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Saturday, July 18, 2020

Air Surveillance Radar (Phase 1) Acquisition Project of the Philippine Air Force

 The Philippine Air Force (PAF) embarked on the acquisition of new long range air surveillance radars to provide radar and surveillance coverage of Philippine airspace, including the Philippine Air Defense Identification Zone (PADIZ).

These radars are also expected to replace long obsolete or non-working air surveillance radar systems operated by the PAF.

The project, called the Air Surveillance Radar Acquisition Project, is part of the Horizon 1 Phase Priority Projects under the Revised AFP Modernization Program.

The IAI Elta Systems ELM-2288ER AD-STAR Extended Range air defense and surveillance radar system. 3 units were delivered by IAI Elta Systems to the Philippine Air Force under the Horizon 1 phase of RAFPMP.

Project Summary:

Air Surveillance Radar Acquisition Project (Phase 1)

Note: Edited as of 18 July 2020.

* End User: Philippine Air Force (580th Aircraft Control Warning Wing)

Quantity: 3 sets

* Modernization Phase:
 Horizon 1 Phase Priority Projects of RAFPMP

* Project ABC:

Acquisition Mode: Negotiated Procurement (Government-to-Government) with Israeli Ministry of Defense - SIBAT

* Source of Funding: 
GAA Funds through AFP Modernization Program Trust Fund, to be paid via Multi-Year Obligation Authority (MYOA)

* SARO Release:

* Winning Proponent:
 IAI Elta Systems Ltd. (Israel)

Product for Delivery:
    - 3 units IAI Elta Systems ELM-2288ER AD-STAR Extended Range Air Defense and Surveillance Radar System
    - 1 unit IAI Elta Systems ELM-2106NG ADSR 3D Tactical Air Defense Radar (grant)

* Contract Price:

* First post by MaxDefense:

* Searching Hashtag: #PAFASRAcquisition, #PAFASRP1Acquisition

* Project Status: All 3 radars delivered as of March 2019, although installation was only completed on 2 radar sites in Gozar Air Station, Lubang Island, Mindoro, and in Paredes Air Station in Pasuquin, Ilocos Norte. 3rd radar for installation in Mount Salakot in Palawan is still ongoing as of early 2020. Installation and was confirmed to have been completed as of late 2022, with the radar operational as of 2023. PROJECT COMPLETED.


The Philippine Air Force submitted the Air Surveillance Radar Acquisition Project as a priority project for Horizon 1 phase of the RAFPMP. Three (3) units were planned for acquisition with a proposed budget of Php2,680,000,000.00.

The project was later on approved for implementation, with the quantity involved and the Approved Budget of Contract (ABC) unchanged from its proposed value.

The PAF's Technical Working Group (TWG) for the project shortlisted two (2) proponents: IAI Elta Systems which is supported by the Israeli Ministry of Defense-SIBAT, and Lockheed Martin supported by the US Department of Defense through Joint US Military Assistance Group (JUSMAG) office in Manila. The radars on offer were the IAI Elta Systems ELM-2288ER AD-STAR Extended Range radar, and Lockheed Martin's AN/TPS-77.

After evaluation, it was found that IAI Elta System's offer was more acceptable to them, and the Department of National Defense (DND) released an Acquisition Decision Memorandun (ADM) in favor of going for a Government-to-Government (G2G) deal with the Israeli MOD-SIBAT to acquire the IAI Elta Systems ELM-2288ER.

Part of the agreement was for IAI Elta Systems to provide a free ELM-2106NG ATAR medium range tactical air defense radar, which is probably one of the reasons why the PAF selected IAI Elta Systems' offer.

Photo taken from the 580th ACWW's Facebook page.

The contract for the project was signed on December 2014.

Based on the contract, the following delivery dates are expected:

* 1st radar for Gozar Air Station - November 2017

* 2nd radar for Paredes Air Station - May 2018

* 3rd radar for Mt. Salakot Air Station - November 2018.

While the first radar was delivered on November 2017, the delivery of the 2nd and 3rd radar units experienced delays and were only delivered to the Philippine Air Force on January 2019.

A theoretical infograph of what the coverage of the ELM-2288ER AD-STAR could be once installed on their assigned radar stations. Photo shared to MaxDefense by a contributor.

U P D A T E S:

10 July 2014:

The Philippine government was reportedly negotiating with Israel to deliver a promised "freebie" radar for it to be used once the Asia Pacific Economic Forum (APEC) 2015 is hosted in Manila, once a contract between the Department of National Defense (DND) and IAI Elta Systems be signed soon.

