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Landing Docks Acquisition Project of the Philippine Navy

As part of it programmed modernization of the Philippine Navy's sealift and amphibious capabilities and replace legacy ships, the service has requested for support and funding to acquire two (2) additional Strategic Sealift Vessels (SSV) as part of the Horizon 2 phase Priority Projects of the Revised AFP Modernization Program (RAFPMP).

Based on the latest bid documents, it appears that the project was renamed as the 
Landing Docks Acquisition Project, which allows us now to differentiate this project with the Strategic Sealift Vessel Acquisition Project undertaken in the last Horizon 1 phase.

The Tarlac-class LPD BRP Davao del Sur (LD-602) in Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam during Rim of the Pacific multilateral exercises 2018. Photo taken from DVIDS Hub.

Project Summary:

Landing Docks Acquisition Project

Note: Edited as of 29 May 2024:

* End User: Philippine Navy (Sealift Amphibious Force)

* Quantity: 2 units Landing Platforms Dock, 4 units Landing Crafts Utility, 4 units Rigid Hull Inflatable Crafts

* Modernization Phase: Horizon 2 phase Priority Projects of RAFPMP

* Project ABC: Php5,560,000,000.00

* Acquisition Mode: Public Bidding

* Source of Funding: GAA Funds through AFP Modernization Program Trust Fund, to be paid via Multi-Year Obligation Authority (MYOA)

* SARO Release: SARO-BMB-D-22-0004373 dated 27 May 2022 worth Php833,850,000.00 (15% DP)

* Winning Proponent: PT PAL (Persero)

* Product for Delivery: 

    - 2 units Strategic Sealift Vessel (SSV)
    - 2 units Landing Craft Utility (LCU, 1 unit for each SSV) (revised from 4 units)
    - 4 units Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats (RHIB, 2 units for each SSV)
    - Integrated Logistics Support Package

* Contract Price: approx. Php5,559,000,000.00

* Residual Amount: approx. Php1,000,000.00

* First post by MaxDefense: 25 September 2018

* Searching Hashtag: #PNLDAcquisition, #PNLPDAcquisition

* Status: 1st bid attempt failed on 08 August 2019. Second bidding attempt failed on 24 September 2019. 3rd bidding attempt on 26 November 2019. Lowest bidder was Megaship Builders Inc - Sing Kiong Hong Dockyards Sdn Bhd Joint Venture, Post-Disqualified. Second lowest bidder is PT PAL, Post Qualification Inspection completed. Reported passed but project was considered failed bidding as of December 2020. 4th bidding attempt opened on 01 October 2021, SOBE on 26 October 2021, moved to 11 November 2021. Bidding failed. New bidding raised on January 2022, with SOBE on 01 March 2022. PT PAL declared lowest compliant bidder, PQI conducted on May 2022, NOA released on 05 June 2022, contract signed 24 June 2022 and approved on 20 July 2022, and Notice to Proceed released as of 06 July 2022. Delivery is expected on or before 05 July 2025 for the first ship, and on or before 10 July 2026 for the second ship. Landing Dock #1 First Steel Cutting was held on August 2023, and Keel Laying Ceremony on January 2024. Landing Dock #2 First Steel Cutting was held on January 2024, and Keel Laying on 29 May 2024.

The project also calls for the supply of two (2) Landing Craft Utilities (LCU) for each LPD, or a total of 4 LCUs. It also includes supplying 4 RHIBs. Photo taken from DVIDS Hub.


Additional Strategic Sealift Vessels were among those raised by the Philippine Navy as they started planning for the "shopping list" under the Horizon 2 phase of the RAFPMP. are expected to be similar or better to those acquired earlier (which is known now as the Tarlac-class Landing Platform Dock), and would perform similar missions including amphibious assault, logistics and transport support, act as a command vessel or mother ship for joint military operations, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) operations, among others.

In the original Desired Force Mix released by the Philippine Navy in 2012, it mentioned that the fleet requires at least four (4) Strategic Sealift Vessels for acquisition between 2013 to 2028.

Over the course of the years, the Philippine Navy made several changes in its planned acquisitions, although it moved forward to acquire two (2) units as part of the Horizon 1 phase of the RAFPMP.

In its last submission made by the Philippine Navy in late 2017 to the Department of National Defense (DND), which in turn was submitted to Malacanang for deliberation and approval, the Philippine Navy requested for 3 Strategic Sealift Vessel with a budget of Php7.5 billion (or an average of Php2.5 billion for each SSV). But it was reduced by Malacanang to just 2 units for Horizon 2, with a budget of Php5.0 billion for the entire project when it was approved in early 2018.

The Philippine Navy has received several offers to build the SSVs, many of which were present in the last ADAS 2018 defense exhibition in Manila last September 2018. Among them were the Horizon 1 SSV builder PT PAL of Indonesia, Dutch shipbuilder Damen, South Korea's Daesun, and India's Larsen & Toubro.

Other shipbuilders also showed interest in the SSV acquisition project including India's Goa Shipyards and Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers, and later on another one from India Mazagon Dock Pvt Ltd as well.

Dutch shipbuilder Damen has also offered their Landing Platform Dock 10000 family, which is scalable and has versions that are smaller or larger depending on the end user's requirement. Photo taken from Damen's website.


