Your 1st for Philippine Defense

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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!

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Discussing the Philippine Coast Guard's Coastal Radar Stations (Phase 1) Projects

The Philippine Coast Guard is a growing organization in terms of manpower, assets and capabilities. And with its growing responsibility and challenges to support in maritime safety and law enforcement, it needs new capabilities.

Among those identified to improve its ability to "see" and monitor our country's maritime borders are the need for Coastal Radar Stations, which can detect, observe and monitor the movement of ships several miles away from our coastlines.

With this, the Philippine Coast Guard has prioritized the construction of new Radar Stations especially in the southern part of the country, which has a more porous border due to the geography and being close to the borders with Malaysia and Indonesia.

In this blog entry, which was authored by one of our active contributors "Herbie", we discuss the projects related to the construction of a first batch of 21 Coast Guard Radar Stations, which we collectively called the Coastal Radar Stations Phase 1 Project of the Philippine Coast Guard.

We would like to Herbie for his research, considering this is not the first time he is a guest writer for MaxDefense Philippines blogs.


According to the Philippine Coast Guard, there is an urgent need to enhance the Philippines’ Maritime Domain Awareness to monitor its territorial and contiguous waters. The PCG's Coast Guard Weapons, Communications, Electronics, and Information System Command (CGWCEISC) have identified the need for 140 radar stations in order to come up with the whole picture of the country’s maritime domain. 

With a currently limited budget, the Southern Philippines, with some of the more popular tourist spot destinations and busy sea lanes, is the priority area for the establishment of the Radar Systems.

Most of the prioritized radar locations are in the ZamBaSulTa (Zamboanga, Basilan, Sulu, Basilan) area.

21 radars were prioritized under PCG's assessment as part of a 1st batch to be constructed nationally. To do this, several projects were made by the Philippine Coast Guard. 

Equipment used in CG Radar Stations Rio Hondo and Sibutu. Credits to DOTr.

For easier reference, the author and MaxDefense Philippines called the combined projects as the PCG's Coastal Radar Stations Phase 1 Project, which can be subdivided into the construction of the 21 Coast Guard Radar Station buildings, the 10 Radar Station Systems publicly tendered, and the 11 Radar Systems donated by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) as Grant Aid.

The partitioning are as follows:

1. Coast Guard Radar Station Buildings

    1a. Construction of 14 Radar Station Buildings: 1 project with an approved budget of Php140 million. This was publicly tendered, and Notice of Award was given to Fabmik Construction & Equipment, with a Contract worth Php139,528,339.02 signed and Notice to Proceed released on 01 February 2019.

PhilGEPS screenshot showing details on Construction of 14 Radar Station Buildings.

    1b. Construction of 5 Radar Station Buildings: 1 project with an approved budget of Php50 million. This was also publicly tendered, with the Notice of Award given to Protech Construction and Development Corporation, with a Contract worth Php49,820,360.67 signed and Notice to Proceed released on 11 February 2019.

PhilGEPS screenshot showing details on Construction of 5 Radar Station Buildings.

    1c. Construction of CG Radar Station Kalamansig Building: 1 project for a specific building location, with an approved budget of Php9.7 million. Also publicly tendered, the project was awarded to A.G Araja Construction & Development Corporation with a Contract amount of Php9,664,884.08 signed and Notice to Proceed on 13 January 2020.

PhilGEPS screenshot showing details on Construction of Radar Station Kalamansig Building.

    1d. Construction of CG Radar Station Basilan Building: another project specifically for 1 building, with an approved budget of Php21 million. A Notice of Award was given to an unidentified company, with contract signed and Notice to Proceed released on 21 June 2021.

2. PCG Radar Station Systems: 1 project specifically for the Supply, Delivery and Installation of Radar Systems, with 10 units involved. The project was also publicly tendered and was awarded to Scan Marine Inc. on 11 October 2019, with a contract worth Php196,770,896.00 signed and Notice to Proceed released on 21 October 2019.

PhilGEPS record showing details on the Supply, Deliver and Installation of Radar Systems. Photo from Herbie, taken from PhilGEPS.

