effect the Philippine government as a whole. This will allow the Philippines to defend itself better from foreign threats, and conduct operations that will be beneficial to the defense of the country.

This includes projecting power beyond the shores of the country, as submarines can be used for offensive purposes including launching on land and naval attack missiles against land and sea targets, as well as gathering intelligence and conducting surveillance without being detected by air, naval, and space assets. It can be used also for delivery of SEAL divers for other naval operations that involve special operations.

Sea denial is another capability that submarines can provide, as submarines cannot easily be found, and may leave the opposition guessing on where the submarines are. This gives the Philippine Navy an advantage of keeping the enemy guessing, while submarines has an advantage of striking naval ships without being detected initially.


Comparing to Other ASEAN Countries:


The Philippine Navy actually compared the different procurement approaches made by its neighbouring countries in the ASEAN region.

Indonesia has been operating submarines since the 1960s, and while their old Soviet Whiskey-class submarines were retired in the 1970s, the acquisition of the Cakra-class (Type 209) submarine from Germany in 1981 benefited from the Indonesian Navy's previous experience in submarine operation.

Vietnam's approach was for the acquisition of new submarines, while training and preparing their men and facilities while the submarines are being constructed. Vietnam signed a contract to acquire 6 Kilo-class submarines, inclusive of training in 2009, and received their first Kilo-class submarine in 2014.

Malaysia's approach was for the acquisition of new submarines first, then acquiring a second-hand Agosta-class submarine to allow training and preparation while their new Scorpene-class submarines are being built. Malaysia signed a contract with DCNS to acquire the Scorpene-class submarines in 2002, acquired the Agosta-class submarine inclusive of training from the French government in 2005, and received the new Scorpene-class submarine in 2009. It was only in 2013 that the Royal Malaysian Navy established their Submarine Simulator Training Center to further train and qualify future submariners.

Singapore bought 2nd hand submarines first to train its men on submarine operations, and made use of these old submarines to gain experience and confidence before acquiring new submarines. Singapore acquired 2 Sjoormen-class (renamed as the RSN's Challenger-class submarines) from Sweden, inclusive of training in 1995, and bought used Vastergotland-class submarines (renamed as the RSN's Archer-class) from Sweden inclusive of training in 2005, before signing up for new submarines from Germany in 2013.

Thailand's approach is different, by training first before acquiring any submarine. They had knowledge transfer, education and training agreement with Germany first in 2012, and established a Submarine Simulator Training Center in 2014. It was only recently that Thailand signed up to acquire a submarine using the S26T Yuan-class from China.


When Thailand started to acquire submarines, the ASEAN region is already in an acquisition spree, with Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam already having capable submarine fleets of their own. The Philippines, if ever, will be the 6th country in the region to start investing in submarines if this program by the DND and Philippine Navy pushes through.
Photo/illustration taken from The Nation (Thailand) website.





The Philippine Navy's approach appears to be similar to Thailand, considering the Philippine Navy has been sending its men for training with other navies including Germany, India, and South Korea. The PN has also stepped up its training programme for submarine operations, with the Department of National Defense already pushing to have training agreements with South Korea's Submarine Force Command, as well as other countries.


Roadmap:

Based on the Submarine Group's plan of actions under the Submarine Capability Roadmap, they divided the program into 3 phases:

Horizon 1 phase - Organize, Research and Training. This phase is mostly non-materiel in nature, and were mostly already completed. This includes the organization of the Submarine Group, knowledge transfer on basic submarine education program, Submarine Concept of Operations (CONOPS), feasibility studies, and circular of requirements (or request for information from submarine manufacturers)/

Horizon 2 will be on Infrastructure, Support Development, and Acquisition. This phase is where advance submarine education programs will be made and conducted, while having material acquisitions including setting-up the Submarine Simulator Training Center, infrastructure development including basing and support facilities, and signing up for the acquisition of submarines.

Horizon 3 phase - Delivery and Acceptance. This phase will include the continuation of submarine education program and making it a permanent part of the Philippine Navy's training curriculum, as well as the delivery of new submarines for the Philippine Navy. This phase also allows actual submarine training using the foreign and PN submarines, while also training on sustainment, preventive maintenance and repair works.


MaxDefense believes that this is the reason why PN FOIC VAdm. Empedrad pushed for the acquisition of submarines within the Horizon 2 phase, to allow the PN to receive their submarines within the Horizon 3 phase and push forward its Submarine Capability Roadmap despite the odds especially in financial capability to fund the program.