U P D A T E S:

28 September 2018:

Indonesian shipbuider PT PAL was also present at the recently concluded ADAS 2018 defense exhibition in Manila

Among those they displayed are the 123m Strategic Sealift Vessel (similar to the ones delivered to the Philippine Navy, now known as the Tarlac-class), the proposed 163m Multi-mission Support Ship for the Royal Malaysian Navy, the KCR60 60m missile boat, and the proposed 85m Offshore Patrol Vessel.

According to PT PAL's representative @ ADAS 2018, they offered their 85m Offshore Patrol Vessel design for the Philippine Navy's OPV Acquisition Project, while the KCR 60 was also offered for other requirements of the PN. PT PAL also hopes to get additional orders for more SSV from the PN, as they are planning to acquire a few within the Horizon 2 phase of the RAFPMP.

Top: PT PAL released a scale model cut-out of the Tarlac-class LPD, which shows it armed with a forward 76mm gun. The ship was originally designed with it but is a Fitted For But Not With (FFBNW) item.
Above: An inforgraphic on PT PAL's MRSS proposal to Malaysia, which is essentially a lengthened SSV/LPD. Depending on the final specs, the PN may also consider something like this. Photos shared by a MaxDefense community member.


28 September 2018:

Dutch shipbuilder Damen is present at ADAS 2018 in Manila, and presented some of its products including the OPV 1800 offshore patrol vessel, SIGMA 10514 light frigate, and Enforcer 10000 landing platform dock.

Damen wont be directly involved in the Philippine Navy's OPV Acquisition Program as they will work instead with local company Propmech Corporation using the OPV 1500 design, Damen is expected to participate in the Corvette Acquisition Program using their SIGMA design, and the Strategic Sealift Vessel acquisition program using the Enforcer design.

Damen's Enforcer 10000 LPD design, which is being offered to the Philippine Navy. Photo shared to MaxDefense by a community member.


02 October 2018:

Two items were discussed in this report by Jane's regarding PT PAL's offerings to the Philippine Navy:

1. PT PAL is hopeful to bag a contract to supply 2 more Strategic Sealift Vessels to the Philippine Navy, which they expect the acquisition process to start in 2019.

2. PT PAL also claims that the Philippine Navy is interested in acquiring the KCR-60M 60-meter missile boats, with Jane's understanding that at least 2 were being negotiated with the Philippine Navy.

MaxDefense confirms that the Philippine Navy is indeed looking to acquire 2 more Strategic Sealift Vessels as part of the Horizon 2 phase of the RAFPMP, with a proposed ABC of Php5 billion for 2 ships. This is actually higher than the budget allocated for the first two SSVs under Horizon 1 phase (which eventually won by PT PAL and the resulting ships became the Tarlac-class) were being tendered. But this might be to compensate for the drop in dollar value of the Philippine pesos, while also allowing to inflation, price increase, and improvements on the SSV requirement. PT PAL's closest rival is Propmech-Damen which is offering the Enforcer family of landing platform dock.

As for the KCR-60M, MaxDefense received information from Navy sources that they are indeed interested but is still trying to find funding for it, as there is no allocated funds for such type of ship. It is believed that the Littoral Combat Force is the one requesting for these ships, and may initially not include the missile capability, although they could be fitted for but not with (FFBNW).

In general, the AFP is hoping that the government can provide more funds under the 2nd List of Horizon 2, which the DND and AFP plans to request either by 2020, as so far only less than Php80 billion worth of additional projects are being lined up for it.

The link on Jane's report can be accessed HERE.


10 May 2019:

The President had a Command Conference with his cabinet members, the leadership of the Department of National Defense (DND) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines. The conference included meetings regarding the Horizon 2 phase of the RAFPMP.

Among those greenlighted by the president was the acquisition of additional 2 units of Strategic Sealift Vessels. This means that acquisition process for this project will be happening soon.


01 June 2019:

MaxDefense received information from a source that the project to acquire the SSVs was being tied to the take-over of Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction's Shipyard in Subic. 

This complicates the project as interested proponents will need to consider on how to include the take-over of the gigantic shipyard when it is considered too big for most if not all interested proponents.

Looking at the most likely proponents like PT PAL, Damen, and Daesun, all three are operating with smaller shipyards and none of them appears to be interested in taking over the HHIC Subic Shipyard due to lack of market for ships that require such facility.

The HHIC Subic Shipyard, which is said to being coupled by the DND and PN for the SSV acquisition project.


17 June 2019:

The Department of National Defense (DND) has released the Invitation to Bid (ITB) for the Strategic Sealift Vessel (SSV) Phase 2 project, which is now renamed as the Landing Docks Acquisition Project.

Among the most visible change is the increase in budget, from Php5.0 billion (average of Php2.5 billion per ship), to Php5.56 billion (an average of Php2.78 billion per ship).

In comparison, the original SSV Acquisition Project under Horizon 1 only has an Approved Budget of Contract (ABC) of Php4 billion for 2 ships, or an average of Php2 billion per ship.

MaxDefense believes that the increase in budget was due to the decreased value of the Philippine Pesos versus the US Dollar, and also to consider inflation and price increases since the first SSV acquisition project was awarded.in 2013.

