Saturday, February 27, 2021

Lightweight Multi-Purpose Fixed Wing Aircraft Acquisition of the Philippine Coast Guard

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) has embarked on the acquisition of a new Lightweight Multi-Purpose Fixed-Wing Aircraft as part of its capacity building and modernization efforts, specifically on its Air Unit.

The new aircraft is expected to become the groundwork of a new fleet of fixed-wing aircraft that the PCG is expected to acquire in the near future, as it makes known its requirement for more similar aircraft which will help the PCG meet its mandated duties.

This includes search and rescue (SAR), limited maritime patrol and surveillance, air ambulance, and utility roles.

The PCG's Cessna C208EX Grand Caravan EX aircraft, with serial number PCG 2081. Photo screen grabbed from PCG's video.

Project Summary:

Lightweight Multi-Purpose Fixed Wing AIrcraft Acquisition Project (2020)

Note: edit as of 18 October 2021

* End User: Philippine Coast Guard

Quantity: 1 unit 

* Project ABC: Php250,000,000.00

Acquisition Mode: Public Bidding 

* Source of Funding: GAA Funds for 2020

* Winning Proponent: Hawker Pacific Asia Pte Ltd

Product for Delivery: Cessna 208EX Grand Caravan

* Contract Price: Php249,999,000.00

* First post by MaxDefense: 26 February 2021

* MaxDefense Searching Hashtag/s: #PCGLightAircraftAcquisition

Status: First bidding attempt has been made as early as 2019, but several bid failures delayed the project. Latest attempt was made on 04 December 2020, with SOBE scheduled on 28 December 2020.. Notice of Award (NOA) released by PCG on 30 December 2020 in favor of Hawker Pacific Asia Pty Ltd. Aircraft delivered to the PCG as of September 2021. Aircraft accepted and inducted to the PCG Air Wing, and conducted its first mission on 14 October 2021. PROJECT COMPLETED.


The Philippine Coast Guard has been aiming to expand its air capabilities after years of dormancy. It has recently procured new helicopters, and have also started to rehabilitate its existing fixed-wing aircraft fleet of Britten-Norman BN-2 Islander light aircraft.

But the BN-2 Islander aircraft are old and are in need of replacement, even if they are upgraded and rehabilitated to further use.

One of the PCG's BN-2 Islander light aircraft. Photo credits to Wikipedia.

With this, the PCG has started the acquisition of new Lightweight Multi-Purpse Fixed Wing Aircraft which will be used to start transitioning the PCG's Air Unit to newer fixed-wing aircraft. But funding remains an issue so the PCG decided to just acquire 1 aircraft for this specific project, which will then become a basis for its future requirements.

An Invitation to Bid (ITB) was released by the PCG on May 2020, but it appears that the project had several bid failures and did not materialize.

The project's latest attempt was made on 04 December 2020, with some revisions made on the requirements including the delivery schedule. The Submission of Bids scheduled by 28 December 2020. with Hawker Pacific Asia Pte Ltd declared the Lowest Calculated Responsive Bidder.

A Notice of Award (NOA) was released in favor of Hawker Pacific Asia Pte Ltd on 30 December 2020, or just 2 days after being declared the bidding winner. This is something that is quite surprising since it appears that there was no more Post-Bid Inspections or Qualifications conducted.

According to our parent MaxDefense Philippines, the aircraft to be delivered will be the Cessna 208EX Grand Caravan, as per sources and the technical specifications of the project. It also appears that the Cessna 208EX Grand Caravan was the basis of the technical specifications, which made it easy for the aircraft to be selected.

The Cessna 208EX Grand Caravan showing its cargo compartment located below the airframe. Photo credits to AIN Online.

We would be updating this resource page once we gather more information on the overall capabilities of the aircraft, but it is expected that the new aircraft will have minimal surveillance capabilities and can be used for short range maritime patrol, search and rescue, and air ambulance roles in line with the PCG's mandate.

U P D A T E S:

26 February 2021:

Hawker Pacific Asia Pte Ltd was given the Notice of Award (NOA) for the project, and is expected to deliver the Cessna 208EX Grand Caravan aircraft.

It remains to be seen if the Notice to Proceed (NTP) will be released soon as this would be the basis for Hawker Pacific Asia's delivery deadline, which was contractually indicated as 300 calendar days from release of NTP.

