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Riverine Operations Equipment 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. But this has changed in 2020 which has become a larger project than originally planned.


In this resource page, the discussion will focus on the Riverine Operations Equipment Acquisition Project, which has been integrated into a single project.

The 10-meter Assault Boat may look similar to the 33' Special Operations Craft - Riverine used by the US Navy. Photo credits to Wikimedia Commons.


Project Summary:

Riverine Operations Equipment Acquisition Project 

Note: edit as of 20 June 2023


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

Quantity: 24 units 9m Scout Boats, 24 units 10m Assault Boats, 7 units 16m Light Support Boats, 56 FLIR System (FLIR 280HD), 7 units M2A1 12.67mm HMG, 24 M134 7.62mm Gatling guns, 79 units M240B 7.62mm LMG, 208 units Night Vision Devices (AN/PVS-14 and AN/PEQ-15 IR Device), 52 units Thermal Monocular handheld, 103 units Thermal Weapon Sights (AN/PAS-13), 56 units Radio High Frequency (Harris Falcon III RF-7850M), 181 units Radios Very High Frequency (Harris Falcon III RF-7850S), spare parts and engines, safety and rescue equipment, ILS, etc.


* Modernization Phase: Horizon 2 Phase of RAFPMP


* Project ABC: Php3,721,968,000.00


Acquisition Mode: G2G with US Department of Defense (US Foreign Military Sales)


* Source of Funding: 


* SARO Release:
   - SARO-BMB-D-22-0005180 dated 21 June 2022 worth Pjp56,644,855.00 - 1st Payment
   - SARO-BMB-D-23-0017933 dated 02 June 2023 worth Php576,085,675 - 2nd Payment

* Winning Proponent: US Department of Defense

Product for Delivery: TBC


* Contract Price: Php3,721,666,530.00

* Residual Amount: Php301,470.00

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

* MaxDefense Searching Hashtag/s: #PARiverineEquipmentAcquisition 


Status: US Government has approved the US FMS on 30 July 2020. Project was reduced to meet budget. 1st SARO released on 21 June 2022, 2nd SARO by 02 June 2023. Delivery of bulk of equipment reported to DBM as scheduled by 2024, with second batch by 2025. Payment will be made until 2027.


Photo taken from and credited to the Philippine Army.


Overview:


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.

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

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.


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. The project requires for the delivery of 18 boats with an allocated budget is Php2,368,800,000.00, or an average of Php131,600,000.00 per boat.

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. It called for 8 boats with a budget of Php1,304,400,000.00, or an average of Php163,050,000.00.


Initial Procurement of Light Boats:

To pursue the acquisition of Light Boats, the Philippine Army initially conducted for the acquisition of 8 boats under the PABAC2 012-20 Watercraft (Patrol Boat) Acquisition Project in 2020.

It was allocated a budget of Php28,000,000.00 and was publicly tendered in November 2020.

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.

Local company Stoneworks Specialist International Corp. won the tender and resulted to the delivery of 8 units of their Light Boats including trailers.

But instead of pursuing for the acquisition of more boats, the Philippine Army decided to pursue the project as a US Foreign Military Sales (FMS) project, and will include not only the boats but several other equipment including machine guns, FLIR systems, night fighting systems, communication radios, and sighting systems.

It remains to be seen if the Philippine Army will pursue to procure more locally-made scout boats.

US Foreign Military Sales Program:

The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency on 30 July 2020 has posted the approval by the US State Department of a potential Foreign Military Sales to the Philippines of Riverine Operations Equipment consisting of the following:

* thirty-six (36) 9M Scout Boats (SB); 
* thirty-six (36) 10M Assault Boats (AB); 
* eighteen (18) 16M Light Support Boats (LSB); 
* thirty-six (36) units of Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) 280HD; 
* twenty-four (24) M2A1 .50 caliber machine guns; 
* thirty-six (36) M134D-M, 7.62x51mm, 6-barrel rotary Gatling guns; 
* one hundred fifty-six (156) M240B 7.62x51mm machine guns
* three hundred ninety-nine (399) NFS-NVG/IR Lasers (AN/PVS-14 and AN/PEQ-15); 
* one hundred two (102) Thermal Imager Scope (handheld); 
* two hundred ten (210) Heavy Thermal Weapon Sights (AN/PAS-13); 
* ninety (90) Harris Falcon III RF-7850M radios; 
* two hundred seventy (270) Harris Falcon III RF-7850S radios; 
* boat spare parts; spare engines and engine components; 
* safety and rescue equipment; 
* training; 
* contractor engineering technical services; 
* engineering technical assistance; 
* transportation cost services, and 
* other related elements of logistics and program support. 

