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Saturday, November 19, 2022

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.


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Project Summary:

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

Note: Edited as of 14 April 2023.

* 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%)

* Winning Proponent: PT Dirgantara Indonesia 

* Product for Delivery: PTDI NC-212i Aviocar

* Contract Price:
 Php4,160,000,000.00

* 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.

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Overview:

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.

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U P D A T E S:
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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.

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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.

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



Saturday, September 24, 2022

Forward Support Equipment (Horizon 2) Acquisition Project of the Philippine Army

 To continue the modernization of its logistics capabilities, the Philippine Army has raised a requirement for a variety of trucks that would allow them to improve their transport capabilities.


The Forward Support Equipment Acquisition Project under the Horizon 2 phase is a continuation to the earlier project of the same name under the Horizon 1 phase, with both procurements actually related to each other closely.

With the Horizon 1 phase project pushing for the acquisition of forklifts to allow easy movement of palletized and containerized cargo, the project under Horizon 2 phase focuses of the trucks that would deliver these goods.

A MAN TG-MIL 6x4 10-wheel tractor head truck, which is widely accepted globally as one of the most versatile and durable trucks in the market, which is essentially a militarized MAN TG truck. The Philippine Army uses such model for its ATMOS 155mm self propelled howitzer and ammunition trucks. Photo credits to Truck World.


A MAN TG-MIL Tractor with a tanker trailer, similar to what the Philippine Army has specified as one of the requirements under its Forward Support Equipment Acquisition Project. Photo credits to Truck Planet.


Project Summary:

Forward Support Equipment (Horizon 2) Acquisition Project:

Note: Edited as of 04 February 2024.

* End User: Philippine Army (Combat Engineering units)

Quantity: 
   - 32 Trucks, Equipment Transporter Heavy (tractor head and trailer);
   - 30 Trucks, Fuel / Water Tanker Lorry, Heavy (tractor head and trailer);
   - 24 Trucks, Wrecker Medium;
   - 3 Operators and Maintenance Training (1 for each type)

* Modernization Phase:
 Horizon 2 Phase of RAFPMP


* Project ABC:
 Originally Php956,552,000.00, reduced to Php872,952,000.00


Acquisition Mode: Public Bidding

* Source of Funding: AFP Modernization Program Trust Fund

* SARO Release/s: 
TBC


* Winning Proponent: TBC


* Product for Delivery: TBC


* Contract Price: TBC


* First post by MaxDefense: 24 September 2022 (this post)


* MaxDefense Searching Hashtag: #PAFSEH2Acquisition 


* Status: Originally planned to include the acquisition of 32 Trucks, Heavy Trailer Low Bed, 28 Trucks Water Lorry, 24 Trucks Wrecker Medium, and 16 Mobile Kitchens. The Acquisition of Mobile Kitchens were separated and to be acquired separately. 1st bidding attempt failed, 2nd attempt published on 28 February 2023 and SOBE on 07 March 2023. Bidding failed as of 05 June 2023. TWG to re-review the technical specifications of the project before undergoing another bidding process.


Overview:

The Philippine Army has always had mobility issues especially when it comes to moving heavy vehicles, palletized or containerized cargo, fuel or water, and providing towing or wrecker support despite having a fleet of hundreds of small, medium and heavy trucks in its mobility fleet.

It has been pushed to get the services of private transport contractors, and this has been more evident when the Philippine Army participates in military exercises like Balikatan where heavy equipment and cargo are moved from bases to staging areas.

This project aims to address some of that issues to reduce the reliance on private contractors, while also giving itself freedom to move without letting contractors know of their plans.

Based on the technical specifications, the Philippine Army is not looking for militarized trucks, but would probably accept civilian-spec trucks and trailers similar to the ones they already have in its fleet, like those used by Engineering units.

The Philippine Army already procured several wrecker trucks using Daewoo truck bodies back in 2018, although these appear to be smaller than what the Philippine Army specified this time. Photo credits to SooSung Motors.


