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Monday, May 31, 2021

ORD PABAC2 003-01-2021 Truck Troop Carrier, Light Acquisition Project of the Philippine Army

The Philippine Army has raised a requirement for 90 new Light Troop Carrier Trucks that would be acquired through the Philippine Army's Government Appropriations Act (GAA) funding under Fiscal Year 2021.

This is not one of the usual truck procurement projects of the Philippine Army that were included in the AFP Modernization Program, but instead would be procured using its own annual funding.

Since the trucks are non-standard models, it is highly possible that the trucks would be used by a specific unit rather than distributing them to combat units which are already using the standard M35 and KM250 6x6 2 1/2-ton troop carrier trucks.

The GAZ Sadko classic. Photo credits to original sources.

Project Summary:

Trucks Troop Carrier, Light Acquisition Project:

Note: Edited as of 12 February 2022.

* Project Number: ORD PABAC2 003-01-2021

* End User: Philippine Army (multiple units)

Quantity: 90 units

* Modernization Phase:
 GAA 2021 Procurement Projects of the Philippine Army

* Project ABC:

Acquisition Mode: Public Bidding

* Source of Funding: Government Appropriations Act (GAA) 2021 funding of the Philippine Army

* SARO Release/s: 

* Winning Proponent: Conequip Philippines Inc.

* Product for Delivery: GAZ Sadko 4x4 trucks

* Contract Price: Php202,905,000.00

* First post by MaxDefense: 08 May 2021 

* MaxDefense Searching Hashtag: #PATrucksTroopCarrierLight2021Acquisition

* Status: Project was implemented through Public Bidding, with SOBE held on 11 January 2021. Conequip Philippines was declared the Lowest Calculated and Responsive Bidder. MaxDefense PH believes truck to be supplied is GAZ Sadko based on the unit price of Php2,254,000.00 per truck, which is cheaper than the unit price for the GAZ Sadko supplied to the PNP-Special Action Force in 2019 @ Php3,220,000.00 each. DND confirmed the trucks will be delivered to the Philippine Army within 180 days from NTP release. As of February 2022, some of the trucks are seen with Philippine Army's ASCOM awaiting for distribution.


The project to acquire 90 new trucks through public tender and by using the Philippine Army's own annual operating budget is something new for the Philippine Army.

This is due to most of its truck procurement done via the Philippine Army's Modernization Program, or through the AFP Modernization Program, and is usually acquired through Government-to-Government (G2G) process. In the past decade, most if not all new truck procurements were supplied by Kia Motors of South Korea in the form of the Kia KM-series trucks.

Currently, the Light Troop Carrier Truck of the Philippine Army is the Kia KM450 4x4 truck, which is a modernized version of the 1960s era M715 4x4 truck from the US.

There are a few potential reasons to believe why the Philippine Army decided to run a different procurement program for new Light Troop Carrier Trucks rather than order again from South Korea's Kia Motors:

1. The introduction of the Korea Light Tactical Vehicle (KLTV) to eventually replace the production of the KM450 truck for the Republic of Korea Army could be a potential problem to the continuous supply of KM450 trucks to the Philippine Army, and to the Armed Forces of the Philippines in general.

The KLTV is more of a light tactical vehicle  similar to the AM General Humvee rather than a simple utility truck.

Based on Kia Motor's website for military trucks, the KM450 series is still there, so its replacement by the KLTV is not yet happening but will only happen in the near future.

2. The KLTV is more expensive than the KM450 that it is replacing. Based on the previous contract between the DND and the Korean Government on behalf of Kia Motors, the KM450 is priced at around Php3.15 million each. 

According to MaxDefense PH sources, the KLTV is upward of Php4.5 million each.

Based on the project's details, the Philippine Army has budgeted around Php3.6 million for each truck, while conducting public tender for the acquisition.

3. The Philippine Army is urgently in need of new trucks, and procuring them through standard procurement process like Public Bidding would allow a quicker route.

In comparison:

We try to compare the new acquisition of Light Troop Carrier Trucks to previous acquisitions of the Philippine Army and other armed services of the Philippine government.

a. Kia KM450 truck - considered as Light Troop Carrier Truck per Horizon 2 phase of RAFPMP. Based on 2018 contract between DND and Korea Trade Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA)

Php677,247,850.00 for 215 Kia KM450 trucks, or a unit rate of Php3,150,000.00 per unit.

Kia KM450 1 1/4-ton trucks used as armed troop carriers by the Philippine Army. 

b. Kia KM250 truck - considered as Medium Troop Carrier Truck per Horizon 2 phase of RAFPMP. Based on 2018 contract between DND and KOTRA.