Estimated cost is around US$126 million (Php6.25 billion). This is beyond the allocated budget for the project which is just around Php3.721 billion.

To solve this budgetary issue, the Philippine Army decided to scale back the project and reducing the quantity of items to be part of the package. The final price is around Php3,721,666,730.00 and includes the following:

* 24 units 9-meter Scout Boats (SB) - reduction of 12 units;
* 24 units 10-meter Assault Boats (AB) - reduction of 12 units;
* 6 units 16-meter Light Support Boats (LSB) - reduction of 12 units;
* 56 units FLIR 280HD forward looking infra-red - increase of 20 units;
* 7 units M2A1 .50-caliber machine guns - reduction of 17 units;
* 24 units M134D 7.62x51mm 6-barrel rotary Gatling guns - reduction of 12 units;
* 79 units M240B 7.62x51mm machine guns - reduction of 77 units;
* 208 units Night Fighting System (AN/PVS-14 and AN/PEQ-15) - reduction of 191 units;
* 52 units Thermal Imager Scope (handheld) - reduction of 50 units;
* 103 units Heavy Thermal Weapon Sights (AN/PAC-13) - reduction of 107 units;
* 56 units Harris Falcon III RF-7850M radios - reduction of 34 units;
* 181 units Harris Falcon III RF-7850S radios - reduction of 89 units;
* boat spare parts; spare engines and engine components; 
* safety and rescue equipment; 
* training; 
* contractor engineering technical services; 
* engineering technical assistance; 
* transportation cost services, and 
* other related elements of logistics and program support. 

The project will be paid for by the Philippine Government via Multi-Year Obligation Agency (MYOA) from 2022 to 2027, although delivery will take place from 2024 to 2025.


============
U P D A T E S:
============

31 July 2020:

The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency on 30 July 2020 has posted the approval by the US State Department of a potential Foreign Military Sales to the Philippines of Riverine Operations Equipment consisting of the following:

* thirty-six (36) 9M Scout Boats (SB); 
* thirty-six (36) 10M Assault Boats (AB); 
* eighteen (18) 16M Light Support Boats (LSB); 
* thirty-six (36) units of Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) 280HD; 
* twenty-four (24) M2A1 .50 caliber machine guns; 
* thirty-six (36) M134D-M, 7.62x51mm, 6-barrel rotary Gatling guns; 
* one hundred fifty-six (156) M240B 7.62x51mm machine guns
* three hundred ninety-nine (399) NFS-NVG/IR Lasers (AN/PVS-14 and AN/PEQ-15); 
* one hundred two (102) Thermal Imager Scope (handheld); 
* two hundred ten (210) Heavy Thermal Weapon Sights (AN/PAS-13); 
* ninety (90) Harris Falcon III RF-7850M radios; 
* two hundred seventy (270) Harris Falcon III RF-7850S radios; 
* boat spare parts; spare engines and engine components; 
* safety and rescue equipment; 
* training; 
* contractor engineering technical services; 
* engineering technical assistance; 
* transportation cost services, and 
* other related elements of logistics and program support. 

Estimated cost is around US$126 million (Php6.25 billion). This is beyond the allocated budget for the project which is just around Php3.721 billion.

It is possible that the US may shoulder part of the project through US FMF or US Military Assistance, or the project could be cut down in terms of package inclusions or quantity involved.

===============

20 June 2023:

More information has been made available by the Department of Budget and Management regarding the project, including the finalised package inclusions.

Instead of the list above in our post from 31 July 2020, the following supersedes the above:

* 24 units 9-meter Scout Boats (SB) - reduction of 12 units;
* 24 units 10-meter Assault Boats (AB) - reduction of 12 units;
* 6 units 16-meter Light Support Boats (LSB) - reduction of 12 units;
* 56 units FLIR 280HD forward looking infra-red - increase of 20 units;
* 7 units M2A1 .50-caliber machine guns - reduction of 17 units;
* 24 units M134D 7.62x51mm 6-barrel rotary Gatling guns - reduction of 12 units;
* 79 units M240B 7.62x51mm machine guns - reduction of 77 units;
* 208 units Night Fighting System (AN/PVS-14 and AN/PEQ-15) - reduction of 191 units;
* 52 units Thermal Imager Scope (handheld) - reduction of 50 units;
* 103 units Heavy Thermal Weapon Sights (AN/PAC-13) - reduction of 107 units;
* 56 units Harris Falcon III RF-7850M radios - reduction of 34 units;
* 181 units Harris Falcon III RF-7850S radios - reduction of 89 units;
* boat spare parts; spare engines and engine components; 
* safety and rescue equipment; 
* training; 
* contractor engineering technical services; 
* engineering technical assistance; 
* transportation cost services, and 
* other related elements of logistics and program support. 

===============
===============

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




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