This is the Philippine Navy's Submarine Capability Roadmap.
Photo provided by Philippine Navy NRTDC.




MaxDefense's Research re. Dir. Andolong's Statement:

From when the announcement was made up to this writing, MaxDefense was able to ask around as many Philippine Navy officers and DND officials as it can to see if this was true and feasible. And here are the results of weeks of asking around:

It is true that Pres. Duterte and Defense Sec. Lorenzana agreed to assist the Philippine Navy acquire submarines within the Horizon 2 phase due to FOIC VAdm. Robert Empedrad's explanations during previous Senior Leaders Meetings. But it appears to be conditional. The Philippine Navy was asked to make a proposal on how to make this possible, and so far the Philippine Navy is not yet ready to make an agreeable proposal on how to do it.

Among those proposals floated within the Philippine Navy appears to include the following options:

Option #1: The acquisition of 2 conventional diesel-electric submarines will be made as part of the 2nd List of Horizon 2 phase, which is a back-up program that will only be started if the government is successful in funding the Php300 billion Horizon 2 Priority Projects acquisition plan.

Option #2: The budget for the acquisition of two brand new corvettes worth Php28 billion will be reduced, and a follow-on order for 2 more light frigate from Hyundai Heavy Industries will be made. The budget cut from the corvette project will be increased by a boost from the Office of the President, or from other sources outside the Php300 billion Horizon 2 plan.

Option #3: The Corvette Acquisition Project under Horizon 2 will be shelved, freeing the entire Php28 billion originally allocated for it, while getting a boost from other sources of funding to fill the budget gap of more than Php12 billion to acquire 2 submarines.

Option #4: Either to do Options #2 or #3, but instead of sourcing funds from other sources, the PN will either take out its other acquisition plans to raise the needed Php40 billion for 2 submarines, or get the budget from other projects from the Philippine Air Force, General HQ AFP, or Government Arsenal, which means shelving their own approved projects to give way for the submarine acquisition.


Of all the options, the most feasible to MaxDefense and most of our sources from the Philippine Navy is Option #1. But this also appears to be the most difficult to achieve considering the Philippine government is heavily relying on the success of its TRAIN Tax Reform program, and the income of Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA).

Up to now, there is no guarantee that TRAIN would be successfully implemented without backlash in other economic advantages. Even the proposed increase in the Department of National Defense's budget for 2019 isn't clear yet if its going to be used for the AFP Modernization, or for retirement benefits.


But what is clear though is the instruction given to the Philippine Navy to start the acquisition process, which the Philippine Navy appears to be giving importance now based on the actions made by the Philippine Navy's leadership as well as the PN's Submarine Group, with the support from the Department of National Defense.


Will the acquisition of Corvettes for the Philippine Navy be affected by the plan to front load the acquisition of submarines into the Horizon 2 phase without increasing the budget? MaxDefense fears this might be the case, unless the DND and PN place the Submarine acquisition project under the 2nd List of Horizon 2 which will be funded separately once the Philippine government finds ways to do so.
Credits to owner of the photo, for reference only.




Submarine Basing:

One more issue that is hampering the acquisition of submarines is the ability of the Philippine Navy to construct at least one, or at best two purpose-built submarine bases in the country. 

Currently the Philippine Navy is already in a tight situation, wherein it cannot even construct a proper naval base that could house its existing surface ship assets like the Del Pilar-class frigates and the Tarlac-class landing platform docks. These ships are using civilian piers in Subic Freeport, Manila, Davao, and Zamboanga City as temporary basing, and has become a very inefficient way for the PN to provide for the ships.

If the Philippine Navy can't even fix their main base in Sangley Point, Cavite, or is even having delays and difficulties in making Naval Base Cebu a reality, then it is really doubtful for the Philippine Navy to even have enough capability for submarine base construction very soon. At best, the submarines will end up using the same berths and wharfs as the surface ships of the Offshore Combat Force or the Sealift and Amphibious Force.

The Philippine Navy is also inexperienced in submarine basing design and construction, and is currently looking for foreign consulting for this requirement alone. Most, if not all submarine offers made to the Philippine Navy included proposals to provide consultancy for the design and construction of submarine basing. This is actually the best way forward, as it allows the Philippine Navy to deal with a single group from basing to submarine construction.