This would allow the Armed Forces of the Philippines to deploy it to help secure the airspace while world leaders are visiting the city.

The radar was offered to sweeten the deal as IAI Elta was competing with American giant Lockheed Martin in securing the deal to supply Air Surveillance Radars to the Philippine Air Force. It would be used as a deployable gap-filler in situations like the APEC 2015 summit.

No confirmation was made on the model of the radar to be delivered.


25 January 2016:

The report below confirmed that the Department of National Defense has already issued a Notice of Award to IAI-Elta Systems Ltd. of Israel for the supply of air surveillance and control radars for the Philippine Air Force. 

It was originally scheduled in late 2014 but was delayed by the executive together with all other projects. Originally the Elta ELM-2288 AD-STAR (shown below) is the choice after beating an offer from Lockheed Martin for its FPS-117 radar, and should have included a free gap-filler radar. No confirmation if the same deal holds now.

The report from Philstar titled "DND forges P2.68-B deal for air surveillance radars" can be accessed HERE.


30 September 2016:

As part of the ongoing ADAS 2016 defense exhibition in Manila, Shephard Media reported on the Day 2 Show Daily on the Philippine Air Force's acquisition of air defense and surveillance radars from Israel's IAI Elta worth $56 million. 

The contract involves the delivery of three ELM-2288-ER AD-STAR over-the-horizon surveillance radars, whose contract was signed last December 2014. PAF expects the delivery of all 3 radar sets by 2017.

Photo taken from the ADAS 2016 show magazine from Shephard Media.


27 April 2017:

A photo was posted in social media of what appears to be the gap-filler radar that Israel provided as part of the Air Surveillance Radar acquisition project.

It was identified to be the IAI Elta Systems ELM-2106NG ATAR tactical medium range air defense radar similar to the one in the photo below.

This confirms that the radar is already in the Philippines and in possession with the Philippine Air Force, as IAI Elta Systems failed to deliver it during the previous APEC 2015 forum.

The IAI Elta Systems ELM-2106NG tactical medium range air defense and surveillance radar.


04 May 2017:

The Philippine Air Force posted a photo from the Air Force Safety Office (AFSO) digital magazine Safety Champions for the 1st quarter of 2017. The photo includes the IAI Elta Systems ELM-2106NG ATAR radar which appears to be in one of the PAF's existing radar installations.

MaxDefense sources later confirmed that the photo was from Wallace Air Station in San Fernando, La Union, which still operates the legacy air defense radars of the PAF.

It is still unclear though where the radar would be installed, or would it be deployed as a mobile radar into different locations as needed.

Photo of the magazine cover above shows the IAI Elta Systems ELM-2106NG ATAR radar. Photo taken from PAF website.


18 December 2017:

MaxDefense received confirmation from a source that the first ELM-2288ER AD-STAR radar intended for Gozar Air Station in Lubang Island has arrived last month, which meets the contract requirements of the project.

While the radar was delivered, it will take several more months before the facility and the radar can be considered operational to allow for installation, integration, and training of operators and maintenance personnel.

MaxDefense will provide further info on the project in future blogs or posts.

Gozar Air Station as it looked in the 1960s. The first ELM-2288ER radar would be installed in this radar facility. Credits to original source of the photo.


24 January 2019:

MaxDefense received confirmation from sources that the delivery of the two (2) remaining radar units from IAI Elta Systems Ltd. is "imminent".

It would be noted that the delivery of these radar systems should have been made on or before November 2018. It remains to be seen if the Department of National Defense (DND) imposed a penalty against IAI Elta Systems Ltd., or will it be negotiated considering the good relations between Israel and the Philippines especially in the defense sector.

Our blog entry on  this delivery can be accessed on the link below:

Delivery Imminent for the Philippine Air Force's 2 new Elta ELM-2288ER AD-STAR Air Defense Radars" - first posted 24 January 2019


16 March 2019:

Due to Operational Security (OPSEC) reasons during the delivery period, MaxDefense delayed the announcement of the delivery of the two (2) remaining radar units, considering the delivery would be done in part by land.

In fact, the two radar units were received by the Philippine Air Force last January 2019, and are intended for the PAF's Gozar Air Station in Lubang Island, Mindoro, and for the Mt. Salakot Air Station in Palawan.

