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Force Protection Equipment (Body Armor and Helmet) Acquisition Project of the Philippine Navy (Marines)

To augment existing inventory of of force protection equipment while also replacing damaged and old units, as well as to keep up with the growing number of manpower and new units, the Philippine Navy on behalf of the Philippine Marine Corps is acquiring additional body armor vests and helmets under the Force Protection Equipment (Body Armor and Helmet) Acquisition Project.

This is a Horizon 2 phase Priority Project under the Revised AFP Modernization Program, and was among those given In-Principle Approval by Pres. Rodrigo Duterte on June 2018.

PMC units have started using the Marom Dolphin Fusion System as shown above during the Philippines-Australia Exercise ALON 2023 last August 2023. Photo credits to PMC.

Project Summary:

Force Protection Equipment (Body Armor & Helmet) Acquisition Project

Note: Edited as of 16 April 2023.

* End User: Philippine Navy (Philippine Marine Corps)

* Quantity: 7,491 units o f Body Armor (Lot 1), 9,528 units of Helmets (Lot 2)

* Modernization Phase: Horizon 2 Phase of RAFPMP

* Project ABC:

     Lot 1: Php441,893,560.00
     Lot 2: Php240,734,000.00
     TOTAL : Php682,627,560.00 

Acquisition Mode: Public Bidding

* Source of Funding: GAA Funded

* SARO Release: SARO-BMB-D-20-0000703 dated 11 February 2020 worth Php507,312,686.00 representing 100% of total contract amount 

* Winning Proponent: Marom Dolphin (Israel)

Product for Delivery: Marom Dolphin High Cut Ballistic Helmet and Fusion System Force Protection Equipment

* Contract Price: 

* Residual: Php175,314,874.00

* First post by MaxDefense: 
June 2019 (see MD's AFP Modernization Program List)

* MaxDefense Searching Hashtag: #PNFPEAcquisition #PMCFPEAcquisition

* Status: Invitation to Bid released on 21 October 2019, with Submission and Opening of Bids scheduled on 12 November 2019. Israel's Marom Dolphin was declared the lowest qualified bidder, passed PQI last December 2019. SARO released on 13 February 2020 covering 100% of total contract price, NOA in favor of Marom Dolphin was released on 20 August 2020. Delivery started on August 2022, and was reported to be completed as of 1st quarter of 2023. Deployment of the FPEs was noted as of March 2023 and was confirmed to have been distributed to most MBLTs as of April 2023. PROJECT COMPLETED.

Lot 1 calls for body armor, and Lot 2 for helmets. Credits to original sources of photos, for reference only.



The Force Protection Equipment (Body Armor and Helmet) is used in all Territorial Defense, Security, and Stability Operations of the Philippine Marine Corps. There are three identified general physical operational environment in the utilization of the body armor and helmet:

1. Internal Security Operations in Rural Areas: the continuous ISO against terrorist groups concentrated in the country's hinterlands will still be the major operational environment for the Marines.

2. Amphibious Environement: the core competency of the Marines in being amphibious will be another operating environment. These may be seaward coming from land, towards the land coming from the sea, or just in the littoral enviroment.

3. Urban Terrain: Military Operations in Urban Terrian (MOUT) are another aspect being honed by the Marines. The presence of infrastructure and man-made obstacles is another operational environment that could not be disregards.

The FPE should be scalable to allow easy configuration to all the different operational requirements from light configuration to full-body armor configuration.

Philippine Marines during training exercise. The service is in need of new body armor and helmets. Photo credits to DVIDs Hub.

U P D A T E S:

22 October 2019:

The Department of National Defense (DND) has released the bid documents for the Force Protection Equipment Acquisition Project of the Philippine Navy on behalf of the Philippine Marine Corps.

Two separate lots were made with Lot 1 covering the Body Armor, and Lot 2 for the Helmets.

