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40mm Revolver Grenade Launcher Acquisition Project of the Philippine Army

As part of the improving the firepower of infantry and special operations units, the Philippine Army embarked on the process of procuring 40mm revolver-type grenade launchers as part of the Horizon 2 phase of the Revised AFP Modernization Program (RAFPMP), under the 40mm Revolver Grenade Launcher Acquisition Project.

The revolver-type grenade launcher (RGL) allows for multiple shots to be fired without the need for reloading everytime a shot is made. The concept is similar to a revolver pistol, wherein a moon clip is used to load several rounds of ammunition, and a the moon clip revolves to prepare the next round after the revolver fires a round.

Currently the Philippine Army does not have a RGL assigned with its regular infantry units, and are only using standard single-shot 40mm grenade launchers either mounted under rifles or as a stand-alone unit, or using automatic grenade launchers that are usually mounted on light armored vehicles like the Simba 4x4 armored vehicle. But it appears that the Philippine Army units within the AFP Special Operations Command (AFPSOCOM) may have access to RGLs in limited numbers.


An example of a 40mm Revolver Grenade Launcher.
Photo taken from Milkor's website.



Summary:


40mm Revolver Grenade Launcher Acquisition Project


* End User: Philippine Army

Quantity: 178 units

* Modernization Phase:
 Horizon 2 Phase of RAFPMP


* Project ABC:
 Php106,800,000.00


Acquisition Mode: Public Bidding

* SARO Release: TBA

* Winning Proponent: still undergoing procurement phase

Product for Delivery: still undergoing procurement phase


* Contract Price: TBA 

* First post by MaxDefense: 16 April 2019





Overview:

The Philippine Army (PA) has long been planning to acquire RGLs, but has always missed the chance due to lack of sufficient funding for acquisition of new assets or capabilities. The approval of the Revised AFP Modernization Program (RAFPMP) in 2012 changed that, with the PA including the acquisition of this type of small arms into their acquisition programming plans.
It was proposed in 2015 by the Philippine Army when they started drafting the requirements for the Horizon 2 phase, and 178 units were proposed for acquisition.

Changes in the plans to procure weapon systems in 2016 including a proposal to combine acquisition by all major AFP service branches. During this time, a proposal to acquire as many as 479 units of RGLs was made for a combined buy for the PA and the Philippine Navy on behalf of the Philippine Marine Corps (PMC). 


The PMC bought limited number of RGLs on its own, without waiting for a bulk order with the Philippine Army.



A member of the Philippine Marine Corps shows a 40mm Revolver Grenade Launcher, which appears to be a Milkor MGL vairant. Photo taken from Naval Forces Western Mindanao's Facebook page. 


With Horizon 2 still not for implementation, the crisis in Marawi City happened in mid-2017. By then, plans to acquire revolver-type grenade launchers were still scheduled for implementation stating 2018 once the Horizon 2 phase starts. But the crisis pushed the Philippine Army to request for an emergency procurement of different small and crew-served weapons including several RGLs.

With the crisis ending without the national government approving their proposed emergency procurement plan, the Philippine Army instead requested for the priority acquisition of an initial 80 units of 40mm Revolver Grenade Launchers for FY 2018 as part of the Horizon 2 phase. The plan was to equip the PA's first Brigade Combat Team with the RGLs, in anticipation that another Marawi crisis-like event will happen soon. More units are planned for acquisition at a later date.



During the Battle of Marawi, the Philippine Army did not have 40mm RGLs, although the Marine Special Operations Group (MARSOG) used their 40mm RGLs. Photo taken from Marine Special Operations Group's Facebook page.


Due to the slow implementation of the the FY 2018 procurement plans, coupled with the lack of sufficient funding to make it happen, the plan to have an initial acquisition of RGLs was shelved in favour of standard acquisition once funding becomes available. The finalized Horizon 2 procurement plan, which was approved by Pres. Rodrigo Duterte for implementation in 2018, includes the acquisitio of 178 units of 40mm RGLs with a proposed budget of Php106,800,000.00.