This completes the actual delivery of the radars, although proponent IAI Elta Systems Ltd. is still required to assist the PAF in installing, integrating, and activating the radar systems, while also training the operators and maintenance crew.

As of this writing, MaxDefense does not expect the radars to be operational already, although they are expected to be in service at least before the end of the 3rd Quarter of 2019.

Our blog entry on  this delivery can be accessed on the link below:

"IAI Elta Systems complete delivery of ELM-2288ER Air Defense Radars for the Philippine Air Force" - first posted on 16 March 2019

This is a new radar dome and building constructed to accommodate one of the ELM-2288ER radars, location not mentioned. Credits to original source of photo.


30 January 2020:

MaxDefense was informed by sources that the construction work for the radar station and facilities in Mount Salakot in Palawan is still under construction as of this writing. The radar installation will be made after this, with the radar already delivered last year.

No schedule has been provided on when construction works will be completed although it is expected to happen in the next few month.

The radar in Gozar Air Station in Lubang Island, Mindoro is said to be already partially operational, while operationalization is ongoing for the 2nd radar in Paredes Air Station in Pasuquin, Ilocos Norte.


20 March 2023:

AFP Chief of Staff, General Andres C Centino visited the 584th Aircraft Control and Warning Group at their radar facility in Mount Salakot Air Station in Palawan on 18 March 2023.

The photo shows the completed radar basing facility.

An earlier visit made by PAF Commanding General Lt. Gen. Stephen Parreno on 14 March 2023 also showed some photos taken from inside the radar facility.

This confirms that the radar was already installed and is already operational as of this date.

Also, our parent page MaxDefense Philippines confirmed that the radar installation was completed in 2022, with the radar reaching operationalization by early 2023.


With the  IAI Elta Systems ELM-2288ER AD-STAR Extended Range Air Defense and Surveillance Radar System already delivered and in service with the Philippine Air Force, MaxDefense Philippines and Philippine Defense Resource can confirm that the Air Surveillance Radar Phase 1 Acquisition Project of the Philippine Air Force as COMPLETED.

x x x x x x x x x x x

First posted and released on 22 June 2019 @ MaxDefense Philippines.
Copyright MaxDefense Philippines / Philippine Defense Resource

C-130T Hercules Acquisition Project of the Philippine Air Force

The Philippine Air Force (PAF) raised a requirement to purchase two (2) Lockheed C-130 Hercules heavy tactical transport aircraft needed to improve its ability to provide logistics support to the PAF and the entire Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Prior to this program, the PAF only has three C-130s in service consisting of a C-130B acquired from the US several years ago, and two C-130H purchased by the PAF in the late 1970s.

Our of the proposed plan to boost the C-130 fleet from 3 to 9 by 2018, only this acquisition of two aircraft pushed through. Plans to rehabilitate and revive 3 mothballed C-130B and L-100 Hercules aircraft did not push through after the airframes were found to be in very poor condition. 

PAF C-130T Hercules, formerly USMC 163022 as it prepares for departure from Davis-Monthan Air Base en route to the Philippines for delivery. Photo taken from 

Project Summary:

C-130T Hercules Acquisition Project (Horizon 1)

* End User: Philippine Air Force (220th Airlift Wing)

Quantity: 2 aircraft

* Modernization Phase:
 Horizon 1 Phase of RAFPMP

* Project ABC:

Acquisition Mode: US Foreign Military Sales (US FMS) and US Foreign Military Financing (US FMF) Programs

* SARO Release:
 SARO-BMB-D-16-0001973 dated 04 March 2016 (1st tranche payment)

* Winning Proponent:
 US Department of Defense

Product for Delivery: Lockheed C-130T Hercules

* Contract Price:

* First post by MaxDefense:
 30 November 2013

Delivery Status: Delivery of 1st aircraft made on  March 2016, delivery of 2nd aircraft completed as of November 2016. PROJECT COMPLETED.

U P D A T E S:

10 June 2013:

In a blog released by MaxDefense, discussions were underway between the US and Philippine defense departments on the transfer of at least three (3) used C-130H Hercules heavy tactical transport aircraft through the US Excess Defense Article (EDA) Program, to help beef up the transport capabilities of the Philippine Air Force (PAF).

The PAF plans to have at least nine (9) C-130 Hercules by 2015-2016, from the current three (3) operational units.

Solutions to meet this goal include this acquisition of EDA units, and the revival of several mothballed PAF C-130s in Cebu, which are now being inspected to see the viability of such proposal.