Php1,859,984,500.00 for 310 Kia KM250 trucks, or a unit rate of Php6,000,000.00 per unit.

A Kia KM250 2 1/2-ton truck of the Philippine Army. Photo credits to Wikimedia Commons.

c. GAZ Sadko truck - considered as Medium Troop Carrier Truck per procurement by the PNP Special Action Force. Based on 2019 contract between PNP-SAF and ConEquip Philippines.

Php119,128,800.00 for 37 GAZ Sadko 4x4 trucks, or a unit rate of Php3,220,000.00 per unit

A GAZ Sadko 4x4 truck of the PNP Special Action Force. Photo credits to original source.

d. Ural Next trucks - considered as Heavy Troop Carrier Truck per procurement by the PNP Special Action Force. Based on 2108 contract between the PNP-SAF and ConEquip Philippines.

Php85,575,000.00 for 10 Ural Next 42306 trucks, or a unit rate of Php8,557,500.00 per truck, although this includes 2 trucks modified into Command and Control trucks with airconditioned and fitted cabin.

Based on the Contract Price submitted by ConEquip Philippines for the Philippine Army's requirement of 90 vehicles, it appears that each truck is around Php2,254,000.00.

That is far cheaper to the Kia KM450's year 2019 rate, or even the GAZ Sadko's year 2019 rate.

Project Awarding:

The project was awarded to ConEquip Philippines, which is the local distributor of GAZ and URAL brands of Russian trucks. The NOA was released in favor of ConEquip Philippines on 11 February 2021.

As of 30 May 2021, no confirmation onf Contract Signing, or release of Notice to Proceed (NTP) has been reported by the PhilGEPS website.

PhilGEPS reporting on status of the Philippine Army's Truck Troop Carrier Light Acquisition Project. Photo screen-grabbed from PhilGEPS website.


U P D A T E S:

30 May 2021:

The DND has released a statement discussing the acquisition of 90 trucks, which pertains to the Truck Troop Carrier, Light Acquisition Project of the Philippine Army for year 2021.

According to DND Spokesman Dir. Arsenio Andolong, "the trucks will boost the Army's capability to transport personnel and materiel wherever they are needed, whether it be in combat or humanitarian assistance and disaster response".

The DND mentioned that the trucks will be made by URAL, and will be delivered by ConEquip Philippines, which received the Notice of Award for the project on 11 February 2021.

The trucks would be delivered within 180 calendar days from receipt of Notice to Proceed (NTP) or Opening of Letter of Credit.

So far, it has not mentioned if the NTP has been released in favor of ConEquip Philippines.

Upon MaxDefense PH's check with PhilGEPS website as of 31 May 2021, there is no Contract signed yet between the Philippine Army and ConEquip Philippines.


12 February 2022:

Based on the photos below, it appears that the Philippine Army is already in possession of the Russian-made trucks it ordered under one of its Light Truck Troop Carrier Acquisition Project, which are funded by the PA's annual GAA funds rather than the RAFPMP.

It would be remembered that the Philippine Army ordered 90 trucks from winning bidder ConEquip Philippines. This is purely a commercial project with no participation by the Russian Government. See our extension's resource page on the project below:

And like what we anticipated, the trucks are GAZ Sadko 4x4 trucks, contrary to Philippine Army and DND statements before that the trucks are from URAL. 

Sadly, we were hoping for the new Sadko Next model to be delivered, but instead the Philippine Army received the older classic Sadko model, which we did not expect to be still in production despite the modernized new model being commercially available. This is expected considering the low unit cost of the trucks. Its too low to realistically afford the new Sadko Next with its modern engine, air-conditioning, and updated tech and design.

📷 from MaxDefense Philippines contributor who wish to remain anonymous.


02 June 2022:

Conequip Philippines posted some photos of the GAZ Sadko trucks, which they confirmed are bound for the Philippine Army.

Photo credits to GAZ Auto Industria by ConEquip.


01 July 2022:

The GAZ Sadko trucks of the Philippine Army debuted at the Military Parade during the inauguration of new President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., which is a sign that the vehicles have been distributed to its intended units.

MaxDefense Philippines also received confirmation that the trucks were distributed to several front line units, which means a few trucks to each unit rather than a bulk of similar trucks serving a single or few units.

Photo screen-grabbed from RTVM's video.


