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Fast Boats Acquisition Project of the Philippine Navy

The Philippine Navy has raised a requirement for the procurement fast boats, small multipurpose speedboats to support operations of the Philippine Navy.

The project, called the Fast Boats Acquisition Project of the Philippine Navy, is a project that is being implemented as part of the 2nd List of Horizon 1 phase of the Revised AFP Modernization Program (RAFPMP).

The PN Fast Boat is based on RHIB design, with capacity of 3 crew and 8 fully-equipped troops. Photo for reference only, credits to original source of photo.
As seen in Ayungin Shoal last 24 March 2024. Photo credits to Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Project Summary:

Fast Boats Acquisition Project

Note: Edited as of 14 October 2021

* End User: Philippine Navy (unspecified unit)

* Quantity: 10 boats

* Modernization Phase: Second List of Horizon 1 Phase of the Revised AFP Modernization Program (RAFPMP)

* Project ABC:

Acquisition Mode: Public Bidding

* Source of Funding
GAA Funds through AFP Modernization Program Trust Fund

* SARO Release: SARO-BMB-D-18-0004636 dated 08 March 2018

* Winning Proponent: Solanda Enterprises - Pacficfortia Marine Technologies Joint Venture

* Contract Price: Php228,130,000.00

* Residual Price: Php71,870,000.00

* First post by MaxDefense: 27 July 2018 

* MaxDefense Searching Hashtag:  #PNFastBoatAcquisition

* Status: Awarded to Solanda Enterprises - Pacificfortia Marine Technologies JV on February 2018, and Notice to Proceed was released on March 2018. Delivery scheduled for March 2019, delayed. First batch of 6 delivered on August 2020, a 7th boat was reported to have been delivered as of December 2020. Final 3 boats expected for delivery by 2021. MaxDefense Philippines sources confirmed that deliveries were completed as of mid-2021. PROJECT COMPLETED.


The Fast Boat Acquisition Project:

The Philippine Navy included the acquisition of thirty (30) brand new fast boats for the NAVSOG SBU under the proposed PATROL BOAT LIGHT ACQUISITION PROJECT as part of the 2nd List of Horizon 1 phase, with a proposed budget of Php450 million., or around Php15 million for each boat.

This was later revised due to budget issues, with the Philippine Navy renaming the project as the FAST BOAT ACQUISITION PROJECT, with a reduced budget of only Php300 million for twenty (20) brand new boats.

The project, which is funded under the 2nd List of Horizon 1 phase, was meant to provide the NAVSOG's Special Boat Unit (SBU) with new additional boats to complement older fast boats in service, while also increasing its operational capabilities.

The initial basic technical requirements were as follows:

* Length:                    Function of design
* Beam:                      Function of design
* Draft:                       0.50-0.60 meters
* Displacement:         Function of design
* Speed:                     Not less than 45 knots at full throttle at full load
* Range:                    150-200 nautical miles
* Complement:          3 boat crew + 8 passengers
* Gun Mount:             1 x .50 cal machine gun (front)
* Hull Type:                Function of design (not wooden)
* Propulsion:              At least 2 diesel-powered outboard motors
* Seaworthiness:        Operate at Sea State 2, Survive at Sea State 3
* Delivery Period:      12 months

This requirement will become the basis although it can be further improved. One example is the gun mount, which was later on increased from one mount to three mounts (1 front, 2 rear).

Several proposals were floated during the planning stage, which includes options using a Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (RHIB) design, and several options using Fibre-Reinforced Plastic (FRP aka Fibreglass) and Aluminium hull designs.

All options vary in size, displacement, speed, range, complement, propulsion, delivery times and cost.

The cheapest appears to be similar to the FRP-hulled boats, made locally and used by Philippine National Police Maritime Group (PNP-MG) with 3 outboard motors, which can be acquired for less than Php4 million each. The most expensive option includes the US-made Small Unit Riverine Craft (SURC) which is used by the Philippine Marine Corps and US Marine Corps, and the US Special Operations Craft - Riverine (SOC-R) used by the US Navy which cost around Php35 million each.

