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Frigate Lot 3B - Chaffs Acquisition Project of the Philippine Navy

 With the Philippine Navy procuring new frigates from South Korea's Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), it has now embarked on acquiring the needed ammunition and countermeasures for the ships.

The Philippine Navy has started the Frigate Acquisition Project Lot 3 - Torpedoes and Countermeasures Acquisition Projects, with an earmarked budget of Php1.7 billion.

This resource page would focus on Frigate Lot 3B - Chaffs Acquisition Project, which is one of the sub-projects of the Lot 3 project.

Chaffs were fired from naval ships during an exercise by the Republic of China Navy (ROCN). Photo credits to ABC News.

Project Summary:

Frigate Lot 3B - Chaff Acquisition Project:

Note: Edited as of 04 April 2023.

* End User: Philippine Navy (Offshore Combat Force)

Quantity: classified

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

* Project ABC:

Acquisition Mode: Limited Source Bidding

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

* SARO Release/s: 
SARO-BMB-D-21-0002653 worth Php348,000,000.00 dated 28 May 2021, released 28 May 2021

* Winning Proponent: Rheinmetall Denel Munitions Pty Ltd

Product for Delivery: Rheinmetall Bullfighter RF/IR naval chaffs

* Contract Price: Php348,000,000.00

* Residual Amount: Php2,000,000.00

* First post by MaxDefense: 31 December 2020

* MaxDefense Searching Hashtag: #PNFrigateLot3BChaffAcquisition 

* Status: Project is being undertaken through Limited Source Bidding. Bid submission and opening scheduled on 12 January 2021. NOA awarded to Rhinemetall Denel Munitions Pty Ltd on 15 June 2021. Deliveries were completed as of 1st quarter 2023, and tested on March 2023. PROJECT COMPLETED


The Jose Rizal-class frigates are equipped with two C-Guard DL-6T chaff dispensers from Denmark's Terma A/S.

The Terma C-Guard was designed to provide coverage against threats like small range gate Radio Frequency (RF) guided missiles, imaging infra-red (IR) seeker missiles, and torpedoes. It utilizes the standard 130mm NATO decoys.

The SEA triple torpedo tubes (top) and C-Guard countermeasures dispenser (above). Photo credits to original sources.

The decoy launcher is part of a system that includes integration with the ship's combat management system (CMS), which are also interfaced with the ship's radar, electronic support measures (ESM), and other sensors.

With a total of Php1,700,000,000.00 as its Approved Budget for Contracting (ABC), the Frigate Lot 3 Acquisition Project was divided into 3 sub-lots: the Lot 3A for Torpedoes with a budget of Php900 million, Lot 3B for Chaffs with a budget of Php350 million, and Lot 3C for Acoustic Decoys with a budget of Php450 million.

For Lot 3B and Lot 3C, both will be procured through Limited Source Bidding. In fact, the DND already posted the Invitation to Bid and Bid Documents at PhilGEPS Government Procurement Website on December 2020, and at the DND website on January 2021.

This means it still remains to be seen what brand and model of chaffs and acoustic decoys will be used as this would be dependent on the result of the bidding, although the requirement as per DND bid documents states that the chaffs should be capable of operating against Radio Frequency (RF) and Infra-Red (IR) missile seekers.

A US Navy serviceman loading chaffs on a countermeasures dispenser. Photo credits to US Navy.

MaxDefense PH is still trying to find out who are the invited bidders for the project, but based on the Supplemental Bid Bulletins released by the DND, South Africa's Rheinmetall Denel Munitions is one of the participants on the Lot 3B tender.

We also found that Chemring Group was also invited to the Lot 3B.

Bid submission deadline for the Lot 3B Chaffs tender was scheduled on 12 January 2021.

Due to the project being a limited source bidding, tender documents are only provided to invited tenderers, so it is expected that it won't be made available to the public. So far, the PhilGEPS and DND websites has not posted the Bid Documents that includes the technical requirements and specifications.