With the GAZ Sadko light troop carrier trucks already delivered to the Philippine Army as of 2nd quarter of 2022, MaxDefense and Philippine Defense Resource officially consider the ORD PABAC2 003-01-2021 Truck, Troop Carrier. Light Acquisition Project of the Philippine Army as COMPLETED.

x x x x x x x x x x x 

First edit and release: 31 May 2021
Copyright MaxDefense Philippines / Philippine Defense Resource

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Combat Engineering Equipment Lot 3 - Dry Support Bridge Acquisition Project of the Philippine Army

The Philippine Army has started acquiring new assets that would allow it to have combat bridging capabilities as part of new capabilities being introduced to improve its overall performance as a combat unit.

With the experience in the Battle of Marawi in 2017 against ISIS-inspired terrorists that made use of the Philippine Army's lack of emergency and combat bridging equipment. The terrorists fought tooth and nail for bridges that stopped the military from moving forward quickly across combat areas with rivers that require bridges to cross.

There were many instances during the Battle of Marawi wherein Philippine Army units were pinned down in crossing a river as terrorist snipers and machine gunners were position near an existing major concrete bridge, when the Philippine Army could have crossed the river somewhere else and create another front.

This experience, together with having combat bridge capabilities to support tanks and other heavy combat vehicles in crossing without relying on civilian bridges, as well as to provide emergency bridging during disaster operations, pushed the Philippine Army to prioritize the acquisition of three bridging capabilities.

In this resource page, we discuss one of these capabilities being introduced to the Philippine Army - the Dry Support Bridge, which is also known as the Tactical Support Bridge, wherein a couple of systems are being acquired under the Horizon 2 phase of the Revised AFP Modernization Program.

A WFEL Dry Support Bridge launcher using an Iveco-made platform, with a simplified demonstration unit for the system. Photo credits to original source.

Project Summary:

Combat Engineering Equipment Lot 3 - Dry Support Bridge Acquisition Project:

Note: Edited as of 01 March 2024.
* End User: Philippine Army (Combat Engineering units)

Quantity: 2 units

* Modernization Phase:
 Horizon 2 Phase of RAFPMP

* Project ABC:

Acquisition Mode: Government-to-Government (G2G) deal between Philippine DND and UK Ministry of Defence.

* Source of Funding: Multi-Year Contractual Authority for 3 years, using General Appropriations Act (GAA) from FY2020 to FY2022.

* SARO Release/s: 
- SARO worth Php187,364,229.00 (15% initial payment)
   - SARO-BMB-D-22-0010961 worth Php437,183,200.00 dated 23 November 2022 (2nd MYCA, worth 35% of contract price)
   - SARO-BMB-D-23-0021665 worth Php624,547,428.31 dated 07 August 2023 (3rd MYCA, worth 50% of contract price)

* Winning Proponent: WFEL Ltd.

* Product for Delivery: WFEL Dry Support Bridge, carried by RMMV HX45M 8x8 and 10x10 trucks

* Contract Price: Php1,249,094,857.00

* Residual Amount: Php905,143.00

* First post by MaxDefense: 2019

* MaxDefense Searching Hashtag: #PACEEDSBAcquisition

* Status: Project was implemented through G2G with UK government. WFEL Ltd. received NOA on January 2021, contract and NTP release expected by 2nd quarter 2021. Delivery of first batch was made on late February 2024 to facilitate localized training for combat engineering crew, while second batch to follow within the year.

Setting up of a Dry Support Bridge by WFEL. Photo credits to Army Recognition.


The Philippine Army has proposed the acquisition of Dry Support Bridge systems which can be used to support heavy combat vehicles that would be dangerous to cross on civilian bridges that do not have enough load capacity to support tanks.

The bridge could also be used to cross men and equipment over unprepared river crossings or in the absence of a bridge.

Also, the bridge could be used for emergency roles like the aftermath of disasters wherein bridges are damaged or destroyed by camities.

The Dry Support Bridge (DSB)
 is a tactical military bridging system that allows for use on longer spans, usually at least 45 meters long, at a very short period of time.

The system was among those included in the Philippine Army's Combat Engineering Equipment Project, which is a multi-lot project that involves acquiring different sets of combat engineering equipment.

During the pre-procurement process, the acquisition of Dry Support Bridge was among those recommended to be acquired from the United Kingdom through Government-to-Government (G2G) procurement process, together with 3 other combat engineering equipment systems.

Through the negotiations with the UK's Ministry of Defence, it was recommended that the Dry Support Bridge would be supplied by the British company WFEL, which specializes in dry support bridging systems.