The tractor heads for both the equipment transporter and tanker trailers are 10-wheeler 6x4 heavy trucks, while the wrecker truck has almost similar specs to the tractor heads, which means that it is likely that the trucks are of the same model but different variant only.

Being public bidding, price would be a major factor which may give Chinese brands like Sinotruk or Sany a bigger chance of winning. But we are hoping that the specs would allow for better brands to have the chance of winning, probably Korean, Japanese or European brands like Hyundai, Daewoo, Hino, Isuzu, MAN or Iveco, which are believed to be more reliable and longer lasting products.

A MAN TG 6x4 truck with semi trailer for Army transport use. 


The possibility of also having a Russian brand like Ural is highly likely if their local representatives would also join the tender. Their price are competitive against Chinese brands, and Ural have trucks that appear to meet the tender requirements.

An Ural NEXT 6x4 truck. Photo credits to Ural.


We also believe that it would be better if the Philippine Army selects a brand or model that is already in service with them, so they can take advantage of existing logistics support lines or spare parts supply.

The first attempt for bid the project will have its Submission of Bids scheduled on 11 October 2022, subject to changes or time extensions.


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

15 October 2022:

Interesting developments on the project as the Supplemental Bid Bulletin DND/PA-FSE-2022-02 was released by the DND on their website.

It appears that several companies have posted queries, including MAN Concessionaires Corp (distributor of MAN trucks), BJ Mercantile (distributor of Scania trucks), MCX International (distributor of Shacman Chinese-made trucks), Civic Merchandising (distributor of Volvo trucks), 

MAN's distributor appears to have some problems with meeting some administrative requirements as well as having a service center in Mindanao, and MAN trucks meeting ground clearance requirements for the Wreckers.

Scania's distributor appear to only have issues with the trailers, which are expected to be supplied by others and not made by Scania itself.

Shacman's distributor appears to have issues for being not the sole distributor of the brand, which is a requirement of the project. Chinese-brand trucks are widely sold by several companies in the Philippines.

Volvo's distributor have issues with regards to truck tire sizes, and meeting ground clearance. They recommended the use of a different tire size but these were denied.

It is very interesting to see that European trucks are mostly contending for this project. MAN, Scania and Volvo are all deserving brands, although MAN appears to have an advantage due to the Philippine Army (and Philippine National Police) already using their trucks, although there seems to be problems with meeting the administrative requirements.


Example of Scania trucks in service with the Danish Army (wrecker top) and French Army (tanker above). 


Based on an earlier Supplemental Bid Bulletin, the Submission and Opening of Bid Envelopes (SOBE) have been moved from 11 October to 25 October 2022. Based on answers from the latest SBB, requests to move the SOBE date have been denied by the DND BAC.

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11 March 2023:

The Forward Support Equipment Acquisition Project has been re-tender after failure of the first bidding attempt, with the new attempt published as of 28 February 2023 and having a submission date of 07 March 2023.

Again, the turn-around for this project is rather quick, so honestly, we expect another bidding failure which may push the DND to change the procurement process to Negotiated Procurement which allows easier and faster processing.

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

06 January 2024:

The project was declared a failure as of 05 June 2023, with the DND's Procurement Monitoring Report mentioning that the project would undergo a review of its technical specifications before proceeding again with public tender.

It appears that proponents may not be able to meet the requirements of the project versus the allocated budget, which resulted to the failure of the bidding process.


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First edit and release: 24 September 2022
Copyright MaxDefense Philippines / Philippine Defense Resource


Thursday, September 22, 2022

Combat Engineering Equipment Lot 5 - Combat Engineer Vehicle Acquisition Project of the Philippine Army

The Department of National Defense (DND) has raised the requirement for new Combat Engineering Vehicles (CEV) for the Philippine Army, as part of plans of improving the service's combat engineering capabilities.

