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Combat Engineering Equipment Lot 7 - Mini Mine Detector Acquisition Project of the Philippine Army

The Philippine Army is in the process of acquiring Combat Engineering Equipment, which includes mine and IED detection capabilities in the wake of increased use of such by terrorists and insurgents.

Mini Mine Detector Acquisition Project, which is a sub-lot of the Combat Engineering Equipment Acquisition Project, is a Horizon 2 phase Priority Project under the Revised AFP Modernization Program.

An Approved Budget for Contract (ABC) of Php18,200,000.00 was allocated by the Department of National Defense (DND) for the acquisition of 104 units.

Project Summary:

Combat Engineering Equipment Lot 7 - Mine Mine Detector Acquisition Project

Note: Edited as of 15 January 2023.

* End User: Philippine Army (unspecified Army Engineering Brigade)

* Quantity: 104 units + ILS

* Modernization Phase: Horizon 2 Phase Priority Projects of RAFPMP

* Project ABC: Php18,200,000.00

* Acquisition Mode: Public Bidding

* Source of Funding: GAA funded, to be paid via Multi-Year Obligatory Allocations (MYOA).

* SARO Release: TBA

* Winning Proponent: Safer PH Innovations Inc.

* Product for Delivery: TBA

* Contract Price: Php18,200,000.00

* Residual Amount: Php0.00

* First post by MaxDefense: TBA

* MaxDefense Searching Hashtag: #PACEEMMDAcquisition

* Status: procurement changed to public bidding, bid docs released 23 October 2019. SOBE scheduled 13 November 2019, moved to 20 November 2019, moved again to 27 November 2019. 1st bidding attempt failed. 2nd rebidding process started on October 2021, with SOBE scheduled on 26 November 2021. 2nd rebidding process failed, new 3rd rebidding process opened on 10 March 2022, SOBE scheduled on 30 March 2022. NOA released in favour of Safer PH Innovations on 29 December 2022.

A mine or metal detector leads a group of US Marines during patrol in 2017. Photo taken from Department of Defense archives.


The acquisition of mine detection capabilities has been in the procurement plans of the Philippine Army for some time, but was not given priority due to the numerous materiel in its procurement list despite having limited funds.

But the lack of such capability was exposed during the Battle of Marawi in 2017 against ISIS-inspired terrorists, and after the conflict when unexploded ordnance and mines became a problem that delayed the rehabilitation of Marawi City.

During the Marawi crisis in June 2017, the Philippine Army requested for the emergency procurement of 219 units of MMDs, but none has even been approved when the crisis was over by Octobe 2017.

Originally the Philippine Army planned to acquire only 44 units, but the improvements in technology and availability of simpler and cheaper but equally effective mine detectors allowed the PA to increase the quantity despite the budget not changing.

Technical Requirements:

The following are the technical requirements as indicated on the bid documents:

Specific Requirement: Brand new, NATO standard
Operating Length:
  * Folded: 328cm x 102cm x 56cm
  * Extended: 126.2cm
Operating Weight: max 2.6 kgs with batteries, max 2.4 kgs without batteries
Pulse Induction Transmission: Bipolar Multi-Period Sensing
  * Audio Output: Internal Loudspeaker or with Earset
  * Visual Output: through 9 LED Display
  * Data Output: RS-232 bidirectional
  * Operating Temperature: -30deg C to 60deg C
  * Storage Temperature: -30deg C to 80deg C
  * Environmental Endurance: to MIL STD 810G
Power Supply and Batteries:
  * Alkaline: 4 x C cell LR14
  * Rechargeable: 4 x NiCad or NiMh cell minimum 4,000mAh
  * Auxiliary Supply: 5-16V DC
Typical Operating Endurance: approx. 7 hours
Detection Ranges: Mine with very small metal content:

    * Test Piece 5cm, 0.15g: greater than 5cm (2 inches)
    * Typical Anti-Tank Mine: 50cm

Based on the values above, it appears that the Philippine Army's Technical Working Group for the project has closely patterned their desired Mini Mine Detector from Schiebel's MIMID Miniature Mine Detector. 

The Schiebel MIMID miniature mine detector was said to be effective that it can also be used for body search like shown above. Photo taken from Schiebel's website.

Schiebel of Austria is a world leader in mine detection equipment, and is famous also for the S-100 Camcopter UAV that is also being looked at by the Philippine Navy.