According to MaxDefense Philippines sources from the Philippine Army, the Department of National Defense (DND) has awarded the project last January 2021 to UK-based WFEL Ltd. under a Philippines - United Kingdom Government-to-Government (G2G) deal supported by the UK's Ministry of Defence.

Two sets of Dry Support Bridges, complete with the transport trucks, handling systems and all other accessories plus the Integrated Logistics Support (ILS) are part of the deal, which is estimated to be worth Php1.25 billion.

The WFEL Dry Support Bridge is an interesting system, which includes a launching system usually using a 10x10 military truck that builds a gantry that would allow the support and slinging of the bridge to the other end of the river or obstacle. It spans at around 49 meters, has a Military Load Classification of MLC 120 (around 120 tons), and can be completely deployed in less than 90 minutes.

The launching vehicle is being prepared to build the gantry, which is being assembled before expanding. Photo taken from Australian Defence Magazine.

The gantry has been assembled and extended over the obstacle. Once the gantry is extended, it would be deployed to support and sling the bridge. Photo taken from Australian Army's Twitter account.

The bridge components are slinged while supported by the extended gantry. Photo credits to original source.

U P D A T E S:

22 August 2023:

The third and final MYCA payment for the project was secured with the DBM's release of a new last 07 August 2023, with SARO-BMB-D-23-0021665 worth Php624,547,428.31, or 50% of the contract amount.

This means that the delivery of the WFEL dry support bridges could be happening soon, as the contract stipulates final payment only upon completion of delivery.


3rd and final SARO release for the project was made on 07 August 2023. Photo screengrabbed from DBM's SARO listing.


25 August 2023:

With the acquisition of the Dry Support Bridge from WFEL, the Philippine Army wil be getting its first 10x10 heavy tactical vehicle in the form of Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles (RMMV) HX45M 10x10 trucks, which the Philippine Army specified.

The PA has been planning to procure heavy tactical trucks like the RMMT HX series or American HEMTT that could carry containers and other specialized cargo, but has not been successful to get funding as part of Horizon 2.

The RMMV HX45M 10x10 truck used by the WFEL DSB of the Australian Army. 


01 March 2024:

Video and photo evidences have become available as proof of the arrival of the first batch of WFEL Dry Support Bridges for the Philippine Army.

This was later on followed by confidential photos sent to MaxDefense Philippines by sources from the Philippine Army.

Based on the photos and video, the first batch is composed of 1 Dry Support Bridge composed of 3 RMMV HX45M vehicles with trailers. The HX45M 10x10 truck  carrys the bridge installer system, while the HX45M 8x8 trucks with trailers carry the bridge components.

MaxDefense Philippines received confirmation from sources that the delivery was made late February 2024, with the second batch of similar composition expected to arrive later this month.

The first DSB will allow training of the Combat Engineering personnel that will operate the system.

The WFEL DSB is the first ever dry support bridge of such kind that the Philippine Army will be operating. 

The WFEL DSB components carried by the RMMV HX45M 8x8 (bridge components) and 10x10 (bridge installer). Photo credits to MaxDefense Philippines community members.

First edit and release: 30 May 2021
Copyright MaxDefense Philippines / Philippine Defense Resource

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Coastal Radar Stations (Phase 1) Projects of the Philippine Coast Guard

The Philippine Coast Guard is a growing organization in terms of manpower, assets and capabilities. And with its growing responsibility and challenges to support in maritime safety and law enforcement, it needs new capabilities.

Among those identified to improve its ability to "see" and monitor our country's maritime borders are the need for Coastal Radar Stations, which can detect, observe and monitor the movement of ships several miles away from our coastlines.

With this, the Philippine Coast Guard has prioritized the construction of new Radar Stations especially in the southern part of the country, which has a more porous border due to the geography and being close to the borders with Malaysia and Indonesia.

This resource page would discuss the projects related to the construction of a first batch of 21 Coast Guard Radar Stations, which we collectively called the Coastal Radar Stations Phase 1 Project of the Philippine Coast Guard.

This resource page was a combination of work between MaxDefense Philippines (which appeared first in their main website) and one of MDP's contributors, "Herbie". Updates would be complied by Philippine Defense Resource and will be coming from different sources, which may include MDP and Herbie.

A coastal radar station, this example said to be in India.


Project Summary:

Coastal Radar Stations (Phase 1) Projects of the PCG (collection of several projects)

Note: Edited as of 19 May 2021.