Under the Combat Engineering Equipment Lot 5 - Combat Engineer Vehicle Acquisition Project, which is part of the Horizon 2 phase of the Revised AFP Modernization Program, it aims to procure at least 3 combat engineer vehicles to support armored and mechanized combat units in providing mine and obstacle clearing and other engineering functions, as an engineering hub, for transport of combat engineers into combat, and even provide fire support due to it being armed.

The ASCOD-based Pizarro II Castor combat engineering vehicle. 


Project Summary:

Combat Engineering Equipment Lot 5 - Combat Engineer Vehicle Acquisition Project:

Note: Edited as of  04 February 2024.

* End User: Philippine Army (Combat Engineering units)

Quantity: Originally 4 units, reduced to 3 units


* Modernization Phase:
 Horizon 2 Phase of RAFPMP


* Project ABC:
 Php173,052,000.00


Acquisition Mode: Public Bidding

* Source of Funding: TBC

* SARO Release/s: 
TBC


* Winning Proponent: TBC


* Product for Delivery: TBC


* Contract Price: TBC


* First post by MaxDefense: 22 September 2022 (this post)


* MaxDefense Searching Hashtag: #PACEECEVAcquisition 


* Status: Originally proposed to be awarded to China's Poly Technologies under G2G agreement between PH DND and PRC MND. Proposal was said to be poorly supported within Philippine Army. Project moved to Public Bidding, with ITB released September 2022. 2nd bid attempt was republished on 21 September 2022 with SOBE scheduled on 14 October 2022, and pushed back to 26 October 2022. Tender appears to have failed as the another bid attempt was republished on 12 November 2022 with new SOBE scheduled on 05 December 2022. 2nd Bidding  attempt was declared failure as of 06 February 2023. 3rd bidding attempt opened on 09 August 2023, with SOBE scheduled on 01 September 2023. Bidding failed. No update as of 04 February 2024 although it appears that the DND could be considered to conduct the acquisition through direct negotiations / negotiated procurement, and potentially adjust the budget.

Overview:

The Combat Engineering Vehicle was one of the equipment that was found to be needed by the Philippine Army based on experiences it had before and during the Battle of Marawi in 2017.

But it was not very evident until 2017 when armored vehicles were used extensively in combat, but encountered difficulty due to obstacles that hinder their movement.

When it was raised as part of the Combat Engineering Equipment requirements of the Philippine Army, the Department of National Defense (DND) originally wanted the Combat Engineering Vehicle to be sourced from the People's Republic of China through a Government-to-Government (G2G) transaction, together with other Combat Engineering Equipment.

For some reason, the proposal did not push through and instead was pushed to be procured through Public Bidding.

Based on the technical specifications of the project, the Philippine Army is looking to have a combat engineering vehicle with the following features:

* Tracked vehicle;
* Equipped with a Common Interface Fitting Kit on the front for different kinds of equipment;
* Equipped with a Surface Clearance Device, more specifically Mine Rollers for clearing landmines and threats found within its path;

The Pizarro II Castor equipped with a mine clearing device. Photo credits to Defense.com


* Can pull a trailer-mounted Mine Clearing Line Charge System;

* Equipped with an Obstacle Marker System;

* To include a Multi-Rotor Drone with Magnetometer System
* Mine protection compliant with STANAG 4569 Level 3a under the tracks;
* Armor protection against up to 14.5mm AP, and capable of provision for add-on applique armor or bar armor cage;
* Overhead protection against 155mm HE fragmentation;
* Can be equipped with a turret capable of mounting 25mm autocannon, 12.7mm heavy machine gun, and 40mm automatic grenade launcher;
* A length of at least 4,800mm, width of at least 2,600mm, height of at least 2,000mm, ground clearance of at least 400mm, and a weight between 5 to 20 tons.
* Powered by diesel engine V6 turbocharged with an output of at least 275 horsepower;
* Automatic transmission with 4 forward and 2 reverse gearings;
* Capacity for at least 8 personnel;
* Fully amphibious with bilge pump, capable of speed of at least 5 km/h on water (without attached surface clearance or mine roller attachments);
* Integrated to common C4ISR system including 3D mapping, blue force tracking, common operational picture sharing.