The technical specs is already with us, although I might take some time to prepare a summary to discuss the details. In brief, it appears that the Philippine Navy is looking for a ship with similar dimensions and performance parameters as the Tarlac-class, but with additional features including storage for ammunition (missiles, torpedoes, rockets), and capability to carry the Multi-Purpose Attack Craft (MPAC) Mk. III.

And it also appears that they have specifically required for the hangar and flight deck to be capable of accommodating a 10-ton medium helicopter, specifically the AgustaWestland AW139M helicopter. Which means there are plans either with the PN or the Philippine Air Force to acquire the helicopter model. 

The ITB as released in PhilGEPS last 14 June 2019. Photo taken from PhilGEPS website.

Technical Specs calls for helicopter facilities to allow accepting 10-ton medium helicopters, but was very specific in mentioning the AgustaWestland AW139M helicopter, which is currently not in service in the AFP. Which means the Philippine Navy might be interested in the model. Previously the specs on the SSV calls for facilities to allow Sikorsky's Black Hawk helicopter. Photo taken from Wikipedia.


18 June 2019:

MaxDefense released a blog entry discussing the Technical Requirements of the new Landing (Platform) Docks being tendered by Philippine navy.

A summary of the important parts of the Tech Requirements are as follows:

* Safely operate to up to Sea State 6
* Being able to launch at least 2 Landing Craft Utilities (LCU) from the well deck, at least 2 RHIBs or MPAC Mk. III to and from the cradle, and AAVs to and from the well deck and side ramps.
* Accommodate at least two 10-helicopters in the helideck
* Helicopter hangar for at least 1 10-ton helicopter

Dimensions and Characterisrics:
* At least 120 meters long
* At least 21 meters breadth
* Displacement at least 7,200 tons (payload compliant)
* Ship operation up to Sea State 6
* Helicopter operation up to Sea State 4
* LCU, RHIB and MPAC operations up to Sea State 4
* AAV operations up to Sea State 4
* Complement of 138 officers and men including 16 females
* Non organic complement for 1 VVIP, 8 VIPs, and 33 officers and men
* Allow accommodation for a marine battalion of 500 men

The LPDs will be used as platforms to launch the Amphibious Assault Vehicles similar to the ones above. Photo taken from US Navy.

* Cruising speed of at least 13 knots
* Maximum speed of at least 16 knots
* Maximum Range of at least 9,000 nautical miles without refuelling
* Ship circling diameter of not more than 5 ship lengths
* Operate at temperatures between - 10° to 45°C Air Temperature, -2.2° to 32°C Sea Temperature, and 10% to 100% Humidity

Equipment Support:
* 2 Collapsible Cradles for 2 MPAC Mk.3
* Storage for up to 24 rounds of Spike-ER missiles
* Well deck provisions for 2 LCUs
* Flight deck for 2 10-ton medium helicopters specifically AW139 and including AW159
* Flight deck with deck locking grid or landing grid helicopter securing system
* Hangar for a 10-ton helicopter specifically the AW139
* Storage for up to 24 Spike-ER missiles, 48 Spike-NLOS missile rounds and 48 2.75" aerial rockets
* 7-meter, 40-ton capacity tank turntable to turn vehicles on its own radius
* Space to fit at least 8 AAVs

Ship Design
* Future space and munition storage for a 76mm gun, port/starboard/aft 30mm guns, CIWS, decoy launching systems, 
* Fitted for but not with Hull Mounted Sonar, Air/Surface Search 3D Radar, Electronic Warfare System, Combat Management System, Electro-Optical Tracking System, and Gyro Compass
* Powered by 2 Main Propulsion diesel engines
* Bow thruster and controllable pitch propellers
* 4 Service generators, allowing 3 to be fully capable to power the entire ship including all Fitted for But Not With items
* 2 Reverse Osmosis Plants for freshwater production
* Replenishment at Sea Capability using STANAG 1065 standards

Sensors and Weapons:
* X and S-band solid state Navigation Radars
* Forward Looking Infra Red (FLIR) Camera
* 8 nos. of .50 caliber machine guns with mounts

A .50 cal gun mount on a Tarlac-class LPD. Eight similar guns and mounts are required for the new LPDs.

Technology Transfer:
* Require proponents to tie-up with local shipbuilder to build one of the ships in the Philippines
* Grant PN the ownership of design or allow license production of the design.

Other details were left, as they would entail longer discussion which are not really too important for most of our readers to know.

In the meantime, we would be waiting for the closing of bid submission, and opening of bids which is scheduled by 07 July 2019, should there be no changes in the schedules.


20 June 2019:

During PHILMARINE 2019 exhibition in SM Mall of Asia, Indonesian shipbuilder PT PAL came in full force and displayed their offerings to the Philippine Navy.

Among those in the display was the 123-meter Strategic Sealift Vessel "New Version", which was confirmed by PT PAL representatives to be the one they are offering for the Philippine Navy's Landing Docks Acquisition Project.

PT PAL's 123-meter SSV "New Variant" as displayed in PHILMARINE 2019. Photo taken by a community member exclusively for MaxDefense.

This appears to be a new model from PT PAL as this has not been published before even on PT PAL's website, nor with major Indonesian defense forums or pages. Originally, many are speculating that the offer would be based on PT PAL's larger 143-meter Landing Platform Dock model, which may have the space enough to fit the new requirements specified in the bid documents.