Changes were made compared to the original plans. Previously the Philippine Navy was planning to acquire the same number of body armor and helmets at 8,860 pairs. Now the body armor was reduced to 7,491 units, while increasing the number of helmets to 9,528 units.

So far there are 23 groups that requested for bid documents, although we do not expect all of them to submit a bid.

Pre-bid Conference is scheduled on 29 October 2019 which is expected to clear out queries and clarifications. We expect the queries and replies by the DND  Bids and Awards Committee and Philippine Navy's Technical Working Group for the project coming out via a Supplementary Bid Bulletin before the SOBE date.

Philippine Marines during training. The service needs new sets of body armor and helmets.


29 October 2019:

Earlier today, the Pre-Bid Conference was held for the project, and it was noted that there at least 12 proponents present in the meeting.

Among those noted present were Source Vagabond from Israeli, MKU Ltd. of India, Mars Armor of Bulgaria, among others.

These are the same companies that have been involved in many Body Armor and Helmet biddings within the AFP major branch services and the Philippine National Police.

According to an industry source, it appears that the technical specifications for the project has a lot of flaws, and many of the companies made their queries which is expected to be replied by the DND-BAC and Philippine Navy TWG in the next few days.

One of the proponents, Source Vagabond, previously displayed their body armor and helmet in ADAS 2016, as seen above. Photo exclusively shared to MaxDefense by one of our source.


10 November 2019:
Pre-Bidding updates have been made available by the Department of National Defense regarding this project.

Deliveries of the 1st tranche is now moved to 180 days from issuance of Notice to Proceed (NTP), up from 120 days. 2nd tranche was also moved to 240 days from NTP issuance, up from 180 days.

Requirements including winning previous similar contracts was adjusted, and more clarifications were made on documentation requirements.

The technical specs of the body armor and helmets were also amended, with the specs now more specific especially on the inclusions based on the maximum allowed weight, and inclusions based on the scalability.

Queries from Source Vagabond Systems Ltd., International Diamond ETH Inc., Marom Dolphin Ltd., and MKU Ltd. were also answered.

MaxDefense won't be very specific on the changes as it involves a lot of items. Instead, we refer our readers to the link from the DND's Supplemental Bid Bulletin.

More can be found on the link to the Supplemental Bid Bulletin HERE

Also, the bid submission date was moved from 12 November 2019 to 14 November 2019..


25 November 2019:

MaxDefense received confirmation that the DND Bids and Awards Committee has declared Israeli protection equipment manufacturer Marom Dolphin as the lowest qualified bidder for the Force Protection Equipment (Body Armor and Helmet) Acquisition Project.

But apparently there is an issue affecting the project. According to our sources, the DND-BAC chairman has been pressing on Maron Dolphin to immediate conduct the Post Qualification Inspection (PQI) earlier than usual.

This is the same DND-BAC Chairman that MaxDefense mentioned in a post last time as pushing its weight against DND leadership decision on the Philippine Army's Light Tank acquisition project.

Sources mentioned that this DND-BAC Chairman who is also a DND Assistant Secretary is in favor of one of the losing bidders, and pressuring Marom Dolphin to conduct the PQI earlier than planned is a way to put the Israeli company into a possible disqualification, resulting to the favored company to be next in line for PQI inspection and winning the tender.

Let's see if Marom Dolhpin can survive this pressure from the DND-BAC, considering the project is also in a hurry of being implemented and awarded as the year is ending and the risks of having the project funds returned back to the national coffers if unused remains high.

Marom Dolhpin's line of vest and plate carriers, which applies to the Body Armor component of the FPE Project. Photo taken from Marom Dolphin's website.


18 February 2020:

The SARO for the project amounting to Php517,312,686.00, or 100% of the total contract price was released by the Department of Budget Management (DBM) last 13 February 2020, which means that the Notice of Award (NOA) for the project is expected to be released soon.

MaxDefense received information that Israel's Marom Dolphin is expected to receive the NOA as they have been the lowest bidder for the project, and has passed the Post Qualification Inspection (PQI) conducted last December 2019.