Our blog entry for this can be accessed through the link below:

"More C-130 Hercules transport planes for the PAF staring 2014" - first posted on 10 June 2013.

Three non-operational Lockheed C-130 and L-100 aircraft in Cebu, as taken in 2013. Photo credited to Pinoy Daily Journal.


26 November 2013:

In the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan / Yolanda in November 2013 that devastated several cities and communities in the Visayas region, MaxDefense made a blog proposing what the Philippine government can do to improve the capabilities of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) for Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations. This was after the PAF and the entire Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) was caught off-guard by the situation due to lack of equipment. 

Thankfully our ally the US, security partners like Japan and Australia, and friends like Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, South Korea, and others, plus even friends from faraway like UK, Sweden, and Russia provided assistance.

Among those proposed by MaxDefense includes the acquisition of more C-130s from friendly sources, either new, used, or a combination of both.

In an HADR point of view, the PAF and the Philippine government in general lacks the air assets it needs, considering that the country is a disaster-prone one that requires mobilization of the government to assist communities. And that can be done quickly through the use of air assets like the C-130 Hercules.

The blog entry can be accessed on the link below:

Building-up the AFP's Equipment Needs for Disaster Response and Military Operations" - first posted on 26 November 2013

C-130s from Indonesia, Sweden, and the Philippines during relief operations in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda). Taken and credited to Lt. Col. Francis Neri (PAF) Facebook page.


30 November 2013:

MaxDefense released a new blog as a follow-on to its earlier blog on improving the PAF's HADR-capable air assets, but this time focusing on the C-130 Hercules.

Defense Sec. Voltaire Gazmin confirmed that the DND is in the process of procuring two (2) C-130s for the PAF worth Php1.6 billion (US$37 million) starting 2014. This was also confirmed by AFP Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Emmanuel Bautista in a separate interview that also mentioned the need for the PAF to have at least 9 C-130 aircraft.

Based on the budget of Php800 million (US18.5 million) per aircraft which may also include an Integrated Logistics Support (ILS) package and training for the crew, MaxDefense believes that this could be used legacy C-130 Hercules and not new units which could cost in excess of US$100 million each.

The blog entry can be accessed on the link below:

"Fulfilling the Immediate Needs for Additional C-130s for the Philippine Air Force" - first posted 30 November 2013


01 August 2014:

The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) released information on the possible Foreign Military Sales (FMS) of two (2) Lockheed C-130T Hercules aircraft for the Philippine Air Force in a deal worth US$61 million. The deal includes two complete C-130T aircraft, plus two spare Rolls Royce Allison T56-16 aircraft engines, logistical support for 3 years, modification equipment and labor costs, spares and repair parts, support equipment, publication and technical documentations, aircraft ferry support, personnel training, and training equipment.

It turns out that the PAF's budget of Php1.6 billion (US$37 million) was only for 1 aircraft, while the US government, through its US Military Assistance to the Philippines, will shoulder the cost of the other aircraft worth US$34 million.

With the aircraft identified as a Tango version, which is not in service with the US Air Force , our search is now limited to those used by the US Navy and US Marine Corps.

The blog entry can be accessed on the link below:

Initial Details on the Upcoming ex-US Marine Corps C-130T Hercules for the Philippine Air Force" - first posted on 01 August 2014

A US Navy C-130T doing touch-and-go runs. Photo taken from Goleta Air & Space Museum website.


January 12, 2015:

The US Embassy released information last 09 January 2015 that the Philippine Air Force has completed a second inspection of two C-130T that are being offered for transfer to the aforementioned armed service. Photos from the US Embassy press release shows the Philippine officials with one of the aircraft with number 022, and was said to be in Joint Reserve Naval Air Station Fort Worth in Texas. The press release also indicated that the Philippine government, through Maj. Gen. Victor Bayani, has already signed the Letter of Offer and Acceptance signifying the approval to procure the inspected aircraft. Expected delivery was placed by 1st quarter of 2016.

Also, there appears to be changes in the C-130T the PAF will be acquiring. Originally is was reported that it would come from the US Navy, but photos show that the C-130T are actually coming from former US Marine Corps stock. The aircraft 022 is actually a 1984-built KC-130T formerly with the USMC, and may not sport the glass cockpit we discussed in the main blog article.

PAF and US officials during the inspection of C-130T at Fort Worth, Texas. Photo taken from US Embassy in the Philippines website.