3. Japan Grant Aid Radar Systems: this involves a JICA grant to the Philippines' Department of Transportation for the Philippine Coast Guard, involving the grant of 11 radar systems. 

21 Radar Station Locations:

The Philippine Coast Guard Radar Project locations have been identified in previous publications. The following lists down the location of the radar stations under the Phase 1 projects:

PCG Radar Project Locations:

  1. Mapun, Tawi-Tawi

  2. Bayawan City, Negros Oriental

  3. Bredco Port, Bacolod City, Negros Occidental

  4. Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan

  5. Balicasag Island, Panglao, Bohol

  6. Dapitan City, Zamboanga Del Norte

  7. Taganak, Turtle Islands, Tawi-Tawi

  8. Sibutu, Tawi-Tawi

  9. Pearl Bank, Tawi-Tawi

  10. Sarangani, Davao Occidental

Japan Grant Aid Radar Project Locations:

  1. Brgy Talisayan, Zamboanga City

  2. Brgy Rio Hondo, Zamboanga City

  3. Brgy Siraway, Zamboanga City

  4. Olutanga, Zamboanga Sibugay

  5. Brgy Baganian, Tabina, Zamboanga del Sur

  6. Kalamansig, Sultan Kudarat

  7. Pangutaran, Sulu

  8. Kawayan, Lugus Sulu

  9. Bongao, Tawi-tawi

  10. Basilan

  11. Port Area, Sulu

A map showing the location of radar stations to be installed under this phase, separating PH funded and Japan funded radars. Photo credits to DOTr.

Radar System Technical Specifications:

The systems purchased by the PCG includes a Radar, AIS Base Receiver, Coastal Camera with Day/Night capability, towers (at least 21 meters high), various Base and Marine-band radios, hardware, software, CCTV systems and power sources for each radar station.

It is surprising to see the Technical Specifications have a specific radar brand (FURUNO) and model in mind perhaps to match the radar systems donated by JICA. FURUNO and ICOM are the brands used for the various surveillance equipment.

Status of the Project:

Based on photos and information from the Philippine Coast Guard and our sources, several of the radar station buildings have already been completed, although several are still scheduled for construction as of early 2021.

Photos of some of the radar station buildings can be seen below.

Top: Coast Guard Radar Station Sibutu, Tawi-Tawi. Middle: Coast Guard Radar Station Olutanga, Zamboanga Sibugay. Bottom: Coast Guard Radar Stations Bayawan, Negros Oriental, and Coast Guard Radar Station Balicasag, Bohol. Photo credits to DOTr.

Meanwhile, Scan Marine Inc. has deliver the radar systems to the Philippine Coast Guard. Installation will also be part of their scope of works, including making sure that the system works.

It remains to be seen though if their scope also includes making the radars connected to the National Coast Watch System, which is also operated by the Philippine Coast Guard together with other government agencies.

Other PCG Radar-Related Proposals

With the PCG stating that they have identified 140 radar stations in order to come up with the whole picture of the country’s maritime domain, here are some PCG projects proposed last 2019 for the 2020 budget but not funded yet by the National Government:

  1. Construction of Coast Guard Radar Stations – Php1.62 billion. This would allow the PCG to construct more radar stations to eventually meet the 140 radar stations needed to cover the entire country.

  2. Procurement of Coast Guard Radar Equipment – Php2.7 billion. This is related to the construction of radar stations.

  3. Beyond the Horizon Radar – Php400 million. This system is far more capable than standard coastal radars due to its wider and longer detection range, which would allow to see beyond the country's territorial waters and into its Exclusive Economic Zone, together with other assets like aircraft, ships and satellites.

  4. Inter-agency harmonized and enhanced surveillance, enforcement, and development capabilities for the West Philippine Sea and Philippine Rise – Php5.614 billion. This is something that could help enhance interoperability with other agencies including the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the Philippine National Police Maritime Group (PNP-MARIG), the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), and other agencies involved in monitoring the West and East Philippine Sea including the Philippine Rise.