It is still unknown what exact helmet and body armor design would Marom Dolphin supply although it is expected to be similar to those they already supplied to the AFP in the past.


12 October 2020:

The Department of National Defense (DND) has released the Notice of Award (NOA) in favor of Israel's Marom Dolphin Ltd., for the Force Protection Equipment Acquisition Project of the Philippine Navy. 

The NOA was dated on 20 August 2020 and was signed by Marom Dolphin on 24 September 2020.

According to the attached Memorandum from the DND, Marom Dolphin competed with two other companies, MKU Ltd. from India and Welcron Co. Ltd. from South Korea. Marom Dolphin emerged as the Lowest Bidder, with Php507,312,686.00, against MKU Ltd's Php528,697,643.01, and Welcron Co. Ltd's Php631,974,550.18.

Maron Dolphin passed the Post Qualification Inspection conducted last December 2019, but the result was questioned by MKU Ltd. resulting in a lenghty process in conducting ballistic tests in the US. 

The delays in making the final decision means delays in the delivery, considering the product delivery schedule will be dependent on when the Notice to Proceed is provided, which in turn is dependent also on the Signing of Contract.

The project NOA, in favor of Marom Dolphin. Photo screengrabbed from DND documents.


12 July 2022:

Israeli tactical gear manufacturer Marom Dolphin shows their Fusion System, which they are supplying to the Philippine Marine Corps.

The Fusion System combines Marom Dolphin's body armor vest, duty belt and a 60 liter or 30 liter backpack.

Video credits to Marom Dolphin's Youtube channel.


05 August 2022:

The Philippine Marine Corps has finally received its order for new Body Armor and Helmet from Israel's Marom Dolphin.

As we showed in a video before (see update above), it uses Marom Dolphin's Fusion System which is a patented advanced carrying system which integrates a tactical duty belt, a protective vest and a full-sized backpack all together into one modular system. The system can be used with or without ballistic soft and hard panels.

Photos show the Marom Dolphin Fusion System as displayed with the Philippine Marine Corps' basic combat uniform. Photo credits to Philippine Marine Corps.


20 March 2023:

Earlier today, our parent page MaxDefense Philippines noticed that the newly re-equipped Marine Battalion Landing Team 6 (MBLT-6) which was sent-off a few weeks ago, that they are ALL wearing high-cut tactical helmets and new body armor.

Surprisingly, high cut helmets are normally worn by special operation units so at first, one would think that the MBLT-6 marines were from the Marine Special Operations Group (MARSOG).

It appears that the helmets and body armor were the ones supplied by Israel's Marom Dolphin.
The Philippine Marines received 7,491 body armors and 9,528 helmets as part of the Force Protection Equipment (Body Armor and Helmet) Acquisition Project. The quantity alone says its for every marine battalion landing team and not for MARSOG, which is already equipped with US-supplied FPEs.

It is now shown in these photos, at a closer look at what they look like.


16 April 2023:

Our parent page MaxDefense Philippines confirmed through its sources with the Philippine Marine Corps that Marom Dolphin has completed the delivery of all 7,491 body armor and 9,528 helmets including accessories as of early 2023 as part of the 
Force Protection Equipment (Body Armor and Helmet) Acquisition Project of the Philippine Navy (Marines).

The equipment have been distributed to most of the Philippine Marine Corps' Marine Battalion Landing Teams, and will be the standard FPE of the service within this year.


With the Marom Dolphin Fusion System force protection equipment including the helmets and body armor already delivered as of early 2023, and put into service with the Philippine Marine Corps,MaxDefense and Philippine Defense Resource officially consider the Force Protection Equipment (Body Armor and Helmet) Acquisition Project of the Philippine Navy (Marines) as COMPLETED.

x x x x x x x x x x x 

First edit and release: 22 October 2019
Copyright MaxDefense Philippines / Philippine Defense Resource

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