Your 1st for Philippine Defense

Austal leads Philippine Navy's OPV Acquisition Project!

SecDef Lorenzana confirms Austal is still the preferred OPV supplier for the PN

The Philippine Navy commissions its 2nd Jose Rizal-class frigate!

The Philippine Navy welcomes BRP Antonio Luna (FF-151), its newest frigate!

The Philippine Navy selects Shaldag Mk. V for Fast Attack Interdiction Craft!

The DND has awarded the FAIC-M Acquisition Project to Israel Shipyards

The Philippine Air Force wants more Black Hawk helicopters!

The Philippine Air Force asks for more Black Hawks to allow the retirement of their Bell UH-1 Huey fleet

The Philippine Army orders the Sabrah Light Tank System from Israel!

Israel's Elbit Systems was declared the winner to supply light tanks to the PA

The Philippine Air Force receives full order of Hermes 900 and Hermes 450 UAVs!

All 9 Hermes 900 and 4 Hermes 450 MALE UAVs have been received by the PAF!

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Philippine Marines Tendering for 16 New Fibreglass Speedboats

The Philippine Navy (PN), through the Philippine International Trading Corporation (PITC), released an Invitation to Bid (ITB) for 16 units of brand new Glass-Reinforced Plastic (Fibreglass) Speedboats for the Philippine Marine Corps (PMC), with an ABC of Php340,632,603.36. A Pre-Bid Conference is scheduled on 25 October 2018, while the the Submission and Opening of Bids is scheduled on 23 November 2018.

The awarded proponent should deliver the first batch of 8 units within 90 days from Notice to Procure (NTP), and the next batch of 8 units within 90 days from due date of the first batch. This means this procurement is a quick one.

The PMC requirement also appears to be larger than the US Marine Corps' Special Operations Craft-Riverine (SOC-R), which is 10 meters long, has more weapon mounts, but can carry the same number of crew and troops, but is slower. Photo taken from Wikipedia.

The French-made Seawolf ERF-1 Styx actually has similar attributes to the Philippine Marine Corps requirement, although the PMC requires a longer, probably larger and faster boat than this. Photo taken from H I Sutton "Covert Shores" website.

Based on the technical specifications, the speedboats should have the following features:

* Length: 11 to 12 meters

* Breadth: at least 3 meters
* Draft: between 0.70 to 1.10 meters
* Cruising Speed: at least 35 knots
* Maximum Speed: at least 45 knots
* Acceleration from 0 to cruising speed: not more than 30 seconds
* Capacity: 4 crew members, and space for 2 Marine Fire Teams of 4 troops each;
* Payload: not less than 6,800 lbs
* Survivability: Full function at Sea State 2, Survive at Sea State 3;
* Weapon Mounts: 1 forward, 2 aft, with universal adaptor to allow mounting of either .50 caliber heavy machine gun, M60 7.62mm general purpose machine gun, of 40mm automatic grenade launcher;
* Radar: 36 nautical miles range
* Communications: Marine VHF, should be compatible with existing MILCOMM Harris Falcon III Vehicle/Base VHF Radio System (RF-7800V-V51X)
* Boat Trailer: included, 16,000 lbs GVWR minimum rating.

The Philippine Marines is expected to provide the weapons itself, as the proponents are only required to supply the platform itself without any weapons.

The sample diagram provided by the Philippine Navy in the Bid Documents. 

Based on the specs, the PMC's requirement is actually similar to the boats used by the US Marine Corps including the Special Operations Craft - Riverine (SOC-R) and the Small Unit Riverine Craft (SURC), although the design of the PMC's requirement appears to be similar on how the SURC is utilised by the US Marines. Currently the PMC itself has 6 units of the SURC provided by the US government in 2013, and were made by SAFE Boats USA.

MARSOG normally use the boats for riverine and coastal patrol, assault, interdiction, and insertion/extraction. The boats also provide fire support when needed utilizing the heavy machine gun and Grenade launchers for assault troops.

The PMC currently has 6 SURC boats provided by the US government a few years ago. The new boats are expected to be utilized in the same manner as the SURC by the PMC's MARSOG. Photo taken from US Naval Insitute (USNI) website.

And based on the ABC, it also appears that each boat will be worth less than Php21.289 million, which is cheaper than the American-made boats. Instead of relying on US grants, it would be more practical for the PMC to acquire their own locally-made, locally-designed boats. This is not just to allow the PMC access to other equipment that can be provided by US grants or assistance, but also allow the PN or PMC to own a design of their own that they can acquire and build anytime, while also helping the local boat-building industry.

The need for more boats for the Philippine Marines Assault Boat Battalion, which MaxDefense expects to be the actual end user, has to do with the increased operational requirements especially in the southern corridors of the country. In fact, the first batch of 8 boats were specified to be delivered in the PMC's base in Zamboanga City, where the newly opened Rio Hondo Fleet-Marine Station was actually designed to house MARSOG boats.

The screengrab from the Invitation to Bid for the project from PITC. Photo screengrab taken from Bid Documents of the project.

As always, MaxDefense expects the usual proponents to be interested, including Propmech Corporation, and Pacficfortia Marine Technologies, among others, to provide their bids for the project. It should be remembered that Propmech just recently won a contract to build 10 Fast Boats which are also made of fibreglass and is almost at the same price range as this new requirement.
MaxDefense will provide updates on this new project, and despite being a minor project that is probably not even considered part of the Horizon 2 phase of the RAFPMP, it would be considered an important project to monitor from awarding to delivery.


1. Glass Reinforced Plastic Watercraft acquisition project

End User: Philippine Marine Corps (Assault Boat Battalion)
Modernization Phase: Special Project
ABC: Php340,632,603.36
SARO Release: to be updated
Winning Proponent: None yet, still in procurement phase
Contract Price: N/A

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

More Details on the Philippine Navy's Horizon 2 Offshore Patrol Vessel Project After ADAS 2018

Shipbuilders from Asia, Australia and Europe gathered in Manila from 26th to 28th September 2018 for the 3rd Asian Defense, Security, and Crisis Management Exhibition 2018 (ADAS 2018), the Philippines' foremost defense exhibition held biennially. And among the exhibits and offerings they showcased are mostly related to the Philippine Navy's requirements under the Horizon 2 phase of the Revised AFP Modernization Program (RAFPMP).