Among the options raised by the Philippine Navy include locally-made FRP hulled boats similar to those used by the PNP Maritime Group (top), the Small Unit Riverine Craft SURC (middle), and the Special Operations Craft - Riverine SOC-R (bottom). Credits to original sources of photos.

In the end, it appears that the Philippine Navy settled with their original plan to acquire RHIBs. But it remains to be seen if the quantity was reduced from 20 units to less than that. This is because there was a request made in 2017 to reduce the quantity from 20 units to just 10 units, using the same budget.

But since RHIBs of this size does not cost more than Php12 million each, it is possible that the proposal remains at 20 units, subject to further confirmation.

NAVSOG operates several RHIBs in its fleet, although the new one appears to be larger than the one shown above. Photo taken from and credited to VJNorz's Flickr page.

Use of Diesel-Powered Motors:

Another point of interest will be the decision of the Philippine Navy to specify the use of diesel outboard engines rather than petrol powered as most boats today.

Apparently the decision of the Philippine Navy has strong ties to experience by the US Navy, which has specified the use of diesel-powered motors for boats carried by US Navy ships, instead of petrol powered motors that can produce higher power output and allow higher operating speeds.

As explained to MaxDefense by one of our contributor from the defense industry, the US Navy started implementing the use of diesel fuel for small boats after a ship accident in 1995 that caused an explosive gasoline fire. This made the US Department of Defense directive to remove all gasoline powered engines and gasoline fuel tanks about US Navy ships from 2010.

With the Philippine Navy following suit for safety reasons, it only means that the chances of these new fast boats being deployed aboard larger Philippine Navy ships like the Strategic Sealift Vessel / Landing Platform Docks, or even Offshore Patrol Vessels or other current and future surface combatants are quite high.

Not only will the boats be conforming to the directive on removing gasoline powered engines and fuel tanks aboard Philippine Navy ships, but it also allows for the ease on storing fuel since most Philippine navy ships are diesel powered and have sufficient diesel fuel stored. Fast boats using diesel fuel allows for simplicity and commonality in fuel logistics.

The use of 4 outboard motors instead of 3 as originally planned could also be due to the use of diesel motors, which have lesser power output than gasoline powered motors. 

Delivery to the Philippine Navy:

After a public bidding conducted without fanfare, the winning bidder was Solanda Enterprises - Pacficfortia Marine Technologies Joint Venture, with a bid amount of Php228,130,000.00. This is Php71,780,000.00 lower than the allocated budget. A Notice of Award (NOA) was released in favor of the winning proponent on 27 February 2018, with the Notice to Proceed (NTP) released on 01 March 2018.

Solanda Enterprises is the local distributor of Mercury marine engines, while Pacificfortia Marine Technologies carry the Treton brand of RHIBs. This means that based on their products, it can be assumed that the boats with be made by Treton and would be powered by 

Based on the contract, the products should be for delivery within 1 year, or by March 2019.

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) released the full amount of the contract on 08 March 2018, which enables the winning proponent to start the construction of the boats.

It appears that Solanda Enterprises - Pacificfortia Marine Technologies JV failed to deliver the boats by March 2019, as we have noted that the first batch of 6 boats were delivered only last August 2020.

U P D A T E S:

15 October 2019:

MaxDefense received word that the project was awarded to Solinda Enterprises Inc. - Pacificfortia Marine Technologies Joint Venture. Both are local companies, with Pacificfortia actually involved in several supply and delivery projects involving FRP fast boats for the Philippine National Police and Philippine Coast Guard.


22 August 2020:

MaxDefense received photos and information that the delivery of the first batch of fast boats has been made, and were sent to Naval Base Cavite.

Photos below shared exclusively to MaxDefense by one of our contributors show the delivery convoy in the streets of Cavite City, on the way to Naval Base Cavite.