Among its features are as follows (versus project specs):

* Length: 123 meters (>120 meters)
* Breadth: 21.8 meters (>21 meters)
* Max Displacement: 7,200 tons (=7,200 tons)
* Max Speed: 16 knots (=16 knots)
* Cruising Speed: 13 knots (=13 knots)
* Cruising Range: >9,360 nautical miles (>8,000 nautical miles)
* Endurance: 30 days for crew (=30 days for 138 crewmembers)
* Main Diesel Engine: 2 x 2,920KW output
* Generators: 4 x 550KWe output
* Emergency Generator: 1 x 400KWe output
* Provision Crane: 1 x 2 tons x 7 meters
* Cargo Lift: 1 x 10 ton capacity (=1 x 10 tons)
* Helicopter Deck: 2 x AW101 Merlin helicopters (>2 x AW139 helicopters)

The ship also has a bow thruster, space for 76mm gun and two 30mm guns, space for decoy launchers, a dome sonar space, and a hangar for a medium helicopter.

It remains to be seen the ship will have space for two Multi-Purpose Attack Craft Mk.3 (MPAC Mk.3) as specified in the bid documents. But aside from.that, this offered design seems to meet most if not all requirements.


21 June 2019:

The Department of National Defense (DND) 
released a Suppemental Bid Bulletin announcing the need for a Second Pre-Bid Conference scheduled on 25 June 2019. While no reason was provided, the need for a second conference means that there are still a lot of questions or clarifications that needs to be made and there could have not been enough time during the first Pre-Bid Conference held yesterday 20 June 2019.

In addition, the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) is also moving the bid submission deadline and bid opening date from 04 July 2019, and instead was left open and a new date would be announced later on.

Taken from the SBB released 20 June 2019.


25 June 2019:

The DND released a new Supplemental Bid Bulletin (SBB) No. DND/PN-LD-19-02 dated 25 June 2019, confirming that the Submission and Opening of Bid Envelopes (SOBE) has been moved to 08 August 2019.

Interested proponents now have 6 weeks more to make their bid submissions better, complete, and free from errors.They could even re-think their offers and try to beat out the offers of the other companies.

Link to the DND's new SBB can be accessed by clicking HERE. 


23 July 2019:

0Additional information were provided by the DND through the Supplemental Bid Bulletin (SBB) No. DND/PN-LD-19-03 dated 10 July 2019.

The  Submission and Opening of Bid Envelopes (SOBE) has been confirmed to 08 August 2019.

Among the changes are as follows:

* Bidders are not required to have built a military vessel with gross tonnage of 7,000 tons. Instead, they are just required to have built a vessel (either civilian or military) with gross tonnage of 5,000 tons. This is probably to allow smaller players to join.
* One of the ships will still be needed to be built in the Philippines. But no tie-ups between foreign and local shipbuilders are required. It could mean that a foreign shipbuilder may subcontract the shipbuilding to a local shipbuilder rather than being officially a joint venture.
* Warranty is now just one (1) year, regardless of mileage.
* Payment terms has been changed, with the DND paying 35% after delivery of 1st vessel, and another 50% upon delivery of 2nd vessel. A 5% retention will apply while warranty is valid.
* Shipbuilders are required to just have a drydocking capability of 10,000 DWT, as compared to 20,000 DWT before.
* Bidders are required to submit their bids in Philippine Pesos. Contract amount will also be in Philippine Pesos.

* Transfer of Technology (ToT) is required and included for consideration as part of the amount.

Based on the queries submitted proponents, we now have a list of who will potentially submit a bid for the project. And these are:

1. Samkang M&T of South Korea - they build ship blocks for larger shipbuilders although it remains to be seen if they have actually built something similar to a Landing Platform Dock before.

2. PT PAL (Persero) of Indonesia - the builder of the Tarlac-class. It appears they have an issue on giving full technology transfer of the design, as they prefer to use it in cooperation with their company.

3. POSCO International of South Korea - initials for POhang Steel COrporation, the 4th largest steel company in the world.

4. Goa Shipyard Limited of India - while they have built naval ships for the Indian Navy and other regional navies and coast guards, it appears they are having difficulty in meeting shipyard capabilities in terms of previous experience in ships as large as the LPD.

Although not submitting a query, MaxDefense also received information that other shipbuilders has shown interest in the tender, which includes those from the Netherlands and Turkey.

The Supplemental Bid Bulletin can be accessed by clicking the link HERE.

MaxDefense will provide more details as the bid submission gets nearer.


28 July 2019:

Another set of queries were replied upon by the DND for the Landing Docks Acquisition Project under their new Supplemental Bid Bulletin No. DND/PN-LD-19-04 dated 25 July 2019.

The point that these companies submitted queries means that they are also potential bidders for the project.

These queries came from:

1. Larsen & Toubro Limited (India), and

2. Megaship Builders Inc. - Sing Kiong Hong Dockyards Sdn. Bhd. Joint Venture.

Larsen & Toubro Ltd is an Indian conglomerate which also has a shipbuilding arm. They were one of the interested bidders during the Strategic Sealift Vessel (SSV) Acquisition Project which was won by PT PAL (Persero) a few years ago which bore fruit to the Tarlac-class landing platform dock. MaxDefense previously mentioned that the same company is interested in joining this tender again.