* End User:
Philippine Coast Guard

* Quantity: 21 Radar Stations

* Project ABC:
  - 1a. Php140 million;
  - 1b. Php50 million;
  - 1c. Php9.7 million (Kalamansig);
  - 1d. Php21 million (Basilan); 2
  - 2. Php197.059 million;
  - 3. JPY 1 billion

* Acquisition Mode:
  - 1a. Negotiated Procurement;
  - 1b. Negotiated Procurement;
  - 1c. Negotiated Procurement;
  - 1d. Expected to be through public bidding;
  - 2. Public Bidding;
  - 3. Grant Aid (Japan radar systems)

* Source of Funding: GAA Funds, and Japan Grant Aid

* SARO Release: TBA

* Winning Proponent:
   - 1a. Fabmik Construction and Equipment Co. Inc.;
   - 1b. Protech Construction and Development Corporation;
   - 1c. A.G. Araja Construction & Development Corporation;
   - 1d. TBC;
   - 2. Scan Marine Inc.;
   - 3. TBC

* Product for Delivery:
   - 1a. 14 radar station buildings.;
   - 1b. 5 radar station buildings;
   - 1c. 1 radar station building;
   - 1d. 1 radar station building;
   - 2. 10 Radar Station Systems;
   - 3. 11 Radar Station Systems.

* Contract Price/s:
   - 1a..Php139,528,339.02;
   - 1b. Php49,820,360.67;
   - 1c. Php9,664,884.08
   - 1d. Not bidded out yet;
   - 2. Php196,770,896.00
   - 3a. TBA

* First post by MaxDefense: To follow

* MaxDefense Searching Hashtag:

* Project Status:  Items 1a to 1c are under construction, with some already completed. Item 1d. is scheduled for tender. Delivery of Item 2 are ongoing, and will be dependent on the completion of the Coast Guard Station buildings. Item 3a was reported to have already been delivered to the PCG.



According to the Philippine Coast Guard, there is an urgent need to enhance the Philippines’ Maritime Domain Awareness to monitor its territorial and contiguous waters. The PCG's Coast Guard Weapons, Communications, Electronics, and Information System Command (CGWCEISC) have identified the need for 140 radar stations in order to come up with the whole picture of the country’s maritime domain.

With a currently limited budget, the Southern Philippines, with some of the more popular tourist spot destinations and busy sea lanes, is the priority area for the establishment of the Radar Systems.

Most of the prioritized radar locations are in the ZamBaSulTa (Zamboanga, Basilan, Sulu, Basilan) area.

21 radars were prioritized under PCG's assessment as part of a 1st batch to be constructed nationally. To do this, several projects were made by the Philippine Coast Guard. 

Equipment used in CG Radar Stations Rio Hondo and Sibutu. Credits to DOTr.

For easier reference, the author and MaxDefense Philippines called the combined projects as the PCG's Coastal Radar Stations Phase 1 Project, which can be subdivided into the construction of the 21 Coast Guard Radar Station buildings, the 10 Radar Station Systems publicly tendered, and the 11 Radar Systems donated by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) as Grant Aid.

The partitioning are as follows:

1. Coast Guard Radar Station Buildings

    1a. Construction of 14 Radar Station Buildings: 1 project with an approved budget of Php140 million. This was publicly tendered, and Notice of Award was given to Fabmik Construction & Equipment, with a Contract worth Php139,528,339.02 signed and Notice to Proceed released on 01 February 2019.

PhilGEPS screenshot showing details on Construction of 14 Radar Station Buildings.

    1b. Construction of 5 Radar Station Buildings: 1 project with an approved budget of Php50 million. This was also publicly tendered, with the Notice of Award given to Protech Construction and Development Corporation, with a Contract worth Php49,820,360.67 signed and Notice to Proceed released on 11 February 2019.

PhilGEPS screenshot showing details on Construction of 5 Radar Station Buildings.

    1c. Construction of CG Radar Station Kalamansig Building: 1 project for a specific building location, with an approved budget of Php9.7 million. Also publicly tendered, the project was awarded to A.G Araja Construction & Development Corporation with a Contract amount of Php9,664,884.08 signed and Notice to Proceed on 13 January 2020.

PhilGEPS screenshot showing details on Construction of Radar Station Kalamansig Building.

    1d. Construction of CG Radar Station Basilan Building: another project specifically for 1 building, with an approved budget of Php21 million. A Notice of Award was given to an unidentified company, with contract signed and Notice to Proceed released on 21 June 2021.