Construction of submarine bases will take years to complete, as their requirements are more intensive than normal surface ship bases.  MaxDefense believes that due to the strategic value of these submarines plus the limited quantity vis-a-vis a largest foreign threat, the Philippine Navy should consider making their submarine base less visible to the public, or at best, covered to protected from surveillance satellites or aircraft. 


Here is an example of a submarine shelter that allows submarines to be hidden from surveillance satellites or aircraft. It is simply a wharf hidden by erecting a huge steel structure with roofing and walls, enclosing the wharf. MaxDefense believes that the waters in the base are deep enough for the submarine to be partially submerged when entering or exiting the naval base.
Photo taken from Google Earth.


If the Philippine Navy intends to order submarines within the next few years, they should be starting to draft the proposals for the submarine basing within this year to determine the budget required for the construction, identifying the best design and refining it further. These processes alone take years to do.


The Royal Australian Navy's HMAS Stirling in Western Australia is home to the RAN's submarine base. A simple berth like the one above, can be used as a submarine basing facility, although it would be better if they can be covered and deep enough to allow a submarine to arrive or depart without being seen by surveillance satellite or aircraft.



Lets make an example of a development in the Philippine Navy: the construction of Naval Base Cebu out of the current Naval Base Rafael Ramos in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu.

If you look at the base's masterplan, there is nothing allocated for submarine basing. And even if they start to consider it, the base is too space-constraint to have one considering the shoreline's length is already cramped for surface ships. Also, MaxDefense believes that the location of the base is not the best one for a submarine facility in a security perspective. Being along a busy waterway and opposite a shoreline, and in an area where commercial and residential buildings will be constructed overlooking the entire base will make it vulnerable to peering eyes, and makes it easy for the general public to see what's happening in the base, or monitor the deployment of the submarines.


The master plan for Naval Base Cebu does not include a submarine base, nor has enough space for the future construction of a submarine basing facility.
Photo taken from Philippine Navy sources.



Submarine Training:

Considering the Philippine Navy appears to be following Thai model, it is also worth mentioning that the Philippine Navy should start investing in submarine training for its future crew and maintenance teams. 

It should expand its current Submarine Crew Training exchange program, wherein Philippine Navy officers and specialists could train with foreign submarine academies to gain theoretical and basic training for submarine operations and concepts. Currently the Philippine Navy has such exchange program with the Republic of Korea Navy, Indian Navy, and the German Navy.

For example, currently the exchanges with South Korea are limited to 2 officers per year, and this could be increased to include more including enlisted personnel. Similar arrangements can also be made with the US Navy and the Royal Australian Navy, both of which does not require the need for the student to learn the local language due to instructions being done in the English language.

The Philippine Navy must also start to identify a location for its Submarine Training Center like what the Thais did, which will include a facility for a Submarine Simulator. It is highly possible that a Submarine Simulator might be set-up at the Philippine Navy's Naval Education and Training Command (NETC) in San Antonio, Zambales, which is also the expected location for the Philippine Navy's planned Surface Ship Bridge Simulator and other simulation systems planned for future acquisition.

It is also better to package the acquisition and setting up of a submarine simulator center with the submarine supplier, since the simulator should match the submarine to be acquired. MaxDefense got confirmation that most, if not all of the submarine offers made to the Philippine Navy can also provide the submarine simulator system as part of the package if the Philippine Navy asks for it. 


A Submarine bridge simulator like the one above would be among those the Philippine Navy should consider having prior to the delivery of the submarines. There are other simulation systems for submarine operations that can be considered for acquisition to allow the PN to train and qualify crewmembers without too much reliance on the actual submarine.
Photo taken from AFCEA's website.




Acquisition of Training Submarine:

Looking at the Malaysian model, the Royal Malaysian Navy was loaned with a retired Agosta-class submarine previously operated by the French Navy, to serve as a training submarine prior to the delivery of the Scorpene-class submarines they ordered from French shipbuilder DCNS.



The former French Navy Agosta-class submarine FS Ouessant was loaned to the Royal Malaysian Navy from 2005 to 2009 when it was returned to the French government. They then decided to just transfer the ship to Malaysia, which the Malaysian government turned into a museum ship.




Meanwhile, the South Korean model was having midget submarines first before acquiring conventional diesel-electric submarines. The ROKN employed their Dolgorae-class midget submarine for training the initial batch of submariners, while also using them for a number of duties once the ROKN started acquiring the Chang Bogo-class submarines. 