Among those projects that are up for grabs and is very lucrative was the Philippine Navy's requirement for 6 Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV), to replace its existing fleet of Malvar-class World War 2-era ships used by the PN for the same purpose. These ships were needed to be replaced 40 years ago and yet they are still hardworking with the Offshore Combat Force of the PN. With the current administration of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte approving the Horizon 2 Priority Projects worth Php300 billion, the Philippine Navy was provided with a budget of Php30 billion, or 10% of the total Horizon 2 budget for the acquisition of these 6 OPVs.

The presence of shipbuilders was well-noted due to their products being big ticket items. Among those present were the following::

* Austal Philippines, a local subsidiary of Austal of Australia;
* Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) of South Korea;
* Damen of the Netherlands;
* Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) of South Korea;
* Larsen & Toubro (L&T) of India;
* Lurssen Defence of Germany;
* Kockums of Sweden, under SAAB group;
* PT PAL of Indonesia;
* Rosoboronexport of Russia, representing several Russian shipbuilders;
* Vympel Shipyards of Russia

The Philippine Navy OPV has put the country on the spotlight of global shipbuilders who wish to participate in the program, including Australia's Austal, which has its own shipyard in the Philippines.
Photo taken from Austal's website.

While not all of the companies mentioned above provided display or information regarding their products that may fit the OPV project, at least several all of them did. MaxDefense will be discussing some of those show @ ADAS 2018, as well as from information we gathered from sources.

This blog can be considered an update to our earlier blog discussing the then-proposed acquisition of Multi-Purpose Patrol Vessels (MPPV) based on earlier documents from the DND and PN. But our readers are advised to read the old blog first, to have some basic idea and comparison on what happened and planned before versus what is asked for now.

"The Multi-Purpose Patrol Vessel, the Philippine Navy's Newest Horizon 2 Project" - first posted on 16 November 2016 (almost 2 years ago).

Potential OPV Offers and their Characteristics:

1. Austal Philippines:

Austal Australia through its Philippine subsidiary showcased their Philippine Navy OPV design, which is said to be based on their Cape-class large patrol boat. Their product is actually, in MaxDefense's opinion, the best barometer of what the Philippine Navy is looking for.

Based on the specs provided by Austal in their product material, it has an overall length of 81.7 meters, beam of 13.3 meters, and a hull draft of 4 meters. No other information was provided although the CGI is helpful. The design uses a stealthy profile, a single mast, and simple but clean superstructure.

Austal's Philippine Navy OPV design.
Taken from Austal's website.

The CGI photo shows the ship armed with an Oto Melara 76mm Super Rapid naval gun as its main weapon, and what appears to be two (2) remote controlled machine gun systems in either 25mm or 30mm caliber, one each on the port and starboard sides. It also appears to have a manually operated 12.7mm machine gun on each side of the bridge wing. 

The ship also appears to be equipped with an S-band navigation radar, a 2D air/surface search radar, a Radar Direction Finder, a Radar Electronic Support Measures (R-ESM) system, an Electro-Optical / Infrared (EO/IR) system, a large helicopter deck but no hangar, space good enough for 2 Containerized Mission Modules at the stern, a quick-entry RHIB stern ramp, and a davit/crane-deployed RHIB at the midship.

These features are a good basis of what the Philippine Navy could be looking for as a minimum requirement, which means that shipbuilders who can propose a design that has these features may be considered qualified for the project.

The Austal OPV proposal's aft is shown.
Photo taken from Austal's broduct brochure, credits to the one who took the photo.

2. Propmech Corporation

Another interesting design that is obviously for the Philippine Navy was released by local marine company Propmech Corporation, which dubbed the design they released as the "OPV 1500". The design is very much influenced by those made by their foreign partner, Dutch shipbuilder Damen, as Propmech's OPV 1500 appears to be very much similar in profile, shape, and design qualities as Damen's larger OPV 1800 and smaller OPV 1400, as well as the Holand-class OPV.

No dimensions were provided by Propmech, but if we follow Damen's way of naming ships, OPV 1500 means that the ship is expected to weigh a little over 1,500 tons. Also, since the ship is between the size of Damen's OPV 1400 and OPV 1800, MaxDefense can assume that the OPV 1500 could be longer than 72 meters, but shorter than 83 meters; a beam of somewhere between 12.7 meters to 13.7 meters; a draft of around 3.75 meters; have a maximum speed of between 21 to 22 knots; range of between 4,000 to 5,000 nautical miles, and endurance between 25 to 30 days.

Propmech's OPV 1500. The design cues show strong Damen-inspired lines and concept.
Photo taken by a MaxDefense community member who wish to remain anonymous.

The CGI photo also shows that the ship is armed with an Oto Melara 76mm Super Rapid naval gun as its main weapon and two (2) remote controlled machine gun systems of either 25mm or 30mm caliber, a helicopter deck, an S-band and X-band navigation radars, a 2D air/surface search radar, and a having a streamlined design.

The good thing was that Propmech made a description script on the ship, wherein it mentioned the presence of a hangar and deck capable of accommodating helicopters the size of NH90 or Sea King (which are considered 11-12 ton helicopters), has davits for two (2) 9.0m RHIB, below deck spaces for multi-purpose requirements, and aft deck space for two (2) Containerized Mission Modules.

It also mentioned accommodation for 46 crew members, and nautical equipment including Satcom C and F77, UHF and HF receivers, Integrated Bridge System, X & S Band radars, ECDIS, Gyro, DGPS, Speedlog, Autopilot, Echo Sounder, Navtex, etc. All of which could be a requirement of the Philippine Navy for their OPV.

Combining the details from Austal and Propmech's proposals alone already gives us a picture of what the Philippine Navy is looking for.

3. Daewoo Shipbuiding & Marine Engineering (DSME):

The South Korean shipbuilder did not make any displayed confirmation if they are offering something to the Philippine Navy for its OPV requirements, but based on the descriptions and displays made by Austal and Propmech, there is actually something in the ADAS 2018 display that possibly meets the PN's requirement.