14 January 2015:

Due to earlier developments wherein MaxDefense was able to identify the C-130T Hercules bound for the PAF identified, other ideas came out on what the PAF could be planning.

The two (2) C-130T Hercules from the US Marine Corps were actually KC-130T multi-purpose tanker-transport aircraft with a drogue-type refuelling system.

While the PAF has no aircraft with an aerial refuelling capability, it seems that its either the KC-130Ts would be reconfigured back to standard C-130T transport aircraft, or the PAF is being readied to have aerial refuelling capability using the newly acquired KAI FA-50 Fighting Eagle light combat aircraft, or something else.

Even if the refuelling system is removed, the aircraft has plumbing that allows such capability to be returned when needed. The blog entry can be accessed on the link below:

More on the Philippine Air Force C-130T Acquisition: Is the PAF Acquiring Aerial Refueling Tanker?" - first posted on 14 January 2015

A US Marine Corps KC-130T Hercules tanker-transport aircraft refuelling two F/A-18 Hornets using the probe-and-drogue method. The PAF's upcoming C-130T is formerly a KC-130T aircraft.

EDIT as of November 2016:

The PAF's two C-130T Hercules won't be having aerial refuelling capability, but they are still plumbed for such capability. In case the PAF decides to re-convert them to aerial tankers, the conversion won't be difficult.


28 August 2015:

In our latest blog entry dated 28 August 2015, we mentioned that based on the statements made by US Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg, the first C-130T will arrive by the 1st quarter of 2016.


8 March 2016:

In our MaxDefense @ Facebook page post, PAF Chief Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Delgado confirmed that the first C-130T Hercules will be arriving soon, with PAF pilots already undergoing familiarization training in the US.


9 March 2016: posted a photo of the first C-130T Hercules bound of for the PAF, This is the first publicly-available photo of the aircraft, which sports an interesting grey paint scheme similar to those used by the US Marine Corps C-130T but with PAF markings.

The photo posted by, of the first C-130T Hercules for the PAF while still in the US. Photo taken from


05 April 2016:

First reports on the arrival of the first C-130T Hercules from the US, with an estimated time of either tonight or tomorrow morning.


06 April 2016:

The PAF's Public Information Office (PIO) released photos of the first C-130T Hercules from the US after it arrived at Benito Ebuen Air Base in Cebu at the night of 05 April 2016.

The C-130T after it arrived at Benito Ebuen Air Base in Cebu from the US. Photos from PAF PIO.


13 April 2016:

The Philippine Air Force (PAF) formally accepted and put into service the first C-130T Hercules it acquired from the US on 12 April 2016. The aircraft's tail number is 5011.

The event was graced by Defense Sec. Voltaire Gazmin and US Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg.

It was also announced that the second C-130T will arrive in the Philippines on or before September 2016.

The C-130T with T/N 5011 was formally accepted and put into service with the PAF on 12 April 2016. Photos taken from PAF PIO.


07 October 2016:

Media outlets reported the departure of the second C-130T Hercules heavy tactical transport aircraft from the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Arizona on the way to the Philippines. The aircraft has the tail number 5040.

It is expected that the aircraft will arrive in Benito Ebuen Air Base in Mactan, Cebu on Sunday, October 9, 2016.

Originally MaxDefense received information that the C-130 T was supposed to arrive in the Philippines in late September. No reason was given on the change or delivery date.

The C-130Ts are sporting a different paint scheme from the rest of the PAF's C-130 fleet and is expected to conduct dual mission as transport aircraft, and surveillance missions upon the arrival of roll-on/roll-off palletized Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR). These ISR kits were promised by the US government under its Maritime Security Initiative for Southeast Asia announced early this year. 

With the rocky PH-US relations now, this remains to be seen, although the C-130T on its own will be very useful for transport and support missions for the Armed Forces of the Philippines. The PAF is expected to acquire more C-130s in the near future.

The second C-130T Hercules with T/N 5040 as it prepares to depart the US for the Philippines.


10 October 2016:

MaxDefense received reports on the arrival of the 2nd and final aircraft at Benito Ebuen Air Base in Cebu at 2030H of 09 October 2016. 


24 October 2016:

The second C-130T Hercules heavy tactical transport aircraft obtained from the US, with T/N 5040 was formally accepted and put into PAF service today.

This means the PAF now has 5 serviceable C-130 Hercules, consisting of a C-130B, two C-130H, and two C-130T. This is the most number of C-130s ever in PAF service in more than a decade.

