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Riverine Operations Equipment Lot 1 - Light Boat Acquisition Project of the Philippine Army

The Philippine Army (PA) has started to improve and modernize its riverine capabilities, which is among their existing capabilities that are not well known to the general public.

As part of the Revised AFP Modernization Program's Horizon 2 Phase, the Philippine Army has included the acquisition of Riverine Operations Equipment in their program. This involves the acquisition of 3 types of boats that could be used for riverine operations, which the Philippine Army wishes to improve on.

In this resource page, the discussion will focus on the Riverine Operations Equipment Lot 1, which covers the acquisition of Light Boats.

Special Forces operators with one of the first new Light Boat for the Philippine Army. Photo credited to the Philippine Army through their Facebook page.

Modernizing the Philippine Army's Riverine Forces:

As part of its effort to modernize the unit, the Philippine Army has included the Riverine Operations Equipment Acquisition Project in the Horizon 2 Phase Priority Projects list that was approved in-principle by Pres. Rodrigo Duterte in June 2018.

A budget of Php3,721,968,000.00 was allocated for the project, which consists of 3 sub-projects with the following details:

Lot 1: Light Scout Boats Acquisition Project: which originally called for 56 multipurpose light boats that can be used for a variety of missions including riverine patrol, utility, troop carrying. This was later on reduced to 52 boats, then to 24 boats with a budget of Php49,168,000.00.

This appears to have been increased to Php185,000,000.00 due to changes in the Riverine Operations Equipment project.

Photo taken from and credited to the Philippine Army.

Lot 2: Assault Boats Acquisition Project:
 this lot calls for the acquisition of 18 fibreglass-hulled assault boats that are armed with at least 3 machine guns and/or auotmatic grenade launchers. Allocated budget is Php2,368,800,000.00, or an average of Php131,600,000.00 per boat.

Lot 3: Support Boats Acquisition Project: these boats will be used for utilitarian missions including troop and supply transport, command and control, and may also be used to act as a "mother ship" for smaller boats especially in larger bodies of water. 8 boats are needed with a budget of Php1,304,400,000.00, or an average of Php163,050,000.00.

It remains to be seen if the Philippine Army will continue using the motorized bancas and Condor boats, although it is expected to be relegated to secondary roles.

For both Lots 2 and 3, no funding has been provided yet, although it is possible that US military assistance and other means of funding will be used to make these projects happen.

Light Boats:

So far, it appears that the Lot 1 for Light Boats are the only once that have moved forward. The Philippine Army has displayed the first unit, while also confirmed that a total of 52 boats will be delivered.

The Light Boat as displayed by the Philippine Army. The contract for the boats include the trailers as well.

Based on the photos showed publicly by the Philippine Army, the boats are around 7 to 8 meters long, and appears to be made of fibre-reinforced plastic (FRP) similar to the small boats acquired recently by the Philippine Navy and Philippine National Police. They are powered by 2 outboard motors, and while it does not appear to have any weapons mounting, it appears possible to have one in the forward space.

The Philippine Army confirmed that the boat has a maximum speed of 25 knots and can carry 8 fully-equipped troops, although it appears to be similar in size to the existing Assault Watercraft boats. 

The boats are small enough for safe operations even on small rivers, but sturdy enough to operate in calm waters of larger bodies of water like lakes.

MaxDefense was also informed by sources that the boats were made locally, but we are still waiting for more information on which company built the boats.

Due to the small value of the project, the Philippine Army conducted the procurement on their own without the need to involve the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) of the Department and National Defense (DND).

The boat was made by Stoneworks Specialists International, based in General Trias in Cavite province.

According to Stoneworks, the boats are 26 feet long (7.92 meters), and are made of fiberglass. It has a capacity of 11 fully equipped troops and 1 pilot, has 2 outboard motors each with 115hp, a maximum speed of 25 knots full load, or 35 knots with the pilot only. 

It has a gun mount for a .60-caliber machine gun, and has a loudspeaker and search light.

Project Summary:

Riverine Operations Equipment Acquisition Project Lot 1 - Light Boats

Note: edit as of 29 July 2020

* End User: Philippine Army (Special Forces Regiment - Airborne)

Quantity: 52 boats

* Modernization Phase: Horizon 2 Phase of RAFPMP

* Project ABC: Php185,000,000.00

Acquisition Mode: Public Bidding

* Source of Funding: GAA Funds of the Philippine Army FY2019

* SARO Release: TBA

* Winning Proponent: Stoneworks Specialists International Corp.

Product for Delivery: 27' FRP-hulled Light Boats, with Trailer

* Contract Price: approx Php182,000,000.00

* First post by MaxDefense: 29 July 2020 (this post)

* MaxDefense Searching Hashtag/s: #PARiverineLightBoatsAcquisition 

Status: Contract signed for Lot 1 in 2019, delivery by 2020.

Photo taken from and credited to the Philippine Army.

U P D A T E S:

04 August 2020:

We learned that Stoneworks Specialists International Corp. was the winner of the project and built the fibreglass Light Boats for the Philippine Army.

While we have not found out yet the financial details of the project, Stoneworks have posted a video of the boat in their Youtube page, as seen below.

First posted and released on 29 July 2019 @ MaxDefense Philippines.
Copyright MaxDefense Philippines / Philippine Defense Resource

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