But what we know so far on the Chaffs and Acoustic Decoys is that they are suppose to fit into the Terma C-Guard's mortar launcher which is around 130mm diameter, standard NATO size. 

For now, all we can do is wait for the tender results, and see which company will win so we can try to find out what will potentially be ordered for the Philippine Navy.

U P D A T E S:

22 March 2021:

The Philippine Navy, through the Facebook page of BRP Jose Rizal (FF-150), showed a photo of one of its crew loading a chaff round on one of the frigate's Terma C-Guard decoy launcher.

It can also be seen that a drill round was already inserted on the decoy launcher as well.

This shows that despite the Philippine Navy still procuring the chaffs for the frigates, it already has stocks that it can use, most likely from existing stocks used by the Del Pilar-class frigates and Pohang-class corvette. 

The Del Pilar-class frigate's SRBOC decoy launcher are also using 130mm decoys.

A PN personnel loading a chaff on one of BRP Jose Rizal's C-Guard decoy launcher. Photo credits to Illustrado's Facebook page, the official FB page of BRP Jose Rizal (FF-150).


05 June 2021:

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) released the project's contract price full amount worth Php348,000,000.00 in a new SARO released on 28 May 2021.

The amount is Php2 million less than the project Approved Budget of Contract (ABC), and is an indication that a tender award is expected to happen soon.

No info is yet available on who will be awarded the project.


14 August 2021:

The DND has issued the Notice of Award for the Philippine Navy's Frigate Lot 3B - Chaffs Acquisition Project in favour of South African defense company Rheinmetall Denel Munitions Pty Ltd., which is part of Germany's Rheinmetall Group.

The NOA awarded to Rheinmetall Denel Munitions for the supply of naval chaffs.

The company is believed to be supplying their line of 130mm decoys, specifically the Rheinmetall Bullfighter 130mm RF/IR Chaffs, which can be used by the Jose Rizal-class' Terma C-Guard countermeasures launchers, and even the SRBOC launchers found on the Del Pilar-class frigates.

The Bullfighter can be used against Radio Frequency (RF) or Infra-red (IR) seekers used guided anti-ship cruise missiles, and has a high Electronic Counter-Counter Measures (ECCM) capability.

The contract amount matches the funds released by the DBM last May 2021, at Php348,000,000.00.

The project was acquired via Limited Source Bidding, with only a select few companies shortlisted by the DND to provide an offer.

Deliveries are expected by early 2022, and will be allocated to the two Jose Rizal-class frigates.


28 March 2023:

The Philippine Navy tested their new Bullfighter countermeasure decoys, with two Jose Rizal-class frigates participating in the tests.

The Bullfighter decoy was developed by Germany's Rheinmetall Defense for use on 130mm decoy launchers like the Philippine Navy's Terma C-Guard aboard the Jose Rizal-class frigates, and the BAE Systems Mk.36 SRBOC aboard the Del Pilar-class patrol vessels and Pohang-class corvettes.

The Philippine Navy procured these as part of the Frigate Lot 3B - Chaffs Acquisition Project that was awarded to Rheinmetall's South African subsidiary Rheinmetall Denel Munitions.

Photos from the testing of Bullfighter RF/IR naval chaffs by the Philippine Navy, which was considered successful.

Photo credits to Philippine Navy.


02 April 2023:

After checking with sources, we received confirmation that Rheinmetall Denel Munitions delivered the Bullfighter chaffs in 1 batch, and the testing of the system by the two Jose Rizal-class frigates means that the delivery was indeed completed.


With the delivery of the Rheinmetall Bullfighter  RF/IR naval chaffs to the Philippine Navy, MaxDefense and Philippine Defense Resource officially consider the Frigate Lot 3B - Chaffs Acquisition Project of the Philippine Navy as COMPLETED.

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First edit and release: 03 April 2021
Copyright MaxDefense Philippines / Philippine Defense Resource

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