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Rocket, 2.75" with Guided Advance Tactical Rocket (GATR) Guidance System (Phase 1) Acquisition Project of the Philippine Air Force

The Philippine Air Force has decided to acquire a new capability, the guided air-to-ground rocket system to improve its strike capability. 

The system is not yet available in PAF service, and a selection process was made. In the end, it was Elbit Systems-ATK Guided Advance Tactical Rocket (GATR) system that was selected.

A test buy-was made to allow the PAF to introduce itself to the system, which resulted to the Rocket, 2.75" with Guided Advance Tactical Rocket Guidance System acquisition project.

For now, MaxDefense called the test-buy as Phase 1 since MaxDefense received information that acquisition of more units are planned.

The GATR is an economical alternative to guided missiles since they are cheaper to acquire and carries a smaller warhead which would be enough for certain targets. Photo taken from Elbit Systems' website.

Project Summary:

Rocket, 2.75" with Guided Advance Tactical Rocket (GATR) Guidance System (Phase 1) Acquisition Project 

Note: Edited as of 27 November 2019.

* End User: Philippine Air Force (15th Strike Wing)

* Quantity: undisclosed due to OPSEC reasons

* Modernization Phase: Special Projects outside Horizon 2 phase (standard munitions acquisition using PAF operational funds)

* Project ABC: Php156,785,590.00

* Acquisition Mode: Negotiated Procurement (Government-to-Government) deal with the Israel Ministry of Defense

* Source of Funding: Philippine Air Force 2018 GAA Funded 

* SARO Release: TBC

* Winning Proponent: Elbit Systems Ltd. (Israel)

* Product for Delivery:  
   - unspecified number of ATK Orbital 2.75" rockets
   - unspecified number of ATK Orbital-Elbit Systems GATR guidance systems
   - unspecified number of rocket launchers

* Contract Price: Php156,785,590.00

* First post by MaxDefense: 30 November 2018

* MaxDefense Searching Hashtag: #PAFGATRAcquisition

* Status: Project awarded in early 2019. Delivery confirmed as of October 2019. PROJECT COMPLETE as of November 2019.

U P D A T E S :

30 November 2018:

The Philippine Air Force is now in the process of negotiating the acquisition of laser-guided air-launched rockets, with Israel's Elbit Systems selected by the PAF with its Guided Advanced Tactical Rocket (GATR). The ABC for the project is Php156,785,590.00 (around US$2.95 million). MaxDefense and its contributors believe that the PAF may only be after kits instead of all-up rounds, as the GATR can be used to upgrade standard NATO 2.75" unguided rockets, and launched from standard 2.75" rocket launchers.

The GATR can be used against moving and stationary targets up to 8 kilometers away (depending on base rocket used, with the range based on Orbital ATK's own 2.75" rockets), and supports lock-on before or after launch as well as autonomous or remote laser designation.

The acquisition of the GATR would allow the PAF to use an affordable precision munitions onboard its current attack platforms with EO/IR turrets like the AW109E armed light helicopter, and the upcoming OV-10G+ Combat Dragon and A-29B Super Tucano attack aircraft. This would be added to a growing number of air-to-ground guided munitions being employed by the PAF.

This acquisition appears to be another solution that was born our of the PAF's experience in the Marawi conflict, which also brought the decision to acquire a purpose-built attack helicopter.

The PAF previously released this Notice of Negotiated Procurement in their website.


23 September 2019:

MaxDefense has released a blog entry discussing the Elbit Systems GATR 2.75" guided air-to-ground rocket system, as well as the Philippine Air Force's order and impending delivery.

The blog entry can be accessed from the link provided below:

"Philippine Air Force to receive test-buy of Guided Advance Tactical Rockets soon" - first posted on 23 September 2019.


27 November 2019:

MaxDefense received confirmation that the delivery of the GATR guided rocket kits, rocket launchers, and the base 2.75" unguided rockets were already delivered to the Philippine Air Force's 15th Strike Wing as of October 2019.

The rockets were integrated with the PAF's AgustaWestland AW109E Power armed helicopters, which has the capability to provide targeting using its FLIR turret, an asset no found on the smaller MD-520MG Defender armed helicopters.

With this new asset, the 15th Strike Wing now has a guided propelled munition added to its capabilities that was only previously something the 5th Fighter Wing has with its AGM-65G2 Maverick air-to-ground missiles.

The Elbit GATR guidance system on an ATK 2.75" rocket.


28 November 2019:

As a follow-on to our earlier news yesterday on the delivery of the first order of Elbit Systems GATR guided air-to-ground rocket systems, MaxDefense received information that the 15th Strike Wing is preparing to order another batch of GATR guidance kits, 2.75" unguided rockets, and rocket launchers for the GATR system from Elbit Systems.

This time, the order is said to be larger than the initial batch.

No specifics yet on how much the new order is worth though, but deliveries are expected to be made by late 2020.

This new order will allow more aircraft of the unit to have such launching capability.

It still remains to be seen though if the PAF will give priority to their recently delivered Bell AH-1S Cobra attack helicopters since these helicopters will become the primary rotary strike assets of the unit.

A full scale mock-up of the GATR 2.75" guided rocket was displayed by the PAF during a previous event. Photo shared exclusively to MaxDefense. 


With all the rockets, guidance systems, and rocket pods delivered to the end user, MaxDefense believes we can now consider the Rocket, 2.76" with Guided Advance Tactical Rocket (GATR) Guidance System (Phase 1) Project of the Philippine Air Force as COMPLETED.

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First posted 27 November 2019
Copyright MaxDefense Philippines / Philippine Defense Resource

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