2. PCG Radar Station Systems: 1 project specifically for the Supply, Delivery and Installation of Radar Systems, with 10 units involved. The project was also publicly tendered and was awarded to Scan Marine Inc. on 11 October 2019, with a contract worth Php196,770,896.00 signed and Notice to Proceed released on 21 October 2019.

PhilGEPS record showing details on the Supply, Deliver and Installation of Radar Systems. Photo from Herbie, taken from PhilGEPS.

3. Japan Grant Aid Radar Systems: this involves a JICA grant to the Philippines' Department of Transportation for the Philippine Coast Guard, involving the grant of 11 radar systems.

21 Radar Station Locations:

The Philippine Coast Guard Radar Project locations have been identified in previous publications. The following lists down the location of the radar stations under the Phase 1 projects:

PCG Radar Project Locations:

1. Mapun, Tawi-Tawi

2. Bayawan City, Negros Oriental

3. Bredco Port, Bacolod City, Negros Occidental

4. Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan

5. Balicasag Island, Panglao, Bohol

6. Dapitan City, Zamboanga Del Norte

7. Taganak, Turtle Islands, Tawi-Tawi

|8. Sibutu, Tawi-Tawi

9. Pearl Bank, Tawi-Tawi

10. Sarangani, Davao Occidental

Japan Grant Aid Radar Project Locations:

1. Brgy Talisayan, Zamboanga City

2. Brgy Rio Hondo, Zamboanga City

3. Brgy Siraway, Zamboanga City

4. Olutanga, Zamboanga Sibugay

5. Brgy Baganian, Tabina, Zamboanga del Sur

6. Kalamansig, Sultan Kudarat

7. Pangutaran, Sulu

8. Kawayan, Lugus Sulu

9. Bongao, Tawi-Tawi

10. Basilan

11. Port Area, Sulu

A map showing the location of radar stations to be installed under this phase, separating PH funded and Japan funded radars. Photo credits to DOTr.

Radar System Technical Specifications:

The systems purchased by the PCG includes a Radar, AIS Base Receiver, Coastal Camera with Day/Night capability, towers (at least 21 meters high), various Base and Marine-band radios, hardware, software, CCTV systems and power sources for each radar station.

It is surprising to see the Technical Specifications have a specific radar brand (FURUNO) and model in mind perhaps to match the radar systems donated by JICA. FURUNO and ICOM are the brands used for the various surveillance equipment.

Status of the Project:

Based on photos and information from the Philippine Coast Guard and our sources, several of the radar station buildings have already been completed, although several are still scheduled for construction as of early 2021.

Photos of some of the radar station buildings can be seen below.

Top: Coast Guard Radar Station Sibutu, Tawi-Tawi. Middle: Coast Guard Radar Station Olutanga, Zamboanga Sibugay. Bottom: Coast Guard Radar Stations Bayawan, Negros Oriental, and Coast Guard Radar Station Balicasag, Bohol. Photo credits to DOTr.

Meanwhile, Scan Marine Inc. has deliver the radar systems to the Philippine Coast Guard. Installation will also be part of their scope of works, including making sure that the system works.

It remains to be seen though if their scope also includes making the radars connected to the National Coast Watch System, which is also operated by the Philippine Coast Guard together with other government agencies.

U P D A T E S:


First edit and release: 29 May 2021
Copyright MaxDefense Philippines / Philippine Defense Resource

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Harbor and Ocean-Going Tugboats Acquisition Project of the Philippine Navy

The Philippine Navy has embarked on the acquisition of a harbor tugboat as well as an ocean-capable tugboat to assist larger naval vessels during entering to and leaving from their designated berthing and anchoring stations, aid vessels in manoeuvring in restricted waterways, and other harbor and towing duties.

With the Horizon 2 Priority Projects already approved in 2018, the Philippine Navy has decided to make use of the 2nd List of Horizon 2 phase to include this project.

The Harbor and Ocean-Going Tugboats Acquisition Project of the Philippine Navy was born out of need for new tugboats, with an initial 2 units eyed for acquisition through public bidding starting 2021.

The RAmparts 3000W oceangoing tugboat for the Philippine Navy during sea trials. Photo credits to MaxDefense Philippines contributor.

Project Summary:

Harbor and Ocean-Going Tugboats Acquisition Project:

Note: Edited as of 23 May 2023.

* End User: Philippine Navy 

Quantity: 1 Harbor Tugboat, and 1 Oceangoing Tugboat, including Integrated Logistics Support

* Modernization Phase:
 2nd List of Horizon 2 Phase of RAFPMP

* Project ABC:

Acquisition Mode: Public Bidding

* Source of Funding: FY2021 GAA Funds through AFP Modernization Program Trust Fund

* SARO Release/s: 

* Winning Proponent: Josefa Slipways Inc.