Not much is known on Megaship Builders Inc. aside from being a new shipyard based in Albuera, Leyte. Its joint venture partner Sing Kiong Hong Dockyards Sdn. Bhd. appears to be a Malaysian company from Sarawak. Both companies appear to have no experience building a ship as large as an LPD, or an LPD itself.

Larsen & Toubro Shipbuilding has built ships for the Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard. Photo taken from L&T Shipbuilding's website.

The link to the Supplemental Bid Bulletin can be accessed by clicking HERE.


08 August 2019:

As posted on our community's social media page:

The submission and opening of bids for the Philippine Navy's Landing Dock Acquisition Project happened earlier today.

Only 1 proponent submitted a bid - Indonesia's PT PAL (Persero).

But its bid was rejected and PT PAL was disqualified, apparently for being not able to comply with the requirement to build one of the ships in the Philippines.

Looks like this will take a while again before a re-bid happens. And MaxDefense is not hopeful that the second bidding attempt would be successful either.


30 August 2019:

The first bidding attempt for the Landing Docks Acquisition Project failed after the only bidder for the project was disqualified during the opening of the bids last 08 August 2019.

With this, the DND Bids and Awards Committee has restarted the bidding by issuing new bid documents for the project. 

So far, the only major change made was the removal of the requirement to have one of the ships built in the Philippines, which is the reason why PT PAL was disqualified during the first bidding attempt. 

It appears that insisting one of the ships to be built locally would be difficult for foreign shipbuilders due to the limited time provided for them to consider such requirement.

The time extension also means that other shipbuilders that showed interest in the initial bidding attempt like Samkang, POSCO, Goa Shipyards, and Larsen & Toubro could be given another chance to try to submit a proposal.

The new Submission and Opening of Bid Envelopes (SOBE) is now scheduled on 24 September 2019, subject to possible changes depending on the outcome of the Pre-Bid Conference as usually bidders request for time extension.

The new bid documents can be accessed from the link provided HERE.

BRP Davao del Sur (LD-602). Photo taken from Wikimedia Commons.


06 November 2019:

Based on documents from the Department of National Defense Bids and Awards Committee (DND-BAC), it appears that the 2nd Attempt to bid the Landing Docks Acquisition Project was declared a failure pursuant to Section 41b of the Government Procurement Act.

This specific section indicates that the bidding was considered a failure due to the BAC failed the prescribed bidding procedures, which is something that does not happen commonly.

At the same time, new bid documents came out for the re-bidding of the Landing Docks Acquisition Project.

Despite previous reports that the Philippine Navy will be reviewing the technical specifications especially on the flight deck requirement, it appears that there were no changes on the requirements except for fathometer requirements and on helicopter deck operations training. Sadly, the flight deck remains at 10-ton capacity for each space.

All others including physical dimensions and all others remain the same. Budget remains the same too.

Not really a good sign since even if the deal between the DND and Rosoboronexport pushes through for Mil Mi-17 medium helicopters happen or not, having a higher load capacity and even flight deck length just to accommodate them or any other similar-sized helicopter will be useful considering the Philppine Air Force has not given up on such projects.

Pre-Bid Conference is scheduled on 14 November 2019, and the Submission of Bids will be on 26 November 2019. Let's see if proponent will still raise their previous concerns.

If this bidding fails again, it is highly possible that the DND would go for a Negotiated Procurement with shipbuilders. According to MaxDefense sources, the DND prefers to award the project to Indonesian shipbuilder PT PAL (Persero).


30 December 2019:

For the Landing Docks Acquisition Project which conducted the Bid Submission and Opening last 26 November 2019, the lowest bidder was local shipbuilder Megaship Builders Inc., which is joint-ventured to a Malaysian shipbuilder, Sing Kiong Hong Dockyards Sdn Bhd.

The problem is, Megaship Builders or even its joint venture partner Sing Kiong Hong Dockyards has never built a Landing Platform Dock-type ship before. Both companies appear to have no experience either in installing, integrating and supporting military equipment and subsystems.

But they were able to join the bidding because the Philippine Navy's TWG simply required bidders to have experience in building ships of around 7,000 tons or higher displacement, without specifying on the type of ship they built before.

In short, it is the Philippine Navy's fault that such was able to join and even become the lowest bidder for the project due to their vague and incomplete details on the technical specifications and requirements.

Megaship Builders Inc. and its partner Sing Kiong Hong Dockyards Sdn Bhd. Photos taken from their respective Facebook pages.


31 December 2019:

While Megaship Builders Inc. - Sing Kiong Hong Dockyards JV was the lowest bidder for the Landing Docks Acquisition Project of the Philippine Navy, it appears that they might have hit a wall during the Post Qualification Inspection (PQI) stage which was conducted this month.

And based on information MaxDefense received after posting the news on Megaship Builders - Sing Kiong Hong Dockyards JV being the lowest bidder for the project, it appears that they failed the Post Qualification Inspection (PQI) due to financial and technical reasons, which may have included their lack of experience in building an LPD-like vessel or military transport vessels of similar size and design.