We can expect then that the new aircraft will be delivered to the PCG between late 2021 or early 2022, depending of the release of NTP, and on Hawker Pacific Asia's capability to deliver the aircraft earlier than the deadline.

The NOA awarded to Hawker Pacific Asia Pte Ltd by the PCG. Photo credits to PhilGEPS.


10 September 2021:

The Philippine Coast Guard's Commander Adm. George Ursabia Jr. has inspected the new Cessna 208EX Grand Caravan EX aircraft with s/n 2081 at the Department of Transportation's hangar at Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila.

The aircraft appears to have been marked only recently, and has not been officially handed-over to the PCG.

It remains to be seen when the aircraft would be inducted, although this could happen before the PCG's anniversary on October 2021.

Photo credits to the Philippine Coast Guard.


18 October 2021:

The PCG has confirmed that it has already used the Cessna C208EX Grand Caravan EX aircraft for its first mission on 14 October 2021, which means the aircraft has been formally received and inducted earlier than that.

No exact date has been provided, but this only means that the aircraft has been fully delivered, but our contributors believe that it could have been done before the end of September 2021.

With this, it is safe to mark this project as COMPLETED.

Photo screen grabbed from PCG's video.

Video of the aircraft's first mission can be seen on the PCG's Facebook page, with the link provided below.


With the Cessna C208EX Grand Caravan EX aircraft already delivered to the Philippine Coast Guard as of September 2021, MaxDefense and Philippine Defense Resource officially consider the Lightweight Multi-Purpose Fixed Wing Aircraft Acquisition Project of the Philippine Coast Guard as COMPLETED.

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First edit and release: 26 February 2021
Copyright MaxDefense Philippines / Philippine Defense Resource

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Full Motion Flight Simulator Acquisition Project of the Philippine Air Force

The Philippine Air Force has requested for new full motion flight simulators to allow the a more realistic in-country training and refresher for its pilots.

This request was approved with the Full Motion Flight Simulator Acquisition Project of the Philippine Air Force included as a priority project under the Horizon 1 phase of the Revised AFP Modernization Project.

This resource page discusses the project and provide updates until it can be considered completed.

A S-70i simulator, this one using CAE 3000 series simulator from CAE's MPTC facility in Brunei. Photo credits to Flight Global.


Project Summary:

Full Motion Flight Simulator Acquisition Project:

Note: Edited as of 04 February 2023.

* End User: Philippine Air Force (Air Education and Training Command)

* Quantity: 2 units plus ILS package

* Modernization Phase: Horizon 1 Phase Priority Projects of RAFPMP

* Project ABC: Php246,000,000.00

* Acquisition Mode: Negotiated Procurement

* Source of Funding: General Appropriations Act (GAA), funding year TBD.

* SARO Release: TBC

* Winning Proponent: Simultec S.R.L. (Romania)

* Product for Delivery: Full Motion Flight Simulators to support Sikorsky S-70i Black Hawk and Bell 412EP helicopters.

* Contract Price:
 US$4,817,000.00 (Php243,345,206.00)

* Residual Price: Php2,654,794.00

* First post by MaxDefense: 06 February 2015

* MaxDefense Searching Hashtag:

* Status: This project was among the first Horizon 1 phase projects in 2013, but several failed bid attempts pushed it to 2021. Project originally awarded to Environmental Tectonics Corp but failed to deliver and project declared failure and contract cancelled as of mid-2018. Negotiated Procurement proceeded in 2021, with Romania's Simultec S.R.L. declared winner. NOA signed on 16 March 2021. No public confirmation of contract signing as of February 2023.

A Bell 412 simulator system, this specific model from FlightSafety. Photo credits to Aviation Pros.



The Philippine Air Force is modernizing its fleet, and this includes modernizing its support equipment and training process and procedures.

Among those seen as lacking in the organization are modern flight simulators, with the PAF relying more on actual flight training with support with simple desktop computer-based commercial flight simulators similar to those used on video games, or sourcing training from private companies in the Philippines or abroad.

While actual flight training remains the best way to learn, technology has caught up and can provide realistic training without the need to actually fly an aircraft. This allows the reduction of risk from accidents that may result to loss of life and expensive air asset, reduction of fuel and operating costs, and reducing additional flight hours tolling on the aircraft and its components.