DSME displayed their DW1800C Corvette design, which despite being classiied as a corvette, could actually be a possible OPV contender.

DSME's DW1800C Corvette design, which they have been displaying in international defense exhibitions since 2 years ago. While it is categorzied as a corvette, the ship actually looks more like an OPV.
Photo taken by a MaxDefense community member who wish to remain anonymous.
DSME's DW1800C Corvette design as shown on its side.
Photo taken by a MaxDefense community member who wish to remain anonymous.

Based on the ADAS 2018 display, the ship is 85 meters long, has a beam of 13 meters wide, and a total depth of 7.0 meters. It weighs in at 1,800 ton, and has a speed of 26 knots. The dimensions and displacement is not very far from those of Austal and Propmech's design, although the speed is faster than our hypothetical maximum speed of Propmech's OPV 1500.

Based on the scale model they displayed in ADAS 2018 (which by the way, is the same scale model they are displaying on every major defense show DSME attends for the past year), the ship is armed with a Hyundai Wia 76mm naval gun, two (2) remote controlled machine gun system of either 25mm or 30mm caliber, an X-band and S-band navigation radars, a 3D air/surface search radar, a Fire Control Radar, a Radar Electronics Support Measures (R-ESM) system, an EO/IR system, 2 cranes for 2 RHIBs deployments, and a helideck for a medium-sized helicopter but no hangar.

4. Damen:

The Dutch shipbuilder has been successful recently in Indonesia with their SIGMA family of light warships,with Indonesia ordering 2 frigates (Martadinata-class based on SIGMA 10514 design) and 4 corvettes (Diponegoro-class based on SIGMA 9113 design), but has yet to get a client in the ASEAN region for their Offshore Patrol Vessels.

No confirmation was made if they are planning to make a separate pitch with that made by Propmech Corporation, but they did gave emphasis on their OPV 1800, which is a larger model to the OPV 1500 displayed by Propmech. 

Based on standard fit-out as per their product data sheet, the OPV 1800 weights 1,850 tons, is 83 meters long, with a beam of 13.7 meter and a draft of 3.75 meters, has a maximum speed of 22 knots, range of 5,000 nautical miles, and endurance of around 30 days. 

Due to the ship open to the end user's configuration, MaxDefense expects it to have similar or equivalent fit out as the ones provided by other shipbuilders.

Damen's OPV 1800 as seen in their display @ ADAS 2018.
Photo shared to MaxDefense by a community member who wish to remain anonymous.

5. Lurssen Defense:

German shipbuilder Lurssen Defense was also @ ADAS 2018 to showcase German products, as other German companies like TKMS and Fassmer were absent during the event.

On display was the PV 80, specifically the Darussalam-class OPVs of the Royal Brunei Navy which ues the PV 80 design. The ship displaces at around 1,500 tons, with a length of 80 meters, a beam of 13 meters, and a draft of 3 meters. Crew is around 80, plus 18 embarked depending on mission profile.

The Darussalam-class OPV of the Royal Brunei Navy was made as an example of Lurssen's PV 80 design, as seen in Lurssen's stall during ADAS 2018.
Photo shared to MaxDefense by a community member who wish to remain anonymous.

Based on the Darussalam-class to show its capabilities in real terms, the ship is equipped with a 57mm Bofors Mk 3 naval gun, 2 units of 20mm remote operated machine gun systems, two twin launchers for the MBDA MM40 Exocet anti-ship missiles, two Terma C-Guard SKWS-6T decoy launchers, and two Cal.50 manually operated machine guns.

The ship has a Terma Scanter 4100 2D air/surface search radar, a Mk. XII Identification Friend or FOe (IFF), a Thales STING EO Mk. II fire control system, Harris ES3601 tactical communications system, a helicopter deck for 11 ton helicopters, capability to carry a 10-meter RHIB through a stern ramp, and a 6-meter RHIB through davits. It can also carry two 20-meter Contrainerized Mission Modules.

6. PT PAL:

Indonesia's state-owner shipbuilder was present in this year's ADAS exhibition, and has been pushing hard for a follow-on order of their Strategic Sealift Vessel, which is being offered to the Philippine Navy, as well as an enlarged version being offered to the Royal Malaysian Navy and Royal Thai Navy. But what was not visible on the display was an offer by PT PAL for an 85-meter Offshore Patrol Vessel. While there's not much fanfare in their OPV offering, its mere presence means PT PAL is also capable of providing a proposal for the PN's requirement.

PT PAL's OPV  85-meter design has an overall length of 85 meters, a beam of 12.9 meters, a draft of 3.80 meters, a displacement of 1,880 tons, and a crew of 65 people. It has a cruising speed of around 14 knots and a maximum speed of 26 knots, and a range o 3,000 nautical miles.

It can carry 2 RHIB and has 1 crane of its deployment, and the ship is made of steel for both the hull and superstructure.

The photo from their product brochure also shows a helicopter deck a small hangar, the use of an Integrated Mast for the sensors, and armed with a 57mm Bofors Mk. 3 naval gun and two 20mm remote controlled machine gun systems, 1 each at port and starboard sides.

Normally, the use of an Integrated Mast is just an option, and a standard mast with separate sensors and antennas can be used to replace it. Like all other ships, the 57mm Bofors Mk. 3 naval gun can be replaced with an Oto Melara 76mm naval gun if specified.

PT PAL's 85-meter OPV design, as shown on their product brochure.

7. Rosoboronexport:

No specific details were provided nor any display in their stall during ADAS 2018, although MaxDefense received confirmation that Rosoboronexport did offer the Project 22160 for both the PN's OPV and Corvette projects.

Additional Information on Shipbuilders Based on MaxDefense's Sources:

Aside from the information we got from ADAS 2018 which includes verbal confirmation from shipbuilder's representatives, and by observation and analysis from scale models and product brochures, MaxDefense was able to gather more information about the offers made by the above mentioned shipbuilders.

1. For Austal, this would be a milestone for them since they usually construct ships made of aluminium, and in this case, their offering for the PN OPV will have a steel hull. But it would still be using aluminium for the ship's superstructure. The aluminium superstructure was actually mentioned by several MaxDefense sources and community members to be a concern especially during combat due to their inherent ease of prone to flammable and fire damage.