If the joint venture was Post-Disqualified, it means that the second lowest bidder will be given the chance to steal the show. And in this case, the second lowest bidder is Indonesian state-owned shipbuilder PT PAL (Persero), which was the builder of the Tarlac-class LPD already in use with the Philippine Navy.

It now remains to be seen if PT PAL will be able to pass the Post Qualification Inspection to be conducted by the DND-Bids and Awards Committee (DND-BAC) and Philippine Navy Technical Working Group (TWG). 

PT PAL previously had working experience with the Philippine Navy, as PT PAL built the Tarlac-class LPDs under the Strategic Sealift Vessel Acquisition Project. Photo taken from Tribunnews.com.

PT PAL previously passed the PQI for the Strategic Sealift Vessel (SSV) Acquisition Project, which means PT PAL has experience in how PQIs are done, and how to pass it.

Should PT PAL pass the PQI, it would become the basis for the release of Notice of Award (NOA), which in turn will lead to PT PAL receiving the contract for the project.

A win by PT PAL is also advantageous to the Philippine Navy, as both parties already had previous working experience in building similar ships, and PT PAL's offered design is actually an improved version of the Tarlac-class. This means the retention of design which will make commonality and logistics support simpler and more efficient, compared to having a different LPD design from the existing ones the Philippine Navy already operates.

MaxDefense just hopes that the Philippine Navy would be able to improve further on the ship's design, considering they failed to include improvements on helicopter deck capacity to allow future helicopters of the Philippine Air Force, which may include medium and heavy lift helicopters like the Russian Mi-17 Hip and American CH-47 Chinook helicopters.

Photos of their proposed 123-meter LPD for the Philippine Navy, which is based on an improved version of the Philippine Navy's Tarlac-class LPD. 

Here is a video posted by PT PAL of what it could be offering to the Philippine Navy. Take note that items not included in the technical requirements will not be delivered by the winning shipbuilder, including the 76mm Super Rapid main gun, CIWS, etc.


29 February 2020:

MaxDefense received confirmation that Indonesian state-owned shipbuilder PT PAL has passed the Post Qualification Inspection (PQI) for the Landing Docks Acquisition Project. This means that the Department of National Defense should be ironing out all other concerns and issues with PT PAL before a Notice of Award (NOA) could be released.

According to sources, PT PAL will indeed be using their revised 123-meter Landing Platform Dock design, and if constructed, would technically make these ships a possible Tarlac-class Flight II model.


03 April 2021:

The DND has marked the second rebidding for the Landing Docks Acquisition Project as a failed bid as of December 2020.

This was despite reports that PT PAL passed the Post Qualification Inspections on February 2020. 

PhilGEPS showing bid failure notice as of December 2020. Photo grabbed from PhilGEPS website.

MaxDefense Philippines is still  trying to find out the reason for the project bidding's failure, which sources attributed to changes being made on the project by the Philippine Navy to include several new features that were not included in the original tender documents and requirements.

MaxDefense Philippines received information that other shipbuilders have already learned about the project's reset as early as 3rd quarter 2020, with offers from Navantia and another shipbuilder submitted to the DND and PN.


01 October 2021:

A 4th bidding attempt has been opened on 01 October 2021, with the submission and opening of bids scheduled on 26 October 2021.

This shows that despite offers made by other shipbuilders, the acquisition decision memorandum (ADM) for the project was not changed and public bidding was still pursued.

It remains to be seen which companies will be interested and submitting bids, but we expext the same companies as before, which includes PT PAL, Megaship Builders, and others.

We alsl hope Navantia and other major shipbuilders will participate deapite the low budget for the project.

Also, new information was received by our parent page MaxDefense Philippines, which received information from Indonesian sources.

Apparently, the DND and Philippine Navy was not able to conduct a Post Qualification Inspection of PT PAL after the Indonesian shipbuilder was declared the next qualified bidder after the disqualification of Megaship Builders.

But due to COVID-19 pandemic affecting travel rules of both the Philippines and Indonesia, Philippine officials were not able to travel to Indonesia to conduct PQI.

With time running, the quoted price submitted by PT PAL expired, and the 3rd bidding attempt failed.

In short, PT PAL was not disqualified.

It now remains to be seen if PT PAL can have its chance again in this 4th bidding attempt opened by the DNS today.


11 November 2021:

The Landing Docks Acquisition Project's Submission and Opening of Bid Envelopes (SOBE) was moved to 11 November 2021 at the request of several bidders and due to several changes in the bid requirements.

It has also been confirmed that PT PAL and Megaship Builders are returning to potentially submit a bid, although Megaship Builders has changed its joint venture, now with Indonesian company PT Batamec of Indonesia.

In addition, South Korea's Hyundai Heavy Industries and India's Larsen & Toubro have indicated their interest in potentially submitting a bid for this project.

Based on the Supplemental Bid Bulletins released for the project in the past 2 months, it appears that the Tarlac-class had some design issues that are wished to be corrected in this new project. This has become evident with PT PAL's request to just copy some of the dimensions and equipment on the Tarlac-class, but was rejected by the Philippine Navy's TWG.