It shows that the fast boats are indeed Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats (RHIBs). It also shows that the boats are powered by 4 outboard motors, most likely diesel-powered Mercury motors.

The new boats are seen here being delivered to the Philippine Navy's Sangley Point Base in Cavite last August 2020. Photos exclusively shared to MaxDefense Philippines.

It still remains to be confirmed if the boats were indeed from Treton, since MaxDefense sources mentioned that the boats were probably built in South Korea.


23 September 2020:

The Philippine Navy (PN) has recently received the initial deliveries of new Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats (RHIB) that it acquired for the Naval Special Operations Group (NAVSOG) under its Fast Boat Acquisition Project.

Three of the six newly delivered RHIBs that arrived as the first batch of Fast Boats for the Philippine Navy. Photo exclusively shared to MaxDefense Philippines.

It also appears that the Philippine Navy procured several new automatic grenade launchers and machine guns which would be installed on these new fast boats. We received photos confirming this, although we were asked not to post them to protect our source.

It remains to be confirmed though if these were acquired separately, although most likely they were.

It also remains to be seen on when the rest of the boats will be delivered to the Philippine Navy. So far, no new deliveries were confirmed to MaxDefense by our sources, although it is expected that more boats will arrive within the year.

MaxDefense Philippines released a new blog entry regarding this project, which can be accessed from the link provided below:

"Philippine Naval Special Operations Group receives 1st batch of new Fast Boats" - first posted on 23 September 2020.


28 December 2020:

In a statement made by Philippine Navy FOIC Vice Adm. Giovanni Bacordo, the NAVSOCOM already received 7 out of 10 fast boats from the supplier. 

The boats are said to be undergoing trials and technical inspection procedures.

The quantity is higher than the report we made which mentioned that 6 boats were delivered. It is possible that there were actually 7 boats delivered, with the 7th delivered at a later date since our sources confirmed that there were indeed just 6 boats when the 1st batch were delivered.

With the year already ending, it is expected that the 3 other boats will be arriving in 2021.


14 October 2021:

The sources of our parent page MaxDefense Philippines has confirmed that all 10 boats have been delivered and are already inducted and operational with the Philippine Navy. 

No available new photos at the moment although source is a very reliable one that have provided previous correct information to the page.


With the 10 units of Fast Boats delivered and inducted with the Philippine Navy as of mid-2021, MaxDefense and Philippine Defense Resource officially consider the Fast Boats Acquisition Project of the Philippine Navy as COMPLETED.

x x x x x x x x x x x 

Additional Updates:

27 March 2024:

Due to the lack of recent photos, it was surprising that one of the boat acquired under this project was involved in a very important and publicized mission in Ayungin Shoal.

During the recent resupply mission by Philippine Navy-chartered civilian boat Unaizah Mae 4 last 23 March 2024 that became a very heated incident with China Coast Guard ships bombarding the wooden boat with water cannons, the supply boat was unable to continue its mission to dock with BRP Sierra Madre in Ayungin Shoal due to heavy damage and injury to its crew.

Instead, the personnel aboard BRP Sierra Madre sent a small boat to pick-up the rotational crew and supplies from Unaizah Mae 4 and the escorting Philippine Coast Guard boat BRP Cabra (MMRFV-4409).

The boat appears to be one of the Fast Boats acquired under this project based on its physical appearance, which is different from other fast boats used by the Philippine Navy.

The fast boat involved in assisting the supply mission at Ayungin Shoal last 23 March 2024 appears to be one the boats acquired under this project. Photo credits to the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

The boat appears to be stationed in the BRP Sierra Madre although it is unknown on when the boat was deployed to the outpost. But its appearance in the outpost could give an idea as to where the other boats from this project are assigned, which is most likely in other Philippine-occupied features in the Kalayaan Island Group.


First edit and release: 19 June 2020
Copyright MaxDefense Philippines / Philippine Defense Resource

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