Austal is also currently said to be the most favoured by the Department of National Defense (DND), as MaxDefense was informed that the DND did have several personal and video meetings with Austal management and leaders.The shipyard in Balamban, Cebu is actually their strongest advantage, being the only one seriously offering for the project with its own shipyard locally, unlike others which are partnering with local shipyards only.

Defense Sec. Delfin Lorenzana and PN official's recent visit to Austal's yard in Cebu is another strong indication that favours Austal over the other shipbuilders.

2. On Propmech Corporation, they currently have strong relations with the Philippine Navy, being able to supply 9 Multi-Purpose Attack Crafts (MPAC), several fast boats, and the landing craft utility BRP Tagbanua.(AT-296). This could be useful for them, considering their partnership with Dutch shipbuilder Damen allowed both companies to create a strong proposal for the PN. Being a local partner of SAAB Group as well may show up in their offer, as MaxDefense expects Propmech and Damen to use SAAB's naval systems including the 9LV Combat Management System, or even the Sea Giraffe AMB which will be available soon on the PN's Del Pilar-class frigates.
The only problem with Propmech is not having its own shipyard which is large enough to construct Offshore Patrol Vessels or similar ships on their own, and instead may have to rely on a subcontractor or another partner with its own shipyard. This could be a reason why it is expected that Damen may also have its own submission for the OPV project, as it may also be looking for another partner with its own shipyard that won't involve Propmech's participation and using Damen's own design which MaxDefense believes to be the OPV 1800. MaxDefense also received information that an OPV 1600 design may also be available with Damen but is not being made public yet, and may conform more on the PN's requirements and remain competitive in terms of pricing.

3. For Daewoo Shipbuilder & Marine Engineering (DSME), apparently they are not as aggressive as it looks, but they are quietly working their way too in a more discrete manner, probably to avoid the same backlash as fellow Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) encountered with the Frigate Acquisition Project. MaxDefense was also told that DSME was giving more concentration on the PN's plan to acquire Submarines, which DSME believes is more possible to win than the OPV or any other naval shipbuilding projects of the PN.

MaxDefense believes that DSME may also dangle some "freebies" into the deal, like offering to provide a used ex-ROKN warship like the Pohang-class corvettes with the assistance of the Korean government, to improve their offer without the need to spend on costs.

4. As for Lurssen Defense, there are several PN officers that made their choice known to MaxDefense, and based on our own internal observation of our community members from the PN, they are more favourable to Lurssen's products, apparently due to their high quality and proven capability. The recent visit of a Darussalam-class OPV from the Royal Brunei Navy made it more possible for PN officers to view the quality and workmanship of the ship, as well as its feel and design from up-close.

The only downside with Lurssen is pricing, which is expected to be on the high side, as well as reported imposition of stricter arms export control by the German (and Spanish) governments for weapons or defense exports to the Philippines, following the case of Belgium. This was only reported to MaxDefense recently and has already affected certain projects where the AFP favoured a German supplier. This issue is still something that needs further confirmation, although if this is true then it would really be a big problem that Lurssen and other German shipyards like Fassmer and TKMS would need to hurdle.

5. PT PAL's concerns are somehow different from the other shipbuilders. It is in a position that it may difficulty to offer a major combat ship like the OPV due to security reasons. While Indonesia is not an enemy or a potential threat to the Philippines, it currently shares borders with it which could be a reason for any future conflict. And it is for security reasons that the Indonesians should not have a complete knowledge of the OPVs design. Apparently, PT PAL is still searching for a local shipyard partner in case they are given the chance to participate. 

Their 85-meter OPV design is actually benefiting from their previous partnership with Damen, as well as introducing design cues that are present on Damen's OPV and SIGMA designs, as well as with Indonesia's acquisition of the BAE F2000-based Bung Tomo-class corvettes

Other Possible Interested Proponents:

Aside from those that attended the ADAS 2018, MaxDefense also received confirmation that other shipbuilders have shown interest, or at least touched base with the Philippine Navy or DND for information and for informal offers.

Among those MaxDefense were able to name are France's Naval Group (specifically Kerships), Thailand's Bangkok Dock Company in cooperation with BAE Systems, Israel Shipyards, Goa Shipyard Limited and Garden Reach Shipbuilders Engineers (GRSE) of India, Fassmer of Germany, and a certain shipbuilder from Ukraine. 

It is still unclear though if they are serious with their intentions to try to offer for the Philippine Navy, considering the project might undergo Public Bidding due to the number of interested proponents.

Bangkok Dock Company was said to have expressed interest in joining the OPV acquisition project of the Philippine Navy using an improved version of the RTN's Krabi-class, which in turn is an improved version of BAE System's River-class OPV. The company is also said to have offered the same design to the Sri Lankan Navy recently.
Photo taken from PDFF Forum c/o MaxDefense community member Dewey.

Additional Details on OPV, Prior and Post ADAS 2018:

Aside from the information from ADAS 2018, MaxDefense was able to gather additional information on the OPV project.

Based on information MaxDefense gathered from sources here are the following details we can add on our hypothetical Technical Specifications for the PN's OPV requirement:

On Weapon and Sensor Systems:

1. The PN appears to be inclined on using the Oto Melara 76mm Super Rapid naval gun as the ship's default primary gun. This will be done not be mentioning the brand and model specifically, but by specifying a requirement of 120 rounds per minute and any other features which only the gun has and its closest competitor doesn't have, which is only possible with the said gun.

2. No specifics were provided regarding the quantity Remote Controlled Machine Gun Systems, but it would be either 25mm or 30mm in caliber, similar to what the PN already has or will have.

3. The ships are said to be fitted for but not with (FFBNW) at least two twin anti-ship missile launchers and at least a SHORAD system similar to the MBDA Simbad RC.

The PN OPV design should be able to accommodate FFBNW anti-ship missile launchers, not just space but also wiring and bolting, as well as sufficient power supply and sensor support. This is despite the missile launchers not part of the contract and will be PN's responsibility in the future. The Darussalam-class above has two twin MM40 Exocet launchers between the bridge structure and the funnel.
Credits to owner of the photo.

