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Frigate Lot 3C - Acoustic Decoy 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 3C - Acoustic Decoy Acquisition Project, which is one of the sub-projects of the Lot 3 project.

A diagram showing how a ship-launched torpedo decoy works against incoming torpedoes. Photo credits to Naval Group's website.

Project Summary:

Frigate Lot 3C - Acoustic Decoy Acquisition Project:

Note: Edited as of 01 September 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-21-0002407 dated 19 May 2021 worth Php368,538,509.00, released on 19 May 2021.

* Winning Proponent: Naval Group (France)

Product for Delivery: Naval Group CONTRALTO reaction module torpedo decoy

* Contract Price: 

* Residual Amount: Php81,461,491.00

* First post by MaxDefense: 31 December 2020

* MaxDefense Searching Hashtag: #PNFrigateLot3CAcousticDecoyAcquisition 

* Status: Project is being undertaken through Limited Source Bidding. Bid submission and opening scheduled on 16 February 2021 after requested to be moved by Naval Group. SARO for full amount released on 19 May 2021, based on contract offer of winning proponent. Notice of Award was released on 04 June 2021, and the Notice to Proceed was released on 27 November 2021. Pre-delivery inspection was conducted on 17 October 2022. Delivery of the decoys was made on December 2022, and completion of testing and integration was announced by Naval Group as of September 2023. PROJECT COMPELTED.


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

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

The 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 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 3C, procurement would be through Limited Source Bidding. In fact, the DND already posted the Invitation to Bid and Bid Documents at PhilGEPS Government Procurement Website last 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.

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, France's Naval Group appears to be participating on the Lot 3C tender.

We also found that unnamed companies from the US, Israel, and UK were also invited aside from Naval Group for Lot 3C.

Naval Group has recently been offering the CANTO acoustic torpedo decoy to regional navies like the Royal Australian Navy, which is compatible with the Terma C-Guard, as shown on the photo below.

The Naval Group's CANTO 130mm torpedo countermeasures as fitted on a Terma C-Guard decoy launcher. Photo credits to Naval Group.

Bid submission deadline for the Lot 3C Acoustic Decoy was scheduled on 16 February 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.

The CANTO acoustic torpedo decoy launched from a Terma C-Guard decoy launcher. Photo credits to Terma.

U P D A T E S:

21 May 2021:

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has released a new SARO for the funding of the Frigate Lot 3C - Acoustic Decoy Acquisition Project of the Philippine Navy. 

The SARO covers the full amount of the project's contract amount, under SARO-BMB-D-21-0002407 worth Php368,538,509.00 dated 19 May 2021, and was released on the same day.

The amount released was based on the offer from the selected proponent, which was not yet announced as of yet, although MaxDefense PH believes that the winning proponent could be Naval Group, although we are still trying to confirm this.

This means the project is getting closer to being awarded to a winning supplier, although the delivery duration for the project is too long for us to be excited about it.


14 August 2021:

The DND has issued the Notice of Award for the Philippine Navy's Frigate Lot 3C - Acoustic Decoy Acquisition Project in favor of French shipbuilder and naval systems provider Naval Group.

The NOA awarded to France's Naval Group to supply acoustic decoys to the PN.

The company is believed to be supplying the CANTO torpedo acoustic decoy, which is a relatively new product but has already been ordered by several countries including France and Australia.

It uses the confusion/dilution principle in dealing against torpedoes, and is considered one of the best in the world today.

The CANTO torpedo decoy can be launched from the Jose Rizal-class frigate's Terma C-Guard countermeasures launchers, and even the Mk. 36 SRBOC launchers found on the Del Pilar-class frigates and Pohang-class corvette.

The contract amount matches the funds released by the DBM last May 2021, at Php368,538,509.00.

The project was acquired via Limited Source Bidding, with only a select few companies shortlisted by the DND to provide an offer. So far, Naval Group was declared the Single Calculated Responsive Bidder.

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


12 December 2021:

MaxDefense Philippines received confirmation from sources that the Notice to Proceed for the project has been released by the DND in favor of Naval Group on 27 November 2021, which means this project has started the delivery phase which is expected to happen by either late 2022 or early 2023.


23 October 2022:

Naval Group released a press release confirming that the product they will be delivering will be the CONTRALTO reaction module anti-torpedo countermeasures, which is based on the CANTO countermeasures solution.

It also confirmed that a delegation from the DND and Philippine Navy were in France to conduct the Pre-Delivery Inspection on 17 October 2022.

According to Naval Group, CANTO (and by extension CONTRALTO) is the latest countermeasure generation in the defence industry.

"This breakthrough in the field of anti-torpedo defence applies a unique concept to defend the frigate. It is based on the dilution/confusion concept to defend high value and mission essential units by generating a high level acoustic signal over 360-degree, covering the full frequency range of the attacking torpedo."

It was not mentioned when the delivery would take place but it is expected to happen within the next 1-2 months.

Naval Group also mentioned that this deal is their first ever with the Philippines, and is pushing its products to the Philippine Navy through its Manila office which it opened in late 2020.

DND and PN officials in France during the Pre-Delivery Inspection at Naval Group's facility. Photo credits to Naval Group.


05 March 2023:

MaxDefense Philippines received confirmation from Philippine Navy sources that the service have already received the CONTRALTO reaction module anti-torpedo countermeasures delivered by Naval Group.

The delivery was said to have been made late last year although no specific mention was made on the exact date.

This makes the product the first ever anti-torpedo countermeasure system for the Philippine Navy, which will be used for the Jose Rizal-class frigates.

It remains to be seen if the Philippine Navy will use the same countermeasure system for its upcoming new corvettes, considering commonality between systems.


01 September 2023:

Naval Group has completed the testing and installation of its CONTRALTO anti-torpedo reaction modules on the two Jose Rizal-class frigates BRP Jose Rizal (FF-150) and BRP Antonio Luna (FF-151).

These are anti-torpedo decoys launched from the frigate's onboard Terma C-Guard decoy launchers.


With the Naval Group CONTRALTO reaction module anti-torpedo countermeasures already delivered to the Philippine Navy as of 4th quarter 2022 and its installation as of September 2023, 
MaxDefense and Philippine Defense Resource officially consider the Frigate Lot 3C - Acoustic Decoy Acquisition Project of the Philippine Navy as COMPLETED.

x x x x x x x x x x x 

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

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