The MIMID has exactly the same dimensions, operating endurance, detection ranges, power supply, and has operating and storage temperature ranges within the requirements of the project.

Also, it means that the Philippine Army has deviated from its original plan of using a larger but more expensive model, since they were only originally looking at 44 units of Mini Mine Detector for the same budget of Php18.2 million. Now for the same budget, they're looking at 104 units.

Schiebel's MIMID during retracted and folded mode. The compact size is useful and would allow easy carrying by the operators. Photo taken from Defense-Blog website.


U P D A T E S:

25 October 2019:

The bid documents for the Combat Engineering Equipment - Lot 7: Mini Mine Detector (MMD) acquisition project was released on 23 October 2019. Like the Armored Vehicle-Launched Bridge component of the CEE project, the MMD acquisition's Submission and Opening of Bid Envelopes (SOBE) is scheduled on 13 November 2019.

MaxDefense expects Pre-Bid Conference queries to come out prior to SOBE, which would further clarify issues.

Schiebel remains a favorite for this tender, based on feedbacks we received from sources.


18 November 2019:

The DND has released a Supplemental Bid Bulletin (SBB) declaring the movement of Submission and Opening of Bids, from 20 November 2019 to 27 November 2019.

The earlier date was already the result of an earlier movement, wherein the Submission and Opening of Bids was moved from 13 November 2019 to 20 November 2019.


08 August 2020:

After a long wait on the status of this project, it was recently updated to be a failed bid.

Since it took some time before a declaration was made, MaxDefense believes that the reason for failure in the Post Qualification Inspection (PQI) part.

With the Philippine government implementing funding diversion for defense acquisition projects, it remains to be seen if this project would be affected. So far, the Combat Engineering Equipment Lot 7, as well as Lots 2, 3, 5, 6, and 8 were among those that were moved for initial funding starting FY2021 during the DND's Realignment of AFP Modernization Funds that was approved last May 2020.

And with the bid failure, it only gave the DND more reason to delay the project.

With the Philippine economy shrinking in 2020, and a dismal economic performance in 2021, it remains to be seen if the Philippine government would even provide funding for this project and other lots of the Combat Engineering Equipment projects next year.


18 November 2020:

The DND has posted a rebidding for this project, and has released a new set of tender documents It appears that the project ABC, specs and other requirements remain the same as before.

The new Submission of Bid schedule is on 02 December 2020, although this is still subject to whatever the discussions are during the Pre-Bid Conference scheduled this morning.

It would be remembered that Lot 7 for the Mini Mine Detectors, along with Lot 1 for the Armored Vehicle Launched Bridges, were the only sublots within the Combat Engineering Equipment Acquisition Project that were provided funding as of 2020.

A copy of the cover of the bidding documents for this project. Note the new submission date. Photo from DND documents.


14 November 2021:

The Department of National Defense (DND and Philippine Army has restarted the bidding process for the Combat Engineering Equipment Lot 7 - Mini Mine Detectors Acquisition Project after almost a year of hiatus.

The specification remains the same, as well as the budget and the quantity being acquired.

The Submission and Opening of Bid Envelopes (SOBE) is now scheduled on 24 November 2021, which was already moved from previous posted dates as requested by the bidders.

It remains to be seen if this attempt would be successful, as it is already delayed due to funds previously allocated to it being diverted to COVID response expenses by the Government. So far, the DBM has re-allocated the funds back that allows the DND and PA to restart the tender process.

New ITB released on October 2021. Photo screengrabbed from PhilGEPS.


16 January 2022:

Based on PhilGEPS' website, it appears that the bidding for the project proceeded and closed on 26 November 2021.

It now remains to be seen which companies submitted their bids, and which one will be declared the lowest calculated bidder.


15 March 2022:

The 2nd rebidding process appears to have failed, as the DND opened a new rebidding process on 10 March 2022.

The budget and specifications, as well as the quantity to be delivered remains the same, and the new date for Submission and Opening of Bid Envelopes (SOBE) is now on 30 March 2022.

If this process fails again, the DND could shift to Direct Negotiations, considering this is already the 4th time this project is being publicly tendered.


15 January 2023:

As per the DND's Procurement Monitoring Report as of 10 January 2023, it was mentioned that the Notice of Award has been released on 29 December 2022 in favour of Safer PH Innovations.

It remains to be seen what product has been offered as well as the contract price for the project.

First edit and release: 25 October 2019
Copyright MaxDefense Philippines / Philippine Defense Resource

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