4. The ship shall be FFBNW Tactical Data Link 16. And with this, we could also assume that a Combat Management System (CMS) should also be included.

5. The Containerized Mission Modules may include a Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) system which could share the helicopter deck with the helicopter especially when its not on the deck. It may also include an Unmanned Sea Vehicle (USV), or a Mine Warfare System.

The Philippine Navy has expressed interest in acquiring the Boeing Insitu ScanEagle UAV for ship-launched requirements. It was reported to MaxDefense that several PN officers are already familiar with the ScanEagle through the Philippine Air Force units.
Credits to owner of photo.

6. As MaxDefense already mentioned before, the OPVs would be equipped with Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD) as part of its defensive and communications capabilities.

The Philippine Navy requires the OPVs to be equipped with a Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD). The photo above is an example used by the Philippine Coast Guard in their Parola-class patrol vessels.
Photo taken from MaxDefense FB page c/o a source which prefer to remain anonymous.

On Hull and Other Items:

1. The ships would definitely use diesel engines, probably in Combined Diesel and Diesel (CODAD) configuration. Although it is unlikely that a gas turbine powered OPV design will be offered (except for the Project 22160 from Russia), this would be emphasized on the technical specifications.
2. Helicopter deck is required, but a hangar is not required but can be offered by shipbuilders if they can. The helideck capacity was not mentioned,although it is expected to be specified to carry at least the heaviest helicopters in the AFP (which currently is the lone S-70A Black Hawk of the PAF's 505th SAR Squadron).

3. The ships should have capability to have accommodate and launch at least 2 RHIBs.for boarding. Davits would be a standard although a quick launch/recovery system is expected to be there, at least for 1 RHIB.

4. At least 4 of the OPVs should be built in the Philippines. Shipbuilders may be given the chance to build at least 2 of the OPVs in their own shipyards to benefit the country of origin, but at least 4 of the OPVs should benefit the Philippine shipbuilding industry directly or indirectly.

MaxDefense was told by sources that the specifications for the Offshore Patrol Vessel is still being finalized, as it keeps on getting new inputs and revisions to improve the design further, benefiting from replies made on the Request for Inforamtion (RFI) and Request for Quotations (RFQ) released by the PN's Technical Working Group (TWG), as well as on new information provided after meetings and discussions with the shipbuilders.

We will be updating this blog entry as more information becomes available to MaxDefense that are good for public consumption. Right now, MaxDefense may not be able to provide more aside from that were allowed to be made public, as well as the observation and analysis we made based on information gathered.


1. Offshore Patrol Vessel acquisition project

End User: Philippine Navy (Offshore Combat Force, Philippine Fleet)
Modernization Phase: Horizon 2 Phase of RAFPMP
ABC: Php30,000,000,000.00
SARO Release: N/A
Winning Proponent: None yet, still in pre-procurement phase
Contract Price: N/A
First post by MaxDefense: 08 November 2016

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Shopping Spree Plans of the Philippine National Police for October 2018

It’s a busy month for the Philippine National Police this October 2018, as they are preparing for several tenders for weapons, vehicles, force protection equipment and support equipment to be used by the different units of the police force, including the vaunted PNP Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) which is the combat unit of the police.

It is understood that the PNP is undergoing a major modernization phase wherein materiel procurement and improvement are given priority to allow the police force to meet its needs in terms of law enforcement, as well as internal security and counter-terrorism capabilities. This is especially important as the PNP is slowly being transition again to be the foremost armed agency in charge of internal security against terrorist and rebel groups, as the Armed Forces of the Philippines is making its own changes to shift to territorial defense.

The PNP ordered 4 units of Airbus H125 helicopters in 2 separate contracts of 2 units each, in earlier biddings for the Single Turbine Engine Helicopter acquisition. Another 3 is being tendered this October 2018.
Photo from Airbus Helicopters.

The national government's focus of also improving the capability on drug enforcement and anti-narcotics, law enforcement within the internal waters, and improving existing capabilities are also reasons for this drive to improve.

It appears that the national government was able to release a sizeable amount of funding to allow the PNP to immediately conduct the acquisition process, mostly through bidding as required by Philippine procurement laws, and almost all of them happening this month.

MaxDefense lists down the most relevant acquisitions to be made this October, based on information from the PNP's own website, the Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System (PhilGEPS), and from MaxDefense sources who were willing to provide us information about the acquisitions.

Acquisition Plans for October 2018:

MaxDefense will divide this into 3 categories:

A. Vehicles;
B. Weapon Systems;
C. Force Protection Equipment;
D. Support Equipment

Each category is also divided into 2 acquiring groups: the Nation Headquarters, and the Special Action Force, as they both have separate acquisition teams, although the National Headquarters can also acquire on behalf of the Special Action Force. This is for ease of classifying the use of each project.

A. Vehicles:

For the National Headquarters:

1. Public Bidding No. PNP-18-37G: 3 units Single-Engine Turbine Helicopters, with an ABC of Php780,000,000.00, bid opening on 16 October 2018;

2. Public Bidding No. PNP-18-34G: 22 units of 22-meter High Speed Tactical Watercraft, with an ABC of Php297,000,000.00, bid opening on 16 October 2018;

3. Public Bidding No. PNP-18-33G: 34 units of brand new Utility Trucks, with an ABC of Php132,600,000.00, bid opening on 16 October 2018;

4. Public Bidding No. PNP-18-35G: 95 units of 4x4 Pick-up Trucks, with an ABC of Php161,500,000.00, bid opening on 16 October 2018;

5. Public Bidding No. PNP-18-36G: 581 units of 125cc Motorcycles, with an ABC of Php54,614,000.00, bid opening on 16 October 2018;

6. Public Bidding No. PNP-18-38G: 19 units of brand new Unmarked Utility Vans; with an ABC of Php29,830,000.00, bid opening on 16 October 2018;

The Single-Engine Turbine Helicopter acquisition is an multi-bidding acquisition that is ongoing for more than a year now, which also saw the awarding of 2 contracts to Airbus Helicopters, which will supply 4 units of their H125 Ecureuil helicopter to the PNP’s Air Unit (now a part of the PNP Special Action Force). MaxDefense believes that Airbus Helicopters currently hold the advantage for this project due to commonality and compatibility concerns, unless other bidders will meet the specs while dropping their price lower than Airbus Helicopters.

