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10-meter High Speed Response Boat - Small Acquisition Project of the Philippine Coast Guard

In 2017, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) has shown its intent to acquire American-made small boats similar to the Defender-class Response Boat-Small of the US Coast Guard. This is to allow the PCG to enhance its inshore maritime security capabilities which includes Maritime Law Enforcement (MARLEN) and Search and Rescue (SAR).

This led to the 9.8-meter High Speed Response Boat-Small (HSRB-S) Acquisition Project, which calls for the acquisition of aluminium-hulled fast boats through US Foreign Military Sales (US FMS) program due to the participation of the US in financing the program.

One of the first Defiant 32 boats delivered by Metal Shark Boats to the PCG, during the arrival of the Gabriela Silang (OPV-8301) on 07 April 2020. Photo taken from PCG's video through Wikimedia Commons.

Project Summary:

9.8-meter High Speed Response Boat - Small Acquisition Project:

Note: Edited as of 12 April 2020.

* End User: Philippine Coast Guard

Quantity: 12 units

* Project ABC:
 Approx. Php360,000,000.00 (to be confirmed)

Acquisition Mode: US Foreign Military Sales (US FMS) deal

* Source of Funding: Combined funding from Philippine government, and US government assistance to the Philippine Coast Guard

* SARO Release/s: 

* Winning Proponent: Metal Shark Boats (USA)

Product for Delivery: Metal Shark 32 Defiant

* Contract Price: TBA

* First post by MaxDefense: 20 January 2017

* MaxDefense Searching Hashtag: #PCG10mHSRBSAcquisition

* Status: To be procured with US government assistance. Awarded to Metal Shark Boats in 2018. First batch of 4 boats delivered to the PCG on March 2020.

The PCG is in need of increasing the size of its inshore and offshore surface assets due to obsolescence of most of its assets. Prior to the acquisition of these boats, the only fast small boat assets of the PCG are either 7-meter Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats (RHIB), or the larger Vietnam War-era Switft-class patrol boats.

While the RHIBs are fast movers and quite new, they are limited by their size and hull type, which is only good for certain MARLEN missions depending on sea conditions.

Meanwhile, the Swift Mk.1 to Mk.3 patrol boats are too old and are not running at the same speed as they used to. According to sources, these boats are only good at running below 20 knots, far from the previous operating speeds when they were new in the 1960s-1970s.

The US government has offered to provide financial assistance to the Philippine Coast Guard in 2017, as the PCG requested for the acquisition of new small fast boats to slot in above the RHIBs. 

Due to US participation, it is certain that the project will be done under US Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program, since US financial aid can only be made when acquiring US-made products.

In 2018, MaxDefense was informed by sources that the boats to be acquired were awarded to Metal Shark Boats USA based in Louisiana.  No mention was made on which model will be delivered, but based on the size requirements, it appears to be the Defiant 32, which fits the bill based on the products offered by Metal Shark.

Defiant 32 means that it is from the Defiant series of patrol boats, with "32" meaning 32 feet in length.

Although there are information provided to MaxDefense saying that the PCG requires 12 units, there's no further confirmation if a confirmed order of 12 was made.

One of the Defiant 32 boats being prepared to meet the the offshore patrol vessel Gabriela Silang (OPV-8301) during its arrival on 07 April 2020. Photo taken from PCG's video.

U P D A T E S:

21 March 2020:

The Philippine Coast Guard received the first four (4) units of the Metal Shark Defiant 32 high speed response boats earlier this month, which MaxDefense believes to have arrived a week earlier.

Sources provided MaxDefense with photos of the boats in Manila harbor, loaded in trailers that will allow the boats to be towed on land. In this case, they were towed by PCG M35 2.5-ton military trucks.

Other photos that MaxDefense show evidence that the boats are equipped with electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) optonics from FLIR, and equipped with Furuno small-boat navigation radars.

The boats have gun mounts that will enable to it to be armed with a 7.62mm or 12.7mm machine gun at front, and two behind the pilothouse (one each port and starboard sides). But the weapons would be installed by the PCG separately, as they are not part of the contract.

MaxDefense was informed that the boats will be mostly deployed in Mindanao near the tri-border between Sabah and Indonesia, although if more units will arrive, some will be deployed near Metro Manila and Subic as well.
Two of the four Defiant 32 response boats mounted on trailers as they leave the Port of Manila. Photo shared exclusively to MaxDefense by a source.

10 April 2020:
Two of the PCG's Defiant 32 high speed response boats were used to meet the new offshore patrol vessel Gabriela Silang (OPV-8301) as it arrives in Manila for the first time as part of its delivery cruise from France.

Both boats can be seen in videos posted by the Philippine Coast Guard, together with two Parola-class multi-role response vessels, and a Boracay-class fast patrol boat.

This appears to be the first official deployment of the boats, as it was only a few weeks ago when they were delivered.

Photos of the Defiant 32 boats during the arrival of the offshore patrol vessel Gabriela Silang (OPV-8301) in Manila last 07 April 2020. Photo taken from PCG's video.

First edit and release: 12 April 2020
Copyright MaxDefense Philippines / Philippine Defense Resource

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