Product for Delivery: 1 x 30.25m RAmparts 3000W Oceangoing Tugboat, and 1 x 27.60m RAmparts 2700 Harbor Tugboat

* Contract Price: Php598,808,000.00

* Residual Amount: Php1,192,000.00

* First post by MaxDefense: 04 May 2021

* MaxDefense Searching Hashtag: #PNTugboatsAcquisition 

* Status: Invitation to Bid released by the DND on May 2021, for Public Bidding. SOBE scheduled on 08 July 2021. Notice of Award released in favor of Josefa Slipway Inc. on 31 August 2021. Contract signing and NTP released on 25 March 2022.
 Keel laying ceremonies held on 10 June 2022. No announcement was made on launching, but as of late March 2024 both boats were seen conducting sea trials.


The Philippine Navy has started modernizing its surface assets as most of its current assets are already beyond their expected lifespan. This includes the tugboats being operated by the service to service ships at port.

Not only are most of the PN's tugboats too old, but also lacking in numbers and are small in size. These tugboats are only capable of operating within port areas and in littoral areas.

Most, if not all of the PN's tugboats are not ocean-going and are old, hand-me-downs from the US, like the BRP YT-273 (above). Photo credits to UNTV Radio.

The accidental grounding of the patrol frigate BRP Gregorio del Pilar (PS-15) in the Hasa-Hasa Shoal in August 2018, and the lack of sufficient tugboats to pull the ship out of the shoal and tow it to safety was an eye-opener for Philippine Navy officials.

The Philippine Navy have to get the services of commercial tugboat operators to do the job as the service does not have any tugboats capable of such job. On top of that, the cost of the tugboat service from Hasa-Hasa Shoal to Subic Bay apparently costed the Philippine Navy a huge sum, which could have been enough for the service to buy a slightly-used tugboat in the international market.

The BRP Gregorio del Pilar (PS-15) stranded at Hasa-Hasa Shoal. Photo credits to Philippine Navy.

It was also reported then that China offered to help pull out the stranded BRP Gregorio del Pilar (PS-15) out as they know the Philippine Navy did not have the capacity to do it on its own, and out of fear that the Philippines might let the ship remain in the shoal as a temporary base.

Credits to original source.

In 2020, MaxDefense Philippines received information from sources that the Philippine Navy has started the pre-procurement process to acquire 2 tugboats with a budget of Php600 million. These tugboats would also have firefighting capability to assist other ships or shore facilities on fire.

2 commercial tugboats assisted BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PS-16) as it leaves the Sri Lanka's East Container Terminal in early 2020. Photo credits to Philippine Navy.

The ships are not expected to be armed by external-mounted weapons, but its crew can be equipped with small arms, as the boats will have its own armory.

The Invitation to Bid (ITB) for the project was released on 03 May 2021, with the Submission of Bids deadline and Bid Opening Date set on 25 May 2021, although this could change depending on outcome of the Pre-Bid Meeting on 11 May 2021.

Delivery date is expected in 540 calendar days from release of Notice to Proceed (NTP). It is expected that should the tender be successful in its first attempt, the NTP could potentially be released before yearend. And 540 calendar days would be around 2023.

The Harbor Tugboat is expected to be at least 26 meters long, displaces at least 400 tons, a crew of 10 personnel, and has a Bollard Pull of at least 40 tons.

Meanwhile, the Ocean-going Tugboat will be at least 30 meters long, displaces at least 600 tons, a crew of 10 personnel, and has a Bollard Pull of at least 60 tons.

Aside from these 2 boats, MaxDefense Philippines expects that additional tugboats would be acquired in the following years, as the Philippine Navy is hoping to have at least 6 new tugboats to be assigned in major Philippine Navy facilities in in Cavite, Subic, and Cebu.

An ocean-going tugboat, in which the PN wants to have 1 in this project. Photo credits to Kotug.

It remains to be seen if the PN could get the funds needed for another batch of tugboats, which is said to be for acquisition starting 2022, and another batch of 2 tugboats funded by 2023.

No information has been provided though if the Philippine Navy would retire its older tugboats, although it appears that they will remain for several years more.

U P D A T E S:

17 June 2021:

The DND released new Supplemental Bid Bulletins, which indicated a move of the Bid Submission deadline from 22 June 2021 to 01 July 2021.