The PNP is in need of several helicopters to be assigned to different cities in the Philippines. This is where the Single-Engine Turbine helicopter would be handy, as the PNP plans to acquire more for distribution.
Photo taken from Airbus' brochure taken from ADAS 2018.

The High Speed Tactical Watercraft is an interesting project for the PNP’s Maritime Group, as they build up their small boat fleet. The requirement is for a boat which is at least 40 feet long, made of fiberglass and stepped hull design, can seat 12 people, and has a maximum speed of at least 40 knots. It should also have mounts for a forward 50-caliber machine gun and two 7.62mm light machine gun aft. It should also come with its own trailer. The last bidding for such product was for 7 units, which was awarded to the Joint Venture of Als Marine Center Corporation and FB Design srl of Italy, and another contract for 21 units was awarded to Joint Venture of Propmech Corporation and Safehull Marine Technologies Inc.

Above is the standard specs issued by NAPOLCOM for the High Speed Tactical Watercraft, which is 40 feet long. Some of the acquisition for 0.50 caliber heavy machine guns and 7.62mm light machine guns were intended for these boats, some of which were awarded to Promech Corp. and Als Marine in recent biddings.
Photo taken from PNP's specs.

The PNP recently revised their acquisition of utility trucks and standardizing the brand new acquisitions by using a simpler specs. Previously the specs for brand new and used trucks are the same and based on the military 2 ½-ton 6x6 trucks. The latest acquisition made by the PNP were for 6x6 trucks from made by German automotive company MAN.

Trucks from German truckmaker MAN are becoming the standard trucks of the PNP. And apparently these are tough trucks, and are said to be even better than what the AFP is using.
Credits to owner of photo.

B. Weapons:

For the National Headquarters:

1. Public Bidding No. PNP-18-25G Lot 1: 17,353 units of Striker Fired 9mm Pistols, with an ABC of Php463,325,100.00, bid opening on 09 October 2018;

2. Public Bidding No. PNP-18-26G Lot 2: 10,001 units of Striker Fired 9mm Pistols, with an ABC of Php264,026,400.00, bid opening on 09 October 2018;

3. Public Bidding No. PNP-18-27G Lot 1: 7,700 units of 5.56mm Basic Assault Rifles, with an ABC of Php712,250,000.00;

4. Public Bidding No. PNP-18-28G Lot 2: 5,767 units of 5.56mm Basic Assault Rifles, with an ABC of Php533,477,500.00, bid opening on 09 October 2018;

5. Public Bidding No. PNP-18-29G: 28 units Heavy Machine Guns, with an ABC of Php61,600,000.00, bid opening on 09 October 2018;

6. Public Bidding No PNP-18-30G: 205 units of 5.56mm Light Machine Guns, with an ABC of Php134,641,950, bid opening on 09 October 2018;

7. Public Bidding No. PNP-18-31G: 250 units of 7.62mm Light Machine Guns, with an ABC of Php300,000,000.00, bid opening on 09 October 2018;

For PNP-Special Action Force:

1. Public Bidding No. SAF-2018-73: 288 units of Sniper Rifle Cal. 5.56mm with Rifle Scope and Clip-on Thermal Scope, with an ABC of Php302,400,000.00, bid opening on 16 October 2018;

2. Public Bidding No. SAF-2018-72: 11 units Sniper Rifle Cal.50 with Thermal Scope and Basic Load Ammunition, with an ABC of Php24,780,000.00, bid opening on 16 October 2018;

3. Public Bidding No. SAF-2018-75: 148 units of Multi-Grenade Launcher (MGL) 40mm, with an ABC of Php81,770,000.00, bid opening on 10 October 2018;

4. Public Bidding No. SAF-2018-07: 1,000 units of Flashbangs and 378 units of Teargas Grenades, with an ABC of Php3,857,000.00, bid opening on 10 October 2018;

5. Public Bidding No. SAF-2018-06: 25 units of 7.62mm Light Machine Gun with Basic Ammo Link, with an ABC of Php21,250,000.00, bid opening on 10 October 2018;

6. Public Bidding No. SAF-2018-79: 26 units of Rocket Launcher and Basic Load, with an ABC of Php32,761,757.00, bid opening on 18 October 2018;

7. Public Bidding No. SAF-2018-77 : 1 lot of Crew Served Weapon and Ammunition, with an ABC of Php57,275,000.00, bid opening on 18 October 2018.

For the 5.56mm Basic Assault Rifles, previously there were at least 2 proponents that won separate contracts for similar projects. One was awarded to Armscor Global Defense with the Israeli-made Emtan MZ-4 5.56mm rifle, and another contract was awarded to the Joint Venture of R. Espineli Trading and Israel Weapons Industries with the IWI Galil Ace 5.56mm rifle.

PNP Chief Dir.Gen. Oscar Albayalde tries on the IWI Galil ACE-N 22 (top) and Emtan MZ-4P (above) 5.56x45mm rifles, which were acquired by the PNP lately. This is to replace the cancelled order for 5.56x45mm rifles from SIG SAUER after the US government rejected the release of export licenses for small arms bound for the PNP.
Photos taken from PNP's official FB page.

For the Striker Fired 9mm Pistols, previous winners in similar bids held several months ago includes the Joint Venture of R. Espineli Trading and Israel Weapons Industries with the IWI Masada 9mm pistol, the Joint Venture of Nashe Enterprises and Samsun Yurt Savunma Sanayi Ve Ticaret A.S. of Turkey with the SYS Canik TP9 9mm pistol, and Trust Trade with the Taurus TS9 9mm pistol.

Thousands of IWI Masada (top) and SYS Canik TP9 (above) 9mm striker fired pistols were delivered to the PNP lately. These are alternative pistol models to the Glock 17 Gen 4 already issued to the PNP as early as 2013.
Photos taken from PNP's FB page.