MaxDefense posted the news report from the Philippine News Agency on this development.

Happy pilots from the 220th Airlift Wing with their newly acquired C-130T Hercules, and other existing Hercules in the PAF fleet.


November 2016:

The PAF's two C-130T Hercules won't be having aerial refuelling capability, but they are still plumbed for such capability. In case the PAF decides to re-convert them to aerial tankers, the conversion won't be difficult.


With the aircraft already delivered and in service with the Philippine Air Force, MaxDefense Philippines and Philippine Defense Resource can confirm that the C-130T Hercules Acquisition Project of the Philippine Air Force as COMPLETED.

x x x x x x x x x x x


First posted and released on 19 April 2019 @ MaxDefense Philippines.
Copyright MaxDefense Philippines / Philippine Defense Resource

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Firearms Acquisition Project of the Philippine Coast Guard

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) has embarked on the acquisition of an assortment of small firearms as part of its modernization efforts.

The PCG was interested in acquiring firearms since early 2017, and has been looking at options as it preferred to do the acquisition as a package rather than for individual types.

With the issue of the US government’s rejection of exporting rifles and pistols to the Philippine National Police (PNP) still a hot issue, the PCG as well as the Department of Transportation (DOTr) which is the mother agency of the PCG, decided to avoid the American route to avoid backlash from the president.

Clockwise from top left: IWI  Negev, IWI Galil ACE, IWI Galil Sniper, and IWI Micro Tavor X95. Photo from IWI website, edited by MaxDefense.

The PCG has outlined the requirements for small firearms.

* Assault Rifles:                       2,329 units
* 9mm Submachine Guns:      1,124 units

* .308 Sniper Rifles                      48 units
* Light Machine Guns:               350 units
* 9mm Handguns:                   7,743 units

Aside from that, the PCG has also outlined their requirements for .50 caliber Anti-Materiel Sniper Rifles, .50 caliber Heavy Machine Guns, and .50 caliber Heavy Machine Guns with Automatic Gyrostabilizers, which are to be discussed in separate resource pages.


Project Summary:

Firearms Acquisition Project

Note: Edited as of 04 July 2020.

* End User: Philippine Coast Guard (various units)

Quantity: thousands of various firearms - 5.56x45mm rifles, 7.62x51mm sniper rifles, 7.62x51mm light machine guns, 9mm pistols, 9mm submachine guns, optics and cornershot systems.

* Project ABC: Php780,000,000.00

Acquisition Mode: Negotiated Procurement (Government-to-Government) with Israeli government

* SARO Release:

* Winning Proponent:
 Israel Weapon Industires (IWI)

Product for Delivery: IWI Masada 9mm pistol, IWI Micro Tavor X95 9mm submachine guns, IWI Galil ACE 5.56mm rifles, IWI Galatz 7.62mm sniper rifles, IWI Negev NG7 7.62mm light machine guns, Cornershot weapon system, Meprolight optics.

* Contract Price:
US$14,970,014.00 (approx. Php778,440,728.00)

* First post by MaxDefense: 22 June 2018

Status: Delivered March 2020, project completed.

Russian Firearms Considered:

Among those considered for the PCG were Russian-made firearms, which were offered to the PCG due to the closer relations between Russia and the Philippines. Some officials of the PCG, as well as certain officials from the Duterte administration and the DOTr, were keen on arming the PCG with Russian firearms and make use of Russia’s enthusiasm to supply the requirements.

MaxDefense reported in June 2018 that Russia made an offer, which we described back then as “7.62x39mm assault rifles, 7.62x54R sniper rifles and machine guns, and 9mm submachine guns”, with an estimated worth of “around US$9-10 million”.

While we did not identify the firearms involved as requested by sources, it would be fine to identify them now. The firearms consisted of:

Assault Rifles:
* 4,000 units of 7.62x39mm Kalashnikov AK103 (Index 6P45) assault rifles with Picatinny rails
* 8,000 units of plastic magazines for AK103
* 5,230 units of Charging Handle RP, Sb
* 4,000 units PKY-2 Red Dot Sights

The Kalashnikov AK103 7.62x39mm assault rifle. Credits to original source of photo.

Sniper Rifles:
* 50 units 7.62x54mmR Dragunov sniper rifle SVD (Index 6B1)
* 50 units 1PN93-4 night optics

The Dragunov SVD 7.62x54mmR semi-automatic sniper rifle. Photo taken from Wikipedia.