With the project approved during the Horizon 1 phase of the Revised AFP Modernization Program covering years 2013-2017, the Philippine Air Force's newest air assets back then include the AgustaWestland AW-109E Power armed helicopter, Bell 412EP utility helicopter, and the refurbished C-130T Hercules from the US.

AgustaWestland AW-109E Power and Bell 412EP helicopters of the PAF. Photo credits to original sources.

It was formulated back then that the flight simulators that the PAF would acquire would be able to simulate these new assets, thus the specifications were indicated to include the flight training capability for these 3 aircraft models.

A budget of Php252,400,000.00 was approved to fund the project, and it was decided by the Department of National Defense (DND) that the procurement would be made through Public Bidding. 

The project was among the first one to be posted for procurement back in 2013, although bid failures pushed the project's bidding process to 2014 with a reduced budget of Php246,430,000.00. Several more bid attempts pushed the project further to 2015, until a tenderer was able to meet the requirements.

The project was awarded to American company Environmental Tectonics Corp., with a Notice of Award released on 18 March 2016. with a bid amount of Php246,000,000.00. It was expected that the Flight Simulators will be delivered to the Philippine Air Force by May 2018.

For some reasons not disclosed publicly, Environmental Tectonics Corp. failed to deliver a single flight simulator to the PAF, and the DND decided to cancel its contract with the company and declare the project as a failure by mid-2018.

By this time, Horizon 1 phase's timeframe has already passed although several Horizon 1 projects are still being procured. For some reasons, the DND did not immediately open a re-tender for the project, and it was only until September 2020 that a re-tender was raised.

This time, the requirement is for the Full Motion Flight Simulators to support only the AgustaWestland AW-109E Power and Bell 412EP helicopters. But this effort also failed, and no immediate re-tender was raised.

A new Invitation was released by the DND only by October 2021, this time declaring that since the project underwent Public Bidding and failed several times, the DND has decided to procure this project under Direct Negotiation with selected companies. It was identified later on that the companies involved are Environmental Tectonics Corp. and Romania's Simultec S.R.L. are the only companies that were found eligible by the DND.

In this revised procurement, the specifications were changed again to support the Bell 412EP and the Sikorsky S-70i Black Hawk helicopter, which are the standard new combat utility helicopters of the PAF.

S-70i Black Hawks of the Philippine Air Force during flight deliveries in Poland. Photo credits to PZL Mielec.

Currently, the PAF is receiving its flight simulator training at CAE Brunei Multi-Purpose Training Centre (MPTC) in Brunei Darussalam, as part of a defense cooperation between the Philippines and Brunei.

The CAE MPTC flight simulator facility in Brunei. Photo credits to Asian Military Review.

The removal of the AgustaWestland AW-109E Power appears to support information received by MaxDefense Philippines that the PAF is planning to divest its AW-109E Power fleet and transfer them to the Philippine Navy which operate AW-109E helicopters as well.

The direct negotiation resulted to the offer of price from both companies, with Romania's Simultec S.R.L. declared the lowest bidder aginast Environmental Tectonics Corp.

A Notice of Award was released of favor of Simultec S.R.L as of 16 March 2022 with an amount of US$4,817,000.00 or Php243,345,206.00. As of February 2023 it appears that no contract has been signed yet based although this is based on publicly-available information and not from direct sources from the DND or PAF.

Simultec S.R.L. appears to be an established company providing simulators to the Romanian Armed Forces as well as other foreign militaries, with expertise including supply of fixed and rotary-wing full motion flight simulators, as well as land training simulators and providing in-house simulation services.

U P D A T E S:

14 February 2021:

PhilGEPS reported that the Full Motion Flight Simulator Acquisition Project of the Philippine Air Force was "Failed" as of its last update last 22 December 2020.

So far, the DND and PAF has not released any new Invitation for Bidding. This is so far the first failed bidding since the project was re-started in 2020, although depending on interpretation of RA10349 and RA9184, there is possibility that the DND and PAF may resort to negotiated procurement due to the number of failed biddings for this project.


04 February 2023:

A Notice of Award was given to Romania's Simultec S.R.L. with an amount of US$4,817,000.00 or Php243,345,206.00, although as of this update, it appears that no contract has been signed yet between the company and the Department of National Defense (DND).

PDR and MDP would be closely monitoring this project for further updates.


First edit and release: 04 February 2023
Copyright MaxDefense Philippines / Philippine Defense Resource

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