Apparently the US government has eased the export license restrictions of firearms for the PNP, which means Glock USA and Sig Sauer USA could probably be back in the market after a short hiatus. MaxDefense expects them to come strong if the restrictions are indeed lifted by the US government.

For 7.62mm Machine Guns, there were several awards made in 2017 and 2018 totalling 370 units, all of which resulted in the delivery of IWI Negev NG-7 machine guns. The last 42 units delivered are for the PNP-Maritime Group, 2 units to be mounted at the rear of the High Speed Tactical Watercrafts. The rest are probably for the PNP Regional Public Safety Battalions and the Special Action Force.

The IWI Negev machine gun, above is the NG-7 7.62mm model. The PNP has acquired both the 5.56mm and 7.62mm model divided into several contracts. With only a few units supposed to use them, the PNP's acquisition is way higher than the Philippine Army in terms of user to acquisition ratio.
Photo taken from PNP's official FB page.

The Crew Served Weapon appears to be a 60mm Ultralight Commando Mortar with ammunition for them. This is the second time that the PNP-SAF is ordering such weapon system, as they have already awarded one last year, and is expected to receive 20 units by next month.

MaxDefense has not confirmed yet the exact model of the 60mm Ultralight Commando Mortar that the PNP ordered, but we believe its possible to the Czech-made ANTOS.
Photo taken from MSN's website.

There are also 2 types of weapons in the list the PNP-SAF, or even the PNP in general is acquiring for the first time: the Rocket Launcher and the Multi Grenade Launchers

The Rocket Launcher acquisition according to specs is for an RPG-7 type weapon, similar to those already in use by the Philippine Army. Like the PA, the PNP-SAF uses the 90mm recoilless rifle as their primary assault weapon, and the reason for acquiring the RPG-7 type weapon to replace it is similar to the reasons made by the Army – cheap, weighs far lighter, ammunition is easy to acquire, and ease of use

An example of the RPG-7 and 40mm Multi-Grenade Launcher which the PNP-SAF could be looking for.
Credits to photo source.

C. Force Protection Equipment:

For National Headquarters:

1. Public Bidding No. PMP-18-32G: 7,924 units of Enhanced Combat Helmet Level III, with an ABC of Php564,536,448.00, bid opening on 09 October 2018;

2. Public Bidding No. PNP-18-40G: 7,743 units of Undershirt Vest Level III-A, with an ABC of Php193,575,000.00, bid opening on 18 October 2018;

3. Public Bidding No. PNP-18-39G: 3,978 units of Enhanced Combat Helmet Level III, with an ABC of Php282,438,000.00, bid opening on 18 October 2018;

For PNP-Special Action Force:

1. Public Bidding No. SAF-2018- : 144 units Tactical Gas Mask with Canister, with an ABC of Php1,152,000.00, bid opening on 09 October 2018;

2. Public Bidding No. SAF-2018-76: 1,631 units Tactical Vest, with an ABC of Php79,618,500.00, bid opening on 16 October 2018;

3. Public Bidding No. SAF-2018-71: 1,820 units Ballistic Helmet, with an ABC of Php43,442,960.00, bid opening on 16 October 2018;

Previously, the award for some contracts for the acquisition of Enhanced Combat Helmet Level III were awarded to Armscor Global Defense, which will supply the 3M Ceradyne Combat II helmet, many of which will arrive this or next month according to Armscor.

Armscor Global Defense is scheduled to deliver the 3M Combat II enhanced combat helmet in a few weeks time, as part of earlier orders. They are expected to join the tender again for the next batch of helmet requirements.
Photo taken from 3M's website.

D. Support Equipment:

For National Headquarters:

1. Public Bidding No. PNP-18-41G: 51 units of Rotary Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, with an ABC of Php6,247,500.00, bid opening on 18 October 2018;

2. Public Bidding No. PNP-18-42G: 200 units of HF/SSB Manpack Radios, with an ABC of Php220,000,000.00, bid opening on 23 October 2018;

3. Public Bidding No. PNP-18-43G:  400 units of HF/SSB Base Radios, with an ABC of Php204,000,000.00, bid opening on 23 October 2018;

4. Public Bidding No. PNP-18-44G: 397 units of VHF Lowband Hand-held Radios, with an ABC of Php413,277,000.00, bid opening on 23 October 2018.

For PNP-Special Action Force:

1. Public Bidding No. SAF-2018-80: 1 lot of Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Equipment, with an ABC of Php, 6,589,500.00, bid opening on 18 October 2018;

2. Public Bidding No. SAF-2018-70: 35 units Spotting Scopes, with an ABC of Php9,036,000.00, bid opening on 16 October 2018;
3. Public Bidding No. SAF-2018-74: 1 lot of EOD Equipment (12 units of Blasting Machine, and 9 units Hook and Line Kit), with an ABC of Php7,591,000.00, bid opening on 16 October 2018;

4. Public Bidding No. SAF-2018-67: 1 lot of Search and Rescue (SAR) Equipment, with an ABC of Php12,161,170.00, bid opening on 09 October 2018;

5. Public Bidding No. SAF-2018-68: 1 lot of Communications Equipment (VHF Low Band), with an ABC of Php214,050,000.00, bid opening on 09 October 2018.

The PNP has been acquiring more communications equipment, although it appears to be not military-grade ones similar to what the AFP uses. The problem with this is interoperability between the PNP and AFP, which the AFP's own Chief of Staff confirmed during the recent Senate Hearing for DND's budget. 

It is also surprising that China's Hytera did got several contracts in since 2017 for base, manpack and handheld radio communications equipment, thus their strong presence in the recently concluded ADAS 2018 defense exhibition in Manila.

China's Hytera was recently strong in ADAS 2018, and its because they are already entrenched with supply contracts with the PNP, with several contracts bagged even in 2017.
Photo provided to MaxDefense by Marvin Mancias.

The Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, according to a MaxDefense source, are usually civilian-type quadcopter UAVs that are usually used for amateur or professional videography or photography. It is expected that the bidding for another batch of UAVs will be the same, definitely smaller than the DJI Phantom IV despite its price drop in the commercial market.