Looking at the technical specifications, it looks like it was "copied" from the product description of the General Dynamics European Land Systems (GDELS) ASCOD armored vehicle.

But this makes sense, since the Philippine Army has chosen the ASCOD for its light tank platform, and for its command and control vehicle platform. Choosing the ASCOD for its combat engineering vehicle requirement allows for commonality advantage in terms of training, maintenance, logistics support and others.

Since the Philippine Army's ASCOD-based Sabrah Light Tank is actually based on the Pizarro II platform produced by GDELS subsidiary Santa Barbara Sistemas for the Spanish Army, it is highly possible that the desired model of the Philippine Army is the Pizarro II Castor sappers combat vehicle, which was designed for the Spanish Army and has the same mission profile as a combat engineering vehicle.

The Sabrah light tank for the Philippine Army (top) was based on the ASCOD Pizarro II armored vehicle for the Spanish Army. The same is true for the Pizarro II Castor sappers combat vehicle (above), which is essentially a combat engineering vehicle variant of the ASCOD Pizarro II. Photo credits to Ronkainen @ Twitter, and Defensa.com.

But since this is a public bidding, it remains to be seen if other companies would be able to match the technical specifications using their own products.

The killer requirement raised on the project could be on the ability of the vendor to integrate its product with the Philippine Army's existing C4ISR system, which is based on Elbit Systems' C4ISR technology. While other vehicles can be integrated to it, that would only be possible through the participation of Elbit Systems.

And if Elbit Systems decides to participate in the tender on its own, then it means it will not make itself available to assist other vendors on either using Elbit's own C4ISR products, or integrate their product's C4ISR with that of Elbit Systems.

Also, if Elbit decides to join on its own, chances are it would be offering the ASCOD Pizarro II platform which it already did with the Light Tank Acquisition Project with their ASCOD Pizarro II-based Sabrah light tank. And if all these happens, chances are, Elbit Systems might win the tender not because of price but because of the ability to deliver all requirements.




We expect vendors from other countries like South Korea, Turkey, Czech Republic, Germany, France, among others would also try to see if they can participate and meet the technical requirements of the project.

In particular, Turkey and South Korea have been very active in the Philippine defense market lately, and it would be interesting to see what FNSS, Otokar, Hanwha Defense, and others would be offering.

The first attempt to tender this project has a Submission of Bids scheduled on 14 October 2022, and it remains to be seen if this would be extended based on requests by vendors.


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15 October 2022:

A Supplemental Bid Bulletin No. AFPMP-PACEEL5-10-22-01 was released, moving the Submission and Opening of Bid Envelopes (SOBE) from 14 October to 26 October 2022.

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

31 October 2022:

While the tender's Submission and Opening of Bid Envelopes (SOBE) appears to have proceeded as scheduled, a Supplemental Bid Bulletin actually came out on 17 October 2022.

Based on the queries and replies, the following were clarified on top of what were already specified in the project's specifications:

1. The DND requires the bidder that the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) of the Combat Engineer Vehicle can certify any modification / integration / use of associated accessories.

2. The vehicle will come with a turret with 12.7mm heavy machine gun and 40mm automatic grenade launcher.

3. The specs of the project calls for a platform based on a light armored vehicle, not a main battle tank platform, which we mentioned in our analysis as part of this resource page's overview.

The SBB can be read from this link:

DND Bids and Awards Committee 2 - Public Bidding

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

16 November 2023:

It appears that the 1st bidding attempt, which has the Submission and Opening of Bid Envelope (SOBE) held on 26 October 2022, has failed due to the re-opening of another bidding attempt that has its SOBE scheduled on 05 December 2022.

