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Additional Light Lift Aircraft Acquisition Project of the Philippine Air Force

As part of efforts to improve the transport and logistics capability of the Philippine Air Force in all levels, the service has raised a requirement for additional light lift aircraft to be procured as part of the 2nd List of Horizon 2 phase of the Revised AFP Modernization Program in 2018.

The Additional Light Lift Aircraft Acquisition Project will allow the procurement of 6 new light lift transport aircraft with short take-off and landing capabilities, which would allow operations from short airfields, and can be utilized as a transport aircraft for cargo and people, as a utility aircraft, surveillance aircraft and other missions.

One of the PAF's NC-212i Aviocar aircraft. Additional aircraft are planned under this project. Photo credits to PTV News.


Project Summary:

Additional Light Lift Aircraft Acquisition Project aka Light Lift Fixed Wing Aircraft Phase 2 Acquisition Project:

Note: Edited as of 28 June 2024.

* End User: Philippine Air Force (220th Airlift Wing)

* Quantity: 6 units plus ILS package

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

* Project ABC: Php4,160,000,000.00

* Acquisition Mode: Government-to-Government (G2G) deal with the Indonesian Ministry of Defence

* Source of Funding: Multi-Year Contractual Authority for 3 years, using General Appropriations Act (GAA) starting FY2023

* SARO Release: 
  - SARO-BMB-D-23-0013088 dated 17 February 2023 worth Php624,000,000.00 (15% of contract cost);
  - SARO-BMB-D-24-0004596 dated 21 June 2024 worth Php1,248,000,000.00 (30% of contract cost)

* Winning Proponent: PT Dirgantara Indonesia 

* Product for Delivery: PTDI NC-212i Aviocar

* Contract Price:

* Residual Price: Php0.00

* First post by MaxDefense: 03 July 2019

* MaxDefense Searching Hashtag:
 #PAFAdditionalLightLiftAircraftAcquisition #PAFLLFWAPhase2Acquisition

* Status: This project was included under 2nd List of Horizon 2 due to increasing need for light lift capability to replace its ageing fleet of N-22B/C Nomad aircraft. Since the PAF already operate the NC-212i, it was decided to pursue additional aircraft under a G2G deal with Indonesia. The project was moved several times from its original plan of 2019 due to lack of funding, COVID-19 pandemic fund realignment, and others. Its initial funding was now included under FY2023 defense budget. Contract reportedly signed by DND and PTDI as of 13 April 2023.Initial SARO was released on February 2023, and second SARO was released on June 2024.



The Philippine Air Force acquired two NC-212i Aviocar light lift aircraft from Indonesia's PT Dirgantara Indonesia as part of the Light Lift Aircraft Acquisition Program as part of the AFP Modernization Program's Phase 3 from 2006-2012.

The aircraft were ordered in 2014 but were delayed from its original delivery date of September 2015 due to changes made on the autopilot system that resulted to major requirements and re-approvals from international aviation authorities that led to the delivery to be made only by 2018.

Two NC-212i during induction to service in 2018. Photo credits to Frances Mangosing / Inquirer.net.

The delay placed PTDI under a 5-year blacklist of the DND's procurement system, but this was cancelled as the delivery problem was not their fault. But within those period, the PAF was able to fully utilize its two NC-212i Aviocar aircraft without any problems, resulting to the recommendation for repeat orders rather than re-tendering projects for additional aircraft.

It was proposed in 2018 to procure an additional 6 aircraft to replace the 5 remaining N-22B/C Nomad light aircraft still operated by the PAF in the light lift role.

One of the PAF's 5 remaining N-22 Nomad aircraft. Photo credits to PAF.

The announcement for such plan was made on July 2019 as part of the PAF's 72nd Founding Anniversary, and MaxDefense Philippines was able to confirm that the project was part of the 2nd List of Horizon 2 phase.

An initial funding worth Php1,372,800,000.00 or around 1/3 of the total project budget was suppose to be allocated by FY2020 GAA, but the money was realigned to COVID-19 pandemic response by the government. It was attempted to be funded again under FY2021 and FY2022 but attempts failed due to numerous projects affected by the lack of funding from previous years.

Currently it was said the project is now among those to be funded by the GAA for AFP Modernization Program for FY2023, so it is now expected for a deal to be closed between the Philippines and Indonesia by 2023.

U P D A T E S:

05 September 2022:

Pres. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is in Indonesia for his first state visit as president, and met Indonesian Pres. Joko Widodo.

DND is finalizing awarding the Additional Light Lift Aircraft Acquisition Project to Indonesian aircraft manufacturer PT Dirgantara Indonesia for their NC-212i Aviocar under the 2nd List or Horizon 2 phase.


16 November 2022:

MaxDefense Philippines confirmed that among those lined up for procurement that is being prepared is the Additional Light Lift Aircraft Acquistion Project, once DND Officer in Charge Senior USEc Jose Faustino Jr becomes the agency's Secretary within November 2022.

The project was confirmed to be among those lined up for funding as part of the FY2023 defense budget.


18 February 2023:

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has released a SARO worth Php624,000,000.00, or 15% of the budget for the Additional Light Lift Aircraft (PTDI NC-212i) Acquisition Project of the Philippine Air Force last 17 February 2023.

The SARO release means that an award is expected to be made to Indonesian Aerospace (PTDI) which the DND and PAF are negotiating with over the past 4 years.


14 April 2023:

MaxDefense Philippines received reports that the Contract has been signed for the Light Lift Fixed Wing Aircraft Phase 2 aka Additional Light Lift Aircraft Acquisition Project with the DND and PT Dirgantara Indonesia signing the contract just recently.

PT Dirgantara Indonesia will deliver 6 NC-212i Aviocar light lift aircraft to the PAF's 220th Airlift Wing; which would join 2 other similar aircraft procured in the Phase 1 of the project a few years ago.

The NC-212i Aviocar will replace the PAF's ageing fleet of GAF N-22B/C Nomad light aircraft.

PTDI and DND officials after the signing of contract. Photo credits to Doc Joseph Jocson's FB page.


28 June 2024:

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has released the second MYOA SARO for the project on 21 June 2024.

The SARO, worth Php1,248,000,000.00 or 30% of the project cost, was released as PT Dirgantara Indonesia may have reached a milestone in the construction of NC-212i Aviocar light lift aircraft for the Philippine Air Force.

So far we expect the delivery of the aircraft to be faster than the first batch of NC-212i ordered years ago, as it experienced delays due to changes in avionics resulting to aviation authority qualifications needing to be met before the project could move further.

This problem is not expected to happen this time.

Photo screenshot from DBM SARO 2024.


First edit and release: 19 November 2022
Copyright MaxDefense Philippines / Philippine Defense Resource

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