Machine Guns:
* 100 units 7.62x54mmR Kalashnikov 6P41H Pecheneg infantry machine gun with night sight leaf
* 30 units 1PN93-3 night optics

The Pecheneg 7.62x54mmR light machine gun. Photo credited to Vitaly V. Kuzmin.

Sub-Machine Guns:
* 1,230 units 9x19mm Vityaz-SN submachine guns
* 1,230 units PKY-2 Red Dot Sights

The Vityaz SN 9mm submachine gun. Photo credited to Vitaly V. Kuzmin.

* 100,000 rounds 7.62mm sniper rifle cartridge (Index 7N1)
* 200,000 rounds 7.62mm cartridge with steel core bullet (Index 57-N-323S)

Interesting though is that, despite Russia capable of manufacturing variants of these firearms using NATO-standard munitions (in 7.62x51mm instead of 7.62x39 or 7.62x54mmR), the Russian-standard calibre variant were offered for sale.

The situation is different between this and when the Russian government decided to donate 7.62x39mm Kalashnikov AKM rifles to the Philippine Army, since those AKMs were taken from Russian Army strategic reserves rather than new-manufactured models.

This could also be one of the reasons why the Russian offer was not approved by the PCG. According to sources, the PCG was not in favour of using Russian calibre size since it would be more difficult for them to acquire ammunition for them. Only the Vityaz-SN SMG used a calibre size that is common in the Philippines.

With this, the PCG decided to go for other offers, specifically with the Israeli government’s submitted proposal. In October 2018, MaxDefense confirmed that the PCG was planning to acquire firearms through the Israeli Ministry of Defense International Defense Cooperation Directorate (SIBAT).

Israeli Firearms Offer Approved:

The Israeli government made its own offer based on firearms made by Israel Weapons Industries (IWI).

Among the reasons why the PCG was open to this proposal as because the firearms offered are already in service with Philippine security agencies, especially by the Philippine National Police (PNP) which has ordered thousands of firearms from IWI after winning several public biddings.

In the end after several negotiations, an agreement was reached between the Israeli government and the Philippines DOTr and PCG, as a Government-to-Government (G2G) deal was approved and a contract reached in 2019.

While MaxDefense does not have an exact figure of the contract amount, our estimate puts it at around US$15 to 17 million, although it appears that the PCG made adjustments on their requirements and the quantity of firearm types.

Below are the inclusions of the PCG’s Firearms Acquisition Project:

Assault Rifles:
* 4,357 units of IWI Galil ACE 21N 5.56x45mm assault rifles with 8.5” barrels and foldable buttstock
* 2,500 units of Meprolight M21 battery-less Reflex Sights

An infographic on the Galil ACE 21N 5.56x45mm carbine with the Mepro M21 reflex sight. Photo taken from Pinterest.

Sniper Rifles:
* 48 units IWI Galil Tzalafim “Galatz” 7.62x51mm semi-automatic sniper rifle with x10 Day Optics
* 2 units Meprolight NOA NYX Thermal Combat System Sight, with X7 magnification and video capability, includes Spotter Computers

Machine Guns:
* 350 units IWI Negev NG-7 7.62x51mm light machine guns
* 350 units Meprolight X4 Day Scopes
* 350 units Meprolight Sting Laser Pointers (Visible & IR)

The IWI Negev NG7 7.62x51mm light machine gun. Photo credits to Ricardo Torres @ Pinterest.

Sub-Machine Guns:

* 1,124 units IWI Micro Tavor X95 9x19mm submachine guns
* 1,124 units Meprolight M21 battery-less Reflex Sights

The IWI Micro Tavor X95 9mm SMG equipped with an optical sighting system. The PCG received the X95 9mm SMG with the Meprolight M21 reflex sights. Photo credited to

* 7,743 units of IWI Masada 9x19mm Parabellum Striker-Fired pistols 
* 6,743 nos. Pistol Holsters
* 1,000 nos. Pistol Leg Rig Holster
* 10 units CornerShot System

The Cornershot system for pistols. Photo taken from Pinterest.

The Galil ACE 21N rifle is the "shorty" version of the Galil ACE family. It has an 8.5" long barrel, which is far shorter than standard M4 rifles used by most Philippine government security agencies. "N" in 21N corresponds to the use of NATO-standard 30-round magazines instead of Galil-standard 35-round magazines. The Galil ACE N-series is already in service with the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Photo from IWI website.