The Philippine Navy may also look at the possibility of having such arrangement with the shipbuilder it will be choosing. For example, German shipbuilder TKMS may employ a Type 206A submarine (if one is still available) as a submarine training ship for the Philippine Navy should they choose TKMS as the prime contractor. But this might be a difficult arrangement considering that many of the countries that offer brand new submarines to the Philippine Navy may not have an available retired but still usable submarine that it can bundle with the deal. 

For example, only Sweden probably can provide such using its Sodermanland-class (upgraded Vastergotland-class) submarine which are scheduled for retirement in 2019-2020, although leasing or purchasing one of these submarines might jack up the cost of the program.

MaxDefense will discuss this in a different blog entry in the near future.


Employing the Sodermanland-class submarine as a training submarine may also allow the PN to use it as a normal attack submarine as it is not too old and may still be good to serve for another 15 years after upgrades. But it may also mean the Swedish government may lease or sell it at a higher price and may affect the PN's budget for the Submarine acquisition project.
Credit to owner of the photo. 




State of the PN's Surface Fleet:


Planning for submarine acquisition doesn't stop on the submarines itself, but also needing to consider the overall state of the Philippine Navy's fleet assets. Currently the Philippine Fleet's surface assets under the Offshore Combat Force, Littoral Combat Force, and Sealift & Amphibious Force are all lacking in sufficient quantity and quality, with ageing assets plaguing the operational availability and capability of units to be able to meet their respective missions and duties. 

It would be best to note that the Offshore Combat Force only has 6 modern naval assets, with 3 still in the process of upgrades (Jacinto-class), while the other 3 ships are being run like hell and have been missing their maintenance schedules just to meet requirements (patrols, attending foreign engagements, joining exercises, etc). The rest are World War 2 era ships that needs replacement 40 years ago.

The Littoral Combat Force is mostly made up  of ageing assets that needs replacement ASAP. Same is true for the Sealift & Amphibious Force.

Despite the Horizon 1 and 2 phases of the Revised AFP Modernization program, the Philippine Navy has not been able to significantly replace its ageing assets, not is it expected to happen within the next 5 years. It is also not helpful if the Philippine Navy divert its funds for acquiring Corvettes and Offshore Patrol Vessels just to fund the submarine acquisition.

MaxDefense believes that priority should be given to improve the surface fleet first and foremost, considering it is the basic fleet asset of a modern navy, while submarines are just welcome additions if the government has the capacity to provide more for the navy.



So, is the Philippine Navy ready for Submarines?

MaxDefense believes that at the moment, the Philippine Navy is not ready for submarines or submarine operations. This is due to lack of qualified personnel, training of crew and maintenance teams, basing facility, or even doctrinal requirements.


All of these deficiencies can be addressed though, with monetary support from the national government since solutions to these problems can be made by the Philippine Navy if only they have the financial capability to do so.

Horizon 2 phase ends in 2022, so the Philippine Navy actually has 4 years to prepare itself to close the gap in the deficiencies they have. So far, MaxDefense does not see a massive improvement in its push towards meeting at least a few of the requirements it needs for submarine operation between 2018 and 2019. Honestly, based on the historical assessment of how the Philippine government and the Philippine Navy move with their funding program and acquisition projects, MaxDefense believes that it is very unlikely that the Philippine government will pour in massive amounts of financial support for the Submarine Acquisition Project to be possible to make into a contract by 2022. The slowness of action by the all parties concern.

Nonetheless, if there is a miracle in the form of a genuine support from the national government within 2018 and 2019 to make this project happen, then it is still possible for the Philippine Navy to meet its goals to sign a contract package to acquire submarines before the end of Pres. Duterte's presidency in June 2022. A miracle.


MaxDefense will discuss more about the Submarine Acquisition Project in future blog entries, once we believe that it is realistic and highly likely that this project will push through. Press releases from the government won't make a dent unless we see signs of real interest in making this project happen within this Horizon 2 phase.




Summary:

1. Submarine Acquisition Project


End User: Philippine Navy (Submarine Group)
Modernization Phase: RA 10349 Revised AFP Modernization Program HORIZON 2 (still to be confirmed due to vagueness by the Philippine government on this)

ABC: Php20,000,000,000.00 per submarine based on PN's previous proposals
First post by MaxDefense: 12 June 2018

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Philippine Coast Guard Modernization Projects