The budget remains the same as in 2019, which PT PAL was concerned on, considering the improvements being made on the ship, and the prices of steel going up since then. Our mother page MaxDefense Philippines confirmed to us that steel prices have indeed increased globally, and has also been observed in other countries including South Korea, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Australia.

It remains to be seen if today's SOBE would be successful, or will this project's bidding fail again. A failure can allow the PN and DND to proceed to negotiated procurement process, which allows them to talk to each of the companies and have them submit price outside the usual public bidding format.


14 November 2021:

The tender for the Landing Docks Acquisition Project closed without any indication that the tender failed, so it means that evaluation of bids would be happening, and this might take sometime before we can see some news.

As part of the bid documents used in the tender, the Philippine Navy has actually named their planned subsystems to be installed on the Landing Platforms Dock as a "fitted for but not with" (FFBNW) items, as shown below.

Photo screengrabbed from DND bid documents for LD Acquisition Project.

While the 76mm Oto Melara Super Rapid gun, the 30mm Aselsan SMASH RCWS, and Leonardo NA25X fire control radar, and the Terma C-Guard decoy launching system are already standard in the Philippine Navy, the specifying of Millennium gun and Gokdeniz 35mm gun with REOFCS indicates that these are the ones the PN is looking at to fill in the CIWS requirements for their ships.

Currently the priority in acquiring CIWS are for the Jose Rizal-class frigates. This matches the information posted by our mother page MaxDefense Philippines in its Facebook page, which also said that the Rheinmetall Millennium gun and the Aselsan Gokdeniz gun were the ones shortlisted by the PN for the CIWS requirements of the frigates.

The need for CIWS, 76mm main and 30mm secondary guns, and decoy launching system for the landing platforms dock indicates that the PN is putting effort to providing the ships with decent defensive hard and soft kill systems against surface and air threats. 

Its now just a matter of providing enough funding by the government to allow these acquisition plans to materialize. 


07 February 2022:

It appears that the latest bidding attempt failed again, after the DND has released a new bidding process last January 2022.

Based on the latest specifications of the project, the Philippine Navy has revised the requirement on the supply of Landing Crafts Utility (LCU). It is now down to just 2 units, or each per landing platform dock, instead of 2 LCUs for each LPD.

We believe that this change on the requirements gives insight to why the last bidding process failed. It is most likely due to the proponents' inability to supply all the requirements with the budget allocated by the DND and PN.

To make ends meet, the PN made the decision to cut the number of LCUs, which will allow for the reduction of costs and likelihood that the budget would now be sufficient and proponents can meet the requirements.

This goes to show the poor foresight and planning at the Philippine Navy's end, as they failed to consider the increasing costs of steel and many other materials, as well as escalation of prices every year.

The new bidding process is allowing the Submission and Opening of Bid Envelopes (SOBE) by March 2022, which has already moved considering it was originally scheduled by February 2022.

The new Invitation to Bid (ITB) shows changes on LCU requirements. Photo credits to DND, thanks to Herbie for the heads-up.


 14 April 2022:

The Department of National Defense and the Philippine Navy sent a delegation to Indonesia to conduct Post Qualification Inspection (PQI) on Indonesian state-owned shipbuilder PT PAL (Persero) from 10-16 April 2022, as the company was declared the lowest calculated bidder for the Landing Docks Acquisition Project of the Philippine Navy.

If PT PAL pass the PQI, the next step will be finalizing the project's Terms of Reference (TOR), and release of Notice of Award (NOA) in favor of PT PAL. 

PT PAL offered an improved version of their 123m LPD design for the project.

Photos show DND and PN team visiting the Philippine Embassy in Jakarta, including meeting Philippine Ambassador to Indonesia Leehiong Wee.

Photo credits to Philippine Embassy in Indonesia.


02 June 2022:

The Department of National Defense plans to award the Landing Docks Acquisition Project soon, maybe even before Pres. Duterte steps down.

The initial funding for the 15% deposit was recently released by the Department of Budget and Management recently, and the release of the Notice of Award is expected to be following soon.

MaxDefense Philippines sources confirmed that Indonesian shipbuilder PT PAL was selected by the Philippine Navy, and will be awarded the project by the DND.

PT PAL offered an improved version of the Tarlac-class LPD.

The 123m SSV New Version design offered by PT PAL to the Philippine Navy.


10 June 2022:

Inquirer.net reported that a Notice of Award (NOA) was released on 05 June 2022 in favor of Indonesian shipbuilder PT PAL (Persero).

With the NOA released, we expect a Contract to be signed between the DND and PT PAL in the coming weeks, likely before Pres. Duterte steps down from office.

More on the report from Inquirer.net.


21 June 2022:

The Notice of Award document for the project has been posted by the DND, which confirms the report made 2 weeks ago.


24 June 2022:

More photos of the PT PAL 123m LPD scale model was made available to MaxDefense Philippines. 

These were taken from PT PAL's display at Philippine Marine Expo 2022 (PhilMarine2022), and shows different angles including a cross secrion showing the cargo and well deck of the ship.

This will be the base design for PT PAL's landing platform dock for the Philippine Navy, with only minor alterations probably happe ing once Critical Design Review is finalized.

Take note that the project does not include weapons, which would be FFBNW and acquired separately by the Philippine Navy. So expect the ship to arrive with no weapons.