This is already the 3rd time the date was moved. Usually dates are moved based on request of potential bidders, which could be trying to complete the legal and document requirements as part of their submission.


02 July 2021:

A new Supplemental Bid Bulletin has been released by the DND which allowed us to get additional information about the project:

1. Submission and Opening of Bids now moved from 01 July 2021 to 08 July 2021. Requests to further extend this has been rejected by the BAC.

2. The ships are required to be built in the Philippines. Proposals for offshore construction were rejected by the BAC.

3. Among those interested to supply the tugboats include Josefa Slipway (which built the Lapu-Lapu-class multi-mission offshore vessel of the BFAR), Megaship Builders (which was the lowest bidder for the PN's Landing Docks project but was disqualified), Propmech Corporation (which supplied the PN's MPAC Mk.1 to Mk.3 boats).

4. Main diesel propulsion engine brands limited to the following: Caterpillar, Fairbanks Morse, Detroit Diesel, MTU. Diesel generators are limited to the following brands: Perkins, Caterpillar, Cummins, MAN, Detroit Diesel, and MTU.

5. The tugboats will have a V-shaped hull, and use of balloon type launching of ships was rejected by the BAC.

6. Ownership of design by the Philippine Navy is a requirement that cannot be taken out.

The rejection by the BAC in many of the requests made by the 3 potential suppliers appears to be a factor for the potential failure of the bidding on 08 July 2021. But there is still possibility for it to run smoothly.


29 September 2021:

The DND has released the Notice of Award (NOA) for the project in favor of local shipbuilder Josefa Slipway Inc. on 31 August 2021, with a submitted bid of Php598,808,000.00.

The shipbuilder was declared the Single Calculated Responsive Bidder for the tender.

The NOA in favor of Josefa Slipway. Photo credits to DND.

One may have heard of the shipbuilder before, as Josefa Slipway Inc. built the Australian-designed Lapu-Lapu-class multi-mission offshore vessels (MMOVs) of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR).

It remains to be seen what design will Josefa Slipway use for their tugboats for the Philippine Navy.


14 June 2022:

Filipino shipbuilder Josefa Slipway Inc. held the Keel Laying Ceremony for the 2 tugboats being built for the Philippine Navy on 10 June 2022.

Take note that one is an oceangoing tugboat with 30.25m length, the other is a harbor tugboat with 27.60m length.

With the keel laying, we expect the tugboats to  be completed and ready for delivery to the Philippine Navy by early 2023.

Based on the photos below, the tugboats to be delivered are the RAmparts 2700 and RAmparts 3000W, both of which were designed by renowned tugboat designer Robert Allan Naval Architects & Marine Engineers.

Photo credits to Josefa Slipway Inc.


23 May 2023:

Construction appears to be ongoing although almost complete based on the latest photo posted by Milot Chau. 

Both tugboats are seen on the same location inside Josefa Slipway's yard in Sual, Pangasinan, as where the boats had their keel laying last year.

The two tugboats as seen recently, although no date provided. Photo credits to Milot Chau @ Defense of the Republic of the Philippines Facebook page, on behalf of original source.

There are some discrepancies though with regards to the Ocean-going Tug, as photos from Josefa Slipway previously indicated it as the RAmparts 3000W design, but based on Robert Allan Naval Architects & Marine Engineers website's RAindrops Magazine published in June 2022, the Philippine Navy will be receiving the slightly larger RAmparts 3200 design.

This can be clarified once the ocean-going tugboat has been completed since the name of the design is written on the superstructure of the tugboat based of other RAmparts tugboats built for other customers.

But most likely the design used is the RAmparts 3000W.

Photo credits to RAindrops Magazine June 2022.


24 March 2024:

Based on photos shared by one of our contributors, it appears that both the Harbor and Oceangoing Tugboats ordered by the Philippine Navy from Josefa Slipway are already completed and are already undergoing sea trials.

The tugboats were built by Josefa Slipway in Sual, Pangasinan, and are based on the internationally successful RAmparts 3000W oceangoing tugboat and RAmparts 2700 harbor tugboat design.

One of the photos shared to us includes the one below, which does not show any markings of the Philippine Navy yet, which may indicate that it has not been commissioned into service yet.

The Philippine Navy aims to acquire more of both designs once they find the performance and build quality of both tugboats to be beyond expectations.

Photo credits to MaxDefense Philippines contributor.


First edit and release: 04 May 2021
Copyright MaxDefense Philippines / Philippine Defense Resource