There are many more interesting and exciting new projects coming with the Philippine Coast Guard, as they are given much more support financially and politically. This is as the service becomes the foremost agency in enforcing maritime laws, conducting search and rescue, and protecting our country's maritime territories and interest without creating tension considering its civilian nature.

With the slowdown in defense projects, MaxDefense Philippines is expected to provide more reports from the Philippine Coast Guard's modernization, especially with commitments to improve it further than ever before.

More and larger patrol vessels are underway to beef up the PCG's surface fleet. Photo credits to original sources.


Project Summary:

Coastal Radar Stations (Phase 1) Projects of the PCG (collection of several projects)

Note: Edited as of 19 May 2021.

* End User: Philippine Coast Guard

* Quantity: 21 Radar Stations

* Project ABC:
  - 1a. Php140 million;
  - 1b. Php50 million;
  - 1c. Php9.7 million (Kalamansig);
  - 1d. Php21 million (Basilan); 2
  - 2. Php197.059 million;
  - 3. JPY 1 billion

* Acquisition Mode:
  - 1a. Negotiated Procurement;
  - 1b. Negotiated Procurement;
  - 1c. Negotiated Procurement;
  - 1d. Expected to be through public bidding;
  - 2. Public Bidding;
  - 3. Grant Aid (Japan radar systems)

* Source of Funding: GAA Funds, and Japan Grant Aid

* SARO Release: TBA

* Winning Proponent:
   - 1a. Fabmik Construction and Equipment Co. Inc.;
   - 1b. Protech Construction and Development Corporation;
   - 1c. A.G. Araja Construction & Development Corporation;
   - 1d. TBC;
   - 2. Scan Marine Inc.;
   - 3. TBC

* Product for Delivery:
   - 1a. 15 radar station buildings.;
   - 1b. 4 radar station buildings;
   - 1c. 1 radar station building;
   - 1d. 1 radar station building;
   - 2. 10 Radar Station Systems;
   - 3. 11 Radar Station Systems.

* Contract Price/s:
   - 1a..Php139,528,339.02;
   - 1b. Php49,820,360.67;
   - 1c. Php9,664,884.08
   - 1d. Not bidded out yet;
   - 2. Php196,770,896.00
   - 3a. TBA

* First post by MaxDefense: TBA

* MaxDefense Searching Hashtag: #PCGCoastalRadarStationsP1Acquisition 

* Project Status:  Items 1a to 1c are under construction, with some already completed. Item 1d. is scheduled for tender. Delivery of Item 2 are ongoing, and will be dependent on the completion of the Coast Guard Station buildings. Item 3a was reported to have already been delivered to the PCG.

First edit and release: 18 May 2021
Copyright MaxDefense Philippines & Herbie

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Philippine Navy starts acquisition of 1st batch of new Harbor and Oceangoing Tugboats

 The Philippine Navy has embarked on the acquisition of a harbor tugboat as well as an ocean-capable tugboat to assist larger naval vessels during entering to and leaving from their designated berthing and anchoring stations, aid vessels in manoeuvring in restricted waterways, and other harbor and towing duties.

With the Horizon 2 Priority Projects already approved in 2018, the Philippine Navy has decided to make use of the 2nd List of Horizon 2 phase to include this project.

The Harbor and Ocean-Going Tugboats Acquisition Project of the Philippine Navy was born out of need for new tugboats, with an initial 2 units eyed for acquisition through public bidding starting 2021.

A new naval harbor tugboat built in Thailand for the Royal Thai Navy.Photo credits to Marine Link.


The Philippine Navy has started modernizing its surface assets as most of its current assets are already beyond their expected lifespan. This includes the tugboats being operated by the service to service ships at port.

Not only are most of the PN's tugboats too old, but also lacking in numbers and are small in size. These tugboats are only capable of operating within port areas and in littoral areas.

Most, if not all of the PN's tugboats are not ocean-going and are old, hand-me-downs from the US, like the BRP YT-273 (above). Photo credits to UNTV Radio.

The accidental grounding of the patrol frigate BRP Gregorio del Pilar (PS-15) in the Hasa-Hasa Shoal in August 2018, and the lack of sufficient tugboats to pull the ship out of the shoal and tow it to safety was an eye-opener for Philippine Navy officials.