Photo credits to MDP contributor who wish to remain anonymous.


27 June 2022:

The Department of National Defense signed a contract for the Landing Docks Acquisition Project with Indonesian shipbuilder PT PAL (Persero), which aims to supply 2 123-meter landing platform docks (LPD) and 2 landing craft utilities (LCU) to the Philippine Navy.

The contract was signed on 24 June 2022 in the presence of DND, PN and PT PAL officials.

With this, and the signing of the contract for both the Corvette and Offshore Patrol Vessel Acquisition Projects, the DND under the Duterte administration was able to reach milestones for all 3 major surface ship projects of the Philippine Navy, only missing on the Submarine Acquisition Project.

Photo credits from PT PAL and MDP contributor.


06 March 2023:

While the contract has been signed by PT PAL on 24 June 2022, the DND's Procurement Monitoring Report as of January 2023 states that the contract has been signed on 20 July 2022. 

It is believed that the 20 July 2022 date has the completion of signing by all parties, and that the June 2022 signing could just be for PT PAL considering it was done in Indonesia and without then Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana present.

The delays could also be due to Sec. Lorenzana passing the signing of the contract to his replacement as then president-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. will be taking over as president by 30 June 2022, and will be assigning a new Defense Secretary.

It was also stated in the DND's report that the Notice to Proceed was released as of 06 July 2022, which means PT PAL is now bound to start the procurement and construction as per contract.


11 March 2023:

Naval News interviewed Indonesian shipbuilder PT PAL's CEO Dr. Kaharuddin Djenod and discussed several projects lined up for PT PAL.

Among those discussed was the contract with the Philippine Navy for two new 123-meter Landing Platform Docks, which PT PAL confirmed to start delivery of 1st ship by the end of 2026.

Surprisingly the delivery date is far away from contract signing which was held on June 2022, considering the Tarlac-class LPDs were delivered very quickly by PT PAL back when they were contracted. That means more than 4 years to deliver just the first ship.

As per the project's delivery date indicated on the bid documents, it was stated that delivery of the first ship shall be within 730 days from the receipt of Notice to Proceed, and the second ship shall be within 1,000 days from NTP.

Since NTP was released on 06 July 2023, 730 days would be 05 July 2025 for the first ship, and 10 July 2026 for the second ship. So its possible that Dr. Djenod might be wrong when he said delivery of the first ship is by end of 2026.

We hope the PT PAL CEO was just incorrect about the year he mentioned, although that remains to be seen in future announcements.

Below is the video from Naval News on the said interview from NAVDEX 2023 in Abu Dhabi, UAE.


10 August 2023:

Indonesian shipbuilder PT PAL conducted earlier today the First Steel Cutting Ceremony for the first new Landing Dock for the Philippine Navy. 

Philippine Navy Flag Officer in Command Vice Admiral Toribilo Adaci was present during the ceremony together with PT PAL Indonesia CEO Mr. Kaharuddin Djenod, as well as the Landing Dock Project TWG Head, Commander of the Indonesian Navy's Fleet Command II, and Chairman of Philippines Navy Owner Representative (PNOR).

The First Steel Cutting Ceremony marks the start of construction of the ship, which will involve preparation and forming of materials needed to construct the ship's hull. 

Photo credits to PT PAL Indonesia.


22 January 2024:

Earlier today, PT PAL Indonesia reached a milestone in the Landing Dock Acquisition Project, as it held the Keel Laying Ceremony for the Landing Dock Philippines #1 being constructed for the Philippine Navy at their shipyard in Surabaya.

The event also marked the First Steel Cutting Ceremony for Landing Dock # 2.

The event was witnessed by Philippine Navy Deputy Commander Rear Admiral Caesar Bernard N Valencia, and Philippine Ambassador to Indonesia H. E Gina A Jamoralin, as well as  various stakeholders.

Also present were PT PAL CEO Indonesia Dr. Kaharuddin Djenod, Chief Commissioner PT PAL Didit Herdiawan, Chief of the Shipbuilding Task Unit LD Capt. Emerson F Oxales PN (GSC), and Project Head LD Philippines Parnianto. 

The Keel Laying Ceremony was conducted first at the shipyard's drydock, with the signing and submission of the LD Philippines ship silhouette as a symbol of the First Steel Cutting of Landing Dock Philippines #2 at the shipyard's fabrication facility.

Photo credits to PT PAL Indonesia.


29 May 2024:

Another milestone has been reached on the project, as the Keel Laying Ceremony for the Landing Dock # 2 was held earlier today in PT PAL Indonesia's shipyard in Surabaya.

The activity was witnessed by Philippine Navy Technical Inspection and Acceptance Committee chief Capt. Leo Amor A. Vidal and his team, accompanied by the Philippines Navy Owner Representatives (PNOR) Chairman Capt. Emerson F Oxales, as well as COO PT PAL Indonesia Iqbal Fikri together with GM Trading Ship Division Supriono and the Project Management Team.

This means both ships bound for the Philippine Navy are already being formed at the drydock, and appears to on time for the first ship to be delivered by 05 July 2025, and the second ship by 05 July 2026.

Photo credits to PT PAL Indonesia.

First edit and release: 17 June 2019
Copyright MaxDefense Philippines / Philippine Defense Resource

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