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Fibreglass-Reinforced Plastic Watercraft Acquisition Project (H2 Special Project) of the Philippine Navy

The Philippine Navy has raised a requirement for the procurement of sixteen (16) Fibreglass Reinforced Plastic (FRP) Watercrafts, which are essentially small multipurpose speedboats to support operations by the Philippine Marine Corps' Marine Special Operations Group (MARSOG).

The concept is similar to the Special Operations Craft - Riverine (SOC-R) used by the US Marines Special Operation Group, although less armed and less expensive than its American counterpart.
Photo taken from Wikipedia.


In 2017, the Philippine Navy called for the acquisition of Fast Boats which would be used to patrol littoral areas especially for counter-terrorism and counter-piracy operations in the Sulu-Basilan-Tawi-Tawi-Zamboanga area. This was highlighted during the Marawi City crisis when reports that the ISIS-inspired Maute Terrorist Group were said to have been reinforced and resupplied via gaps in the waterways around Marawi City, as well as by forces scattered in the Western Mindanao area.

Initially the requirement was for 10 boats, with a proposed budget of Php300 million (or around Php30 million per boat) which can be carried by trailer over land, and can be moved around by naval transport assets or even by the Philippine Air Force's C-130 Hercules fleet.

Several proposals were initially made, including several designs using fibreglass-reinforced plastic (FRP) and Aluminium hulls, with lengths varying between 9.5 meters to 12 meters, and costs between Php3.6 million to Php35 million apiece.

Acquisition was made through a Public Bidding, which was later on awarded to a local company for a mere Php228,130,000.00 (or around Php22,813,000.00 per boat on average). Currently it appears that the boats are supposed to be delivered to the Philippine Navy by August 2019.

Another requirement came out, this time in 2018 calling for additional boats to be acquired for the Philippine Marine Corps (PMC). Sixteen (16) units are planned with a proposed budget of Php340,632,603.36 (or around Php21,289,537.71 per boat) inclusive of Value Added Tax (VAT).  It is still unknown why the Philippine Navy decided to reduce the average budget per boat considering the earlier contract to build boats was priced at an average of Php1 million higher per boat than the current budget.

Only local ship or boat-builders licensed by MARINA will be entertained, thus giving the local boat-building industry an exclusive priority for the project.

The design and technical requirements were mostly retained.

Initially it was proposed to be acquired through Public Bidding, with the Philippine International Trading Corporation (PITC) responsible with the bidding process through its own Bids and Awards Committee (BAC).

An initial Public Bidding attempt was made on 25 January 2019, and this was considered a failed bidding. A second attempt was conducted on 02 April 2019, and this was again another failed bid.

For the third attempt, the PITC and PN decided to go for a Negotiated Procurement mode which may increase the chances of having a winning proponent after 2 failed attempts.

The submission of proposals or offers was scheduled on 17 May 2019, and so far it appears that there was no changes made on the deadline.

Technical Requirements:

Based on the project's bid documents, the boats are to have the following technical requirements:

* 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.

Delivery of the first batch of eight (8) units are expected to be made within ninety (90) days from release of Notice of Produce (NTP), while the second batch of eight (8) units shall be delivered within ninety (90) days from the delivery of first batch. 

The bid documents provided this illustration to guide proponents on the requirements.
Photo taken from the PITC's Bid Documents for the Project.

Project Summary:

Fibreglass Reinforced Plastic Watercraft Acquisition Project

Note: Edited as of 11 July 2019:

* End User: Philippine Navy (Philippine Marines Corps - Marine Special Operations Group)
Quantity: 18 units
* Modernization Phase: Special Projects within Horizon 2 period

* Project ABC: Php340,632,603.36
Acquisition Mode: Negotiated Procurement, originally Public Bidding for initial attempts
* Source of Funding: Philippine Navy GAA Funds
* SARO Release:

* Winning Proponent: TBA
Product for Delivery: TBA

* Contract Price: TBA
First post by MaxDefense: 28 October 2018

* MaxDefense's Searching Hashtag: #PNFRPWatercraftAcquisition #PNFastBoatAcquisition 
Price: TBA

U P D A T E S:

28 October 2018:

MaxDefense released a blog entry on the planned acquisition of sixteen (16) fibreglass reinforced plastic watercraft by the Philippine Navy for the Philippine Marine Corps' Marine Special Operations Group (MARSOG).

Most of the details on the project were discussed, including the technical requirements which were also highlighted in this resource page.

The bid opening is scheduled on 23 November 2018, and it is expected that the bidders for the Philippine National Police's requirement for High Speed Tactical Watercraft would be participating in this tender (which includes Propmech Corporation, Als Marine, and Josefa Slipway).

MaxDefense believes that the base requirements of the Philippine Navy is similar to those of the Philippine National Police, thus the same proponents are expected to submit their bids. Above is a fibreglass speedboat built by Als Marine for the PNP Maritime Group. Photo taken from Wikimedia Commons.


20 January 2019:

The PITC released updates on the project, with the tender now scheduled to to have the bid opening by 25 January 2019.

No changes were made on the bid documents and requirements.


30 March 2019:

It appears that the bidding for the project failed, as a new deadline for bid submission and opening was posted by PITC, this time by 02 April 2019.

As expected, no changes were made on the bid documents, technical requirements, and budget.


10 June 2019:

Based on the new bid documents posted by PITC, it now appears that the 2nd bidding attempt on the project also failed.

The new requirement now calls for a Negotiated Procurement, with interested proponents given to submit their proposals or offers by 17 May 2019.

So far MaxDefense has not receive any information if a decision has been made or if a proponent was already confirmed the lowest compliant bidder.

PITC posted an amended invitation, this time calling for Negotiated Procurement after several failed bid attempts. Photo taken from PITC's posted Bid Documents.
11 July 2019:

With the reintroduction of a new Re-Bidding Document set at the website of the Philippine International Trading Corporation (PITC), itnonly means that the previous Negotiated Bid for the project failed in some point.

This should be the 3rd bid failure for this project. Surprisingly, they are still going for a 4th attempt instead of going for direct negotiations.

The Submission and Opening of Proposals and Offers is scheduled on 17 July 2019, although there is no schedule yet on the date of Negotiations with the preferred proponent.

New schedule as per Bid Docs released in July 2019.


First edit and release: 11 June 2019
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