Things to Come:

The speed of how the PNP does its acquisitions is surprisingly faster compared even to small arms acquisition made by the AFP. This is very apparent especially on vehicles, as the PNP acquire from homegrown suppliers using commercial off-the-shelf vehicle models like Toyota's rock-soild Hi-Lux pick-up trucks and MAN's trucks. In terms of weapons, delivery is typically made in around 6 months to less than a year, which is quite fast considering export license for the PNP is actually an issue in many Western countries. The use of mostly Israeli small arms like IWI's Galil ACE an Emtan's MZ-4P, have been helpful to the PNP's dilemmas, this is considering Israel is more than willing to sell to the PNP as long as they can pay. 

Some of the bid openings for contracts will be opened as early as this week, and MaxDefense will be monitoring these projects especially on major transport and weapon system acquisition projects. It would be interesting to note what the results would be, considering the bidders joining in most project are the same as before. Its just a matter of who will give a better price while meeting the same specs. Commonality especially on weapons like machine guns, rifles and pistols won't be an issue anymore considering the PNP is using models offered by the same bidders joining the tenders.

MaxDefense expect ore announcements from both the National Headquarters of the PNP, as well as the Special Action Force, for more acquisitions in the coming months. With Pres. Duterte focusing his efforts in bringing up the PNP's capabilities as well as increasing the size of the police force, no doubt that the PNP would be well funded in the next years as long as he is in power.

U P D A T E S :

11 October 2018:

The National Headquarters (NHQ) of the Philippine National Police proceeded with the bid openings last 09 October 2018 for several acquisition projects scheduled on that day.

Here are the results of the bidding:

1. Public Bidding No. PNP-18-25G17,353 units of Striker Fired 9mm Pistols (Lot 1), with an ABC of Php463,325,100.00:

Lower Bidder: Trust Trade (GIGI Industries): Php320,926,382.00 (Php18,494.00 per unit). Offered the Taurus TS9 pistol;

2nd Lowest: Atlantis: Php352,092,370.00 (Php20,290.00 per unit). Offered the SYS Canik TP9SF pistol;

3rd Lowest: Stone of David: Php398,959,352.40 (Php22,990.80): Offered the CZ P10C pistol;

4th Lowest: R. Espineli Trading: Php399,084,294.00 (Php22,998.00 per unit). Offered the IWI Masada pistol

2. Public Bidding No. PNP-18-26G: 10,001 units of Striker Fired 9mm Pistols (Lot 2), with an ABC of Php264,026,400.00:

Same results as Lot 1, although R. Espineli Trading did not submit a bid.

Lower Bidder: Trust Trade (GIGI Industries). Offered the Taurus TS9 pistol;

2nd Lowest: Atlantis: Offered the SYS Canik TP9SF pistol;

3rd Lowest: Stone of David: Offered the CZ P10C pistol;

3. Public Bidding No. PNP-18-27G: 7,700 units of 5.56mm Basic Assault Rifles (Lot 1), with an ABC of Php712,250,000.00:

Lowest Bidder: Armscor Global Defense: Php444,290,000.00 (Php57,700.00 per unit). Offered the GA5 Piston rifle (which MaxDefense believes could be the Emtan MZ-4P);

2nd Lowest Bidder: R. Espineli Trading: Php484,961,000.00 (Php62,981.95 per unit). Offered the IWI Galil ACE-N 22 rifle;

3rd Lowest Bidder: United Defense Manufacturing Corp: Php487,410,000.00 (Php63,300.00 per unit). Offered the S&T Motiv K2C1 rifle;

4th Lowest Bidder: Stone of David Corp: Php625,800,560.00 (Php81,272.80 per unit). Offered the CZ Bren 807 rifle in 5.56x45mm version.

4. Public Bidding No. PNP-18-28G: 5,767 units of 5.56mm Basic Assault Rifles (Lot 2), with an ABC of Php533,477,500.00:

Lowest Bidder: Armscor Global Defense: Php343,424,850.00 (Php59,550.00 per unit). Offered the GA5 Piston rifle (which MaxDefense believes is the Emtan MZ-4P);

2nd Lowest Bidder: R. Espineli Trading: Php363,217,194.00 (Php62,982.00 per unit). Offered the IWI Galil ACE-N 22 rifle;

3rd Lowest Bidder: United Defense Manufacturing Corp: Php365,051,100.00 (Php63,300.00 per unit). Offered the S&T Motiv K2C1 rifle;

4th Lowest Bidder: Stone of David Corp: Php468,700,237.60 (Php81,272.80 per rifle). Offered the CZ Bren 807 in 5.56x45mm version.

5. Public Bidding No. PNP-18-29G28 units Heavy Machine Guns, with an ABC of Php61,600,000.00:

NO BIDDERS. Bidding considered failed.

6. Public Bidding No PNP-18-30G205 units of 5.56mm Light Machine Guns, with an ABC of Php134,641,950:

Lowest Bidder: United Defense Manufacturing Corp: Php94,258,385.00 (Php459,797.00 per unit). Offered the S&T Motiv K3 machine gun;

2nd Lowest Bidder: R. Espineli Trading: Php134,016,823.00 (Php653,740.60 per unit). Offered the IWI Negev NG-5 machine gun.

7. Public Bidding No. PNP-18-31G250 units of 7.62mm Light Machine Guns, with an ABC of Php300,000,000.00:

Sole Bidder: R. Espineli Trading: Php299,681,570.00 (Php1,198,766.28 per unit). Offered the IWI Negev NG-7 machine gun.

8. Public Bidding No. PMP-18-32G7,924 units of Enhanced Combat Helmet Level III, with an ABC of Php564,536,448.00:

Lowest Bidder: Mars Armor: Php459,275,000.00 (Php57,960.00 per unit)

2nd Lowest Bidder: S&S/Guangzhou China: Php483,311,136.72 (Php61,119.53 per unit);

3rd Lowest Bidder: MKU Ltd /Qualitek India: Php562,604,000.00 (Php71,000.00 per unit).

Disqualified: Total Wellness Pharma / Kyung Chang Industries China. Bid amount not opened anymore.

Other biddings will be covered by MaxDefense and will results will be posted here as updates.

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