The Philippine Navy have to get the services of commercial tugboat operators to do the job as the service does not have any tugboats capable of such job. On top of that, the cost of the tugboat service from Hasa-Hasa Shoal to Subic Bay apparently costed the Philippine Navy a huge sum, which could have been enough for the service to buy a slightly-used tugboat in the international market.

The BRP Gregorio del Pilar (PS-15) stranded at Hasa-Hasa Shoal. Photo credits to Philippine Navy.

It was also reported then that China offered to help pull out the stranded BRP Gregorio del Pilar (PS-15) out as they know the Philippine Navy did not have the capacity to do it on its own, and out of fear that the Philippines might let the ship remain in the shoal as a temporary base.

Credits to original source.

Tugboat Procurement Plans:

In 2020, MaxDefense Philippines received information from sources that the Philippine Navy has started the pre-procurement process to acquire 2 tugboats with a budget of Php600 million. These tugboats would also have firefighting capability to assist other ships or shore facilities on fire.

2 commercial tugboats assisted BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PS-16) as it leaves the Sri Lanka's East Container Terminal in early 2020. Photo credits to Philippine Navy.

The ships are not expected to be armed by external-mounted weapons, but its crew can be equipped with small arms, as the boats will have its own armory.

The Invitation to Bid (ITB) for the project was released on 03 May 2021, with the Submission of Bids deadline and Bid Opening Date set on 25 May 2021, although this could change depending on outcome of the Pre-Bid Meeting on 11 May 2021.

Aside from these 2 boats being acquired in this project, MaxDefense Philippines expects that additional tugboats would be acquired in the following years, as the Philippine Navy is hoping to have at least 6 new tugboats to be assigned in major Philippine Navy facilities in Cavite, Subic, and Cebu.

An ocean-going tugboat, in which the PN wants to have 1 in this project. Photo credits to Kotug.

It remains to be seen if the PN could get the funds needed for another batch of tugboats, which is said to be for acquisition starting 2022, and another batch of 2 tugboats funded by 2023.

No information has been provided though if the Philippine Navy would retire its older tugboats, although it appears that they will remain for several years more.

Basic Requirements:

Delivery date is expected in 540 calendar days from release of Notice to Proceed (NTP). It is expected that should the tender be successful in its first attempt, the NTP could potentially be released before yearend. And 540 calendar days would be around 2023.

The Harbor Tugboat is expected to be at least 26 meters long, displaces at least 400 tons, a crew of 10 personnel, a maximum range of 900 nautical miles, a Bollard Pull capacity of at least 40 tons, and be able to operate up to Sea State 6.

Meanwhile, the Ocean-going Tugboat will be at least 30 meters long, displaces at least 600 tons, a crew of 10 personnel, 
a maximum range of 1,500 nautical miles, a Bollard Pull capacity of at least 60 tons, and be able to operate up to Sea State 6.

Project Summary:

Harbor and Ocean-Going Tugboats Acquisition Project:

Note: Edited as of 04 May 2021.

* End User: Philippine Navy 

Quantity: 1 Harbor Tugboat, and 1 Oceangoing Tugboat, including Integrated Logistics Support

* Modernization Phase:
 2nd List of Horizon 2 Phase of RAFPMP

* Project ABC:

Acquisition Mode: Public Bidding

* Source of Funding: GAA Funds through AFP Modernization Program Trust Fund

* SARO Release/s: 

* Winning Proponent: TBA

Product for Delivery: TBA

* Contract Price: TBA

* First post by MaxDefense: 04 May 2021

* MaxDefense Searching Hashtag: #PNTugboatsAcquisition 

* Status: Invitation to Bid released by the DND on May 2021, for Public Bidding. Submission of bids scheduled on 25 May 2021.

Tugboats can also provide firefighting assistance to ships or shore facilities. Photo credits to Marine Link.

First edit and release: 04 May 2021
Copyright MaxDefense Philippines

Philippine Navy Modernization Projects

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