We expect the same tenderers to submit their bids, although the quick turnaround may not allow them to provide their best offers. We believe that this is a tactic for the procurement process to change to Negotiated Procurement or G2G per procurement laws.

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

13 March 2023:

The tender for this project was declared a failure by the DND as of 06 February 2023.

It now remains to be seen if the procurement process will change to Negotiated Procurement with a foreign country considering two succeeding bidding failures, and the change could simplify and speed up the procurement of these vehicles.

This is especially true if the Philippine Army has a supplier and model in mind, which we believe would be based on the ASCOD 2 Pizarro from General Dynamics European Land Systems (GDELS).

The vehicle could either be supplied directly by GDELS - Santa Barbara Sistemas of Spain, or could go through Israel's Elbit Systems which is supplying the Sabrah ASCOD 2 light tanks to the Philippine Army.

The Sabrah ASCOD 2 light tank uses the same platform as the ASCOD Pizarro II Castor sappers vehicle. Photo credits to unknown original source.


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27 August 2023:

In a surprise move by the DND, a 3rd public bidding attempt was opened last 09 August 2023, instead of moving to a Negotiated Procurement with proponents which can be made as per RA 9184.

The new SOBE is scheduled on 01 September 2023, subject to changes if proponents request for time extension.

Changes have been noted in the technical specifications:

1. Instead of a Route-Opening Mine Plough system, the specs now calls for Mine Rollers. It appears that Mine Rollers are cheaper, and clears a lesser area compared to a mine plough due to its coverage width of only around the same width as the roller system. The failure of biddings may be attributed to proponents unable to meet the budget allocated by the DND/Philippine Army, and this may help in reducing the cost.


Examples of Mine rollers (top) and mine plough (above) as attached with the Pizarro 2 sappers vehicle. Mine rollers appear to be lighter and cheaper, although less capable. Mine Ploughs can be procured by the Philippine Army later on.


2. The specs added the supply of a Drone with Magnetometer System (DMS), which is a multi-rotor drone that can be used for low level aerial survey and capable of UXO, landmine or metallic IED detection in unreachable, flooded, or mined areas.  It appears that this would be attached with the vehicle's crew which to allow for wider search area by having "eyes in the sky".

An example of a multi-rotor UAV with Magnetometer System attached. Photo credits to UGCS Integrated Systems.


These changes are probably made to reduce the overall cost of the vehicles, since it appears that the Mine Plough system is expensive and has not allowed proponents to meet the Approved Budget of Contract (ABC). 

Hopefully these changes would allow the project to push through considering it has been delayed already for a year due to bidding failures.

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04 February 2024:

After several attempts to publicly bid the project, the last attempt which was raised on 09 August 2023 and scheduled for SOBE on 15 September 2023 has been declared as another failed bid as of 19 December 2023.

No update has been made as of 04 February 2024 although it appears that the DND could push the project to be acquired via direct negotiations rather than public bidding.

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First edit and release: 22 September 2022
Copyright MaxDefense Philippines / Philippine Defense Resource

Monday, August 15, 2022

Search and Rescue Helicopters Acquisition Project of the Philippine Air Force

 As part of efforts to modernize the Philippine Air Force's overall capabilities in support of national development and provide assistance in both peacetime and combat operations, a requirement for new Search and Rescue (SAR) helicopters was raised as part of the 2nd List of Horizon 2 phase of the Revised AFP Modernization Program.


This resource page discusses the Search and Rescue Helicopters Acquisition Project of the Philippine Air Force, and will try to keep information as the project progresses.

A MH-60 Jayhawk of the US Coast Guard, which is part of the Black Hawk family and used mostly for Search and Rescue. Photo for reference only, credits to Vintage Aviation News.

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

Project Summary:

Search and Rescue Helicopters Acquisition Project:

Note: Edited as of 31 December 2023..