No specific year was mentioned on when the project will be implemented within the Horizon 2 phase. But on May 2019, the Philippine Army released an Invitation to Bid (ITB) for the procurement of 178 units of RGLs with the same proposed budget as before, at Php106,800,000.00.

Since it was previously proposed for use by the Brigade Combat Teams, it is possible that the currently-active 1st Brigade Combat Team (1BCT) and the soon to be activated 2nd Brigade Combat Team (2BCT) will be the primary units that will receive these RGLs.



Schedule of Requirements:

Snipped from Bid Documents.




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U P D A T E S:
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16 May 2019:

The Philippine Army posted an Invitation to Bid (ITB) for the procurement of 178 units of 40mm Revolver Grenade Launchers (RGL) with an Approved Budget for Contract (ABC) worth Php106,800,000.00 (approx. US$2.034 million as of 16 May 2019).

This confirms that the procurement mode for this project will be through a Public Bidding.

The Pre-Bid Conference will be held on 16 May 2019, while the actual bid submission and opening will be held on 29 May 2019.

The Invitation to Bid (ITB) for the PA's 40mm Revolver Grenade Launcher acquisition project.
Photo taken from Philgeps.

As of this writing, there were 15 entities that request for bid documents, although it does not mean there will be 15 bidders. Among those who showed interest were Milkor of South Africa, Armscor Global Defense of the Philippines, and several representative of foregn-based arms manufacturers including those for Germany Heckler & Koch (HK), Israel Weapons Industries (IWI), S&T Motiv of South Korea, among others.


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18 May 2019:

One of our community members involved in the project gave us some tidbits on the potential suppliers of these 40mm RGLs.

It was confirmed that South Africa's Milkor Group is indeed interested in participating in the tender, being the most famous supplier of revolver grenade launchers in the world, with their 
Multiple Grenade Launcher (MGL) series.

Also present is Milkor USA, which is a different entity from the South African Milkor Group but is licensed to produce the South African Milkor MGL-40 with modifications to suite the US Armed Forces requirements. Apparently they were the ones that supplied the MGLs already in service with the Philippine Marine Corps (PMC) and AFP Special Operations Command (AFPSOCOM) units.

Another company noted was Rippel Effect, also from South Africa, which has their XRGL40 and MGL6 multiple grenade launchers on offer. These are also copies of the Milkor MGL-40, also with some modifications.


Rippel Effect's products include revolver grenade launchers. Photo taken from Rippel Effect's website.



Bulgaria's Arsenal JSCo. has also shown interest in the project, even bringing in their MSGL model to the Philippines in the last ADAS 2018 defense expo in Manila last September. For those who can't remember, its the same company that sold the first batch of RPG-7s (called ATGL) to the Philippine Army that were used in the Battle of Marawi in 2017. Arsenal JSCo. would most likely be represented locally by Intrade Asia Pacific Corp.


Arsenal JSCo's MSGL revolver grenade launcher. Photo taken from Arsenal JSCo's website.


Croatia's M Adler D d.o.o (stylized as "Madlerd") was also said to be interested with their RBG-6.

 Aside from these companies, it was also noted that a Serbian, Turkish, and another from Czech Republic has also shown interest in the project.


With many potential suppliers for such a small project, this would be an interesting acquisition project which MaxDefense will be keeping an eye in.

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20 May 2019:

A Supplemental Bid Bulletin No. 1 was released by the Philippine Army BAC, which now moved the Bid Submission and Opening date from 23 May 2019 to 05 June 2019.

Also affected by the changes are several ammunition procurement projects of the Philippine Army, including 31,200 units of 81mm High Explosive Mortar rounds, thousands of various 40mm RPG rounds, and 33,300 units of 60mm High Explosive Mortar rounds.


No other indication of changes in the requirement of the project.


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