The compact size allows for use in close quarter battle (CQB) including shipboarding, although it could be insufficient as secondary weapons for PCG boats.

The Galil Sniper S.A, also known as the Galil Tzalafim or "Galatz" sniper rifle, is based on the 7.62x51mm variant of the Galil assault rifle, with a 23" barrel length and long range optics. The sniper rifle is in service with the PNP, although older versions have already been in service with AFP units especially the Philippine Army's Scout Range Regiment.

Among the ones delivered, the IWI Micro Tavor X95 9mm submachine gun is the most familiar to the PCG, as it already operates the type since 2018. It is based on the Tavor TAR-21 5.56x45mm bullpop assault rifle, but has been modified to fit a reduced body size, smaller caliber and shorter barrel.

The IWI Negev NG7 light machine gun is the next generation version of the Negev machine gun, using 7.62x51mm ammunition. It is said to be the only machine gun with semi-automatic mode, and is one the lightest in its class. It has a 20" barrel length and a rate of fire of around 600 to 750 rounds per minute.

The PNP also uses the IWI Negev NG7 and its 5.56x45mm variant called the Negev NG5.

Photo taken from IWI website.

The IWI Masada 9x19mm Parabellum striker fired pistol is their version of the polymer-construction 9mm pistol, featuring a 17+1 rounds capacity, and features a fully ambidextrous control and enhanced ergonomics. It is another firearm that is already common with the PNP.

Cresits to original source of photo.

Then there's the CornerShot System. This is one of those items that some AFP units do not want to confirm nor deny having, so it remains a mystery if the AFP has it. But MaxDefense can confirm that the PCG definitely has them now and are with the PCG Special Operations Group.

An Israeli invention by Lt. Col. Amos Golan, and mounts a standard semi automatic pistol linked to a mechanism that allows the weapon to be used from tight corners and with a camera guiding the shooter to its target, much like a periscope.

Some examples on the use of CornerShot system during CQB in tight spaces and high risk. Photos credited to original owners.

The decision to go with conducting the deal with Israel appears to have been due to several factors, although it appears that it was also the best proposal and the most practical for the PCG, compared to the proposals made to buy the firearms from other countries like Russia.

Deliveries Completed as of April 2020:

Most of the firearms will be given to the PCG’s Special Operations Group (PCG SOG), which still use mostly older M16-type firearms, although the delivery of CZ Scorpion Evo 3 9mm submachine guns a few years ago, and IWI Micro Tavor X95 9mm submachine guns in 2018 helped in improving their firepower.

MaxDefense received confirmation from several sources that deliveries has been made last March 2020, and the PCG has started to distribute the firearms to its units.

Some PCG members with the new IWI Galil ACE 21N 5.56x45mm rifle during relief operations related to COVID-19. Photo shared to MaxDefense by a contributor.

MaxDefense was informed that some of the Negev NG7 light machine guns and Galatz sniper rifles are to be assigned to PCG sea ssets are secondary weapons, as additional firepower and for use during shipboardings.

The absence of a medium caliber weapon system onboard several PCG assets like the Boracay-class fast patrol boat (above) has pushed the PCG to temporarily arm them with light machine guns like the Negev NG7, or even the Galil Sniper SA rifle. Photo from PCG.

Overall, this acquisition is expected to give the PCG a needed boost to improve their capabilities in conducting law enforcement, counter terrorism at sea, and even on protecting themselves.

Aside from this Firearms Acquisition Project, the PCG has also had several projects with the Israeli government, some of which will be discussed here @ MaxDefense Philippines soon.

MaxDefense also expects more firearms to be acquired by the PCG as the service increase its size, being now the fastest growing security agency in the country.

We just hope that the PCG would train its personnel well in properly using and caring for these assets including firearms safety considering many of irs new personnel may not have experience in handling firearms before.

U P D A T E S:

07 September 2021:

Here are some photos of the new firearms as displayed by the Philippine Coast Guard a few days ago.

The firearms were acquired from Israel under the PCG's Firearms Acquisition Project.

Thanks to one of our contributor for sharing these photos to MaxDefense Philippines, and by extension to Philippine Defense Resource!


With all firearms already delivered to the Philippine Coast Guard, MaxDefense officially consider the Firearms Acquisition Project of the Philippine Coast Guard as COMPLETED.

x x x x x x x x x x x 


First posted and released on 03 May 2020
Copyright MaxDefense Philippines / Philippine Defense Resource