* End User: Philippine Air Force (505th Search and Rescue Group)

Quantity: 3 units


* Modernization Phase:
 originally Horizon 2 Phase of RAFPMP, to be moved to Re-Horizon 3 Phase.


* Project ABC:
 approx. US$67,817,540.00 (~Php3,730,000,000.00)


Acquisition Mode: TBC

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


* SARO Release/s: 
None yet, TBA

* Winning Proponent: TBA

Product for Delivery: TBA


* Contract Price: TBA

* Residual Amount: TBA

* MaxDefense Searching Hashtag: #PAFSARHAcquisition 

* Status: The DND has released an Acquisition Decision Memorandum (ADM) in 2021, awaiting for funding approval by Department of Budget and Management (DBM) as of August 2022. but no funding has been released as of March 2023. Most likely to be moved to Horizon 3 Phase. Funding has not been released as of December 2023.

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

Overview:

The Philippine Air Force's 505th Search and Rescue Group (505th SARG) is one of the most important air units of the service, being one of the highlights of interaction between the Filipino soldier and the common Filipino in need of help during disasters, accidents, and emergencies.

By means of air rescue remains the fastest and most efficient way of conducting search and rescue operations, and is tied to the PAF being the government's largest air service agency.

But underfunding through the years has placed the Search and Rescue capability of the PAF at the backburner due to prioritization of assets for combat and transport roles which to be fair are equally underfunded over the years as well.

Currently, the 505th SARG have been operating old Bell 205 helicopters, which are civilian versions of the equally old Bell UH-1 Huey combat utility helicopters. And while it has been given a boost in the past few years by adding a few PZL Swidnik W-3A Sokol helicopters and the sole Sikorsky S-70A-5 Black Hawk helicopter, these are not enough for the unit to provide Search and Rescue around the country.

One of the PAF's W-3A Sokol combat utility helicopter, seen here in 2013 converted to a Search and Rescue helicopter. Photo credits to Col. Francis Neri PAF.


This has become even more evident when the PAF decided to retire its fleet of UH-1 Huey helicopters, in which the Bell 205A is considered a part of. And this left the 505th SARG with only a few helicopters for it to spread across the country.

There have been previous plans to procure Search and Rescue helicopters but these have always been delayed or placed at the backburner due to funding issues. But it now appears that the PAF is pushing hard for the procurement of a few new helicopters for the role.

Based on documents from the DND and PAF, the Search and Rescue Helicopter Acquisition Project has raised a requirement for at least 3 new SAR helicopters. So far, our parent page MaxDefense Philippines was able to confirm that Sikorsky, Bell and Leonardo Helicopters have made pitches of their offer to meet this requirement.

Sikorsky was said to have offered a SAR variant of the S-70i Black Hawk helicopter, while Leonardo has offered a SAR variant of their AW139M helicopter.

The Leonardo AW139 in SAR variant, this unit operated by the Swedish Sj√∂fartsverket. Photo credits to VerticalMag.


It remains to be seen what Bell offered exactly, but it is highly possible that it is a variant of their Bell 412 helicopter, which is already in service with the PAF.

As of August 2022, it appears that no funding has been released yet for this project by the national government, although it was flagged by the DND to be of utmost importance due to the expected contribution of new SAR helicopters during Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations.


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U P D A T E S:
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23 March 2023:

No funding has been released as of this writing, which may be a reason for the DND and the government to move the project to Horizon 3 phase as the Horizon 2 phase has ended on 01 January 2023. 

So far there are also no updates regarding the project.

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

31 December 2023:

As of this writing, no funding has been released for this project.

It is assumed that the project is moved to the Re-Horizon 3 phase, although we are yet to see the finalised shopping list submitted to Pres. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. earlier this month if it includes this project.

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First edit and release: 15 August 2022
Copyright MaxDefense Philippines / Philippine Defense Resource


Sunday, August 14, 2022

Additional Attack Helicopter (Attack Helicopter Phase 3) Acquisition Project of the Philippine Air Force

 
With the successful deal between the Philippines Department of National Defense (DND) and the Turkish Ministry of Defense (MOD) for the procurement of T129B ATAK attack helicopters from Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) for the Philippine Air Force (PAF), it is logical for additional orders to be made instead of purchasing another batch of attack helicopters from another manufacturer.

In this resource page, we will discuss the planned acquisition of additional T129B ATAK attack helicopters to complement the original 6 units being acquired under an earlier project.

It remains to be seen if this would be classified as part of the 2nd List of Horizon 2, or will be pushed back to Horizon 3 phase of the Revised AFP Modernization Program.

All photos credited to DND.

Project Summary:

Additional Attack Helicopter (Attack Helicopter Phase 3) Acquisition Project:

Note: Edited as of 29 January 2024.

* End User: Philippine Air Force (15th Strike Wing)

Quantity: at least 6 units, could be up to 18 helicopters depending on government's capability to provide funding.


* Modernization Phase:
 2nd List of Horizon 2 Phase of RAFPMP, to be moved to Re-Horizon 3 Phase.


* Project ABC:
 at least approx. US$274,560,000.00 (Php15,200,000,000.00), could be more depending on government's capability.


Acquisition Mode: Government-to-Government deal with Turkish Ministry of Defense.

* Source of Funding: GAA Funds through AFP Modernization Program Trust Fund, to be paid via Multi-Year Obligation Authority (MYOA) process.


* SARO Release/s: 
None yet, TBC

* Winning Proponent: Expected to be follow-on with Turkish Aerospace Industries

Product for Delivery: at least 6 units T129B ATAK attack helicopters, plus ILS and technical support and training.


* Contract Price: None yet, TBC

* Residual Amount: None yet, TBC

* MaxDefense Searching Hashtag: #PAFAdditionalAHAcquisition #PAFAHPhase3Acquisition

* Status: This project is a follow-on to earlier Attack Helicopter (Phase 2) Acquisition Project, with negotiations with Turkey and TAI already happening as part of the Phase 2 project. Funding is being secured as of August 2022, but none released as of December 2022. Project is being planned to be moved to Re-Horizon 3 phase, and is possibly going to be prioritized within FY2024.


Overview:

The Department of National Defense (DND) successfully concluded a contract with Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) with assistance from the Turkish Ministry of Defense (MOD) for the sale of 6 T129B ATAK attack helicopters under the Attack Helicopter (Phase 2) Acquisition Project of the Philippine Air Force (PAF).

Due to the limited budget, only 6 helicopters were acquired, considering that the budget was actually enough for the acquisition of up to 24 light armed helicopters as originally envisioned.

One of the T129B ATAK attack helicopters during tests in Turkey, part of the first 6 units acquired under the Attack Helicopter (Phase 2) Acquisition Project. Photo credits to former CGPAF Lt.Gen. Allen Paredes' FB page.


It would be remembered that the Attack Helicopter (Phase 1) Acquisition Project involved the acquisition of 8 AgustaWestland AW109E Power light armed helicopters, and the original plan was to acquire another 24 units to completely replace the ageing McDonnell Douglas MD520MG Defender light armed helicopters of the PAF's 15th Strike Wing.

But 6 attack helicopters, regardless if they are more capable than the AW109E Power light armed helicopters, are still not enough both in terms of quantity and firepower delivery. It is also quantitatively not enough for form a complete squadron.

With this, a separate project to acquire at least 6 more helicopters was formed, with funding being requested from the national government, while negotiations were made with Turkey to allow for the sale of additional T129B attack helicopters at a price not too far off from the original project.

It is logical to procure additional T129B ATAK attack helicopters rather than procuring another type of helicopter, and despite offers made by American and European companies, the DND and PAF are expected to stick with the T129B.

As of August 2022, our parent page MaxDefense Philippines confirmed that budget request has already been made by the DND as early as before the end of former President Rodrigo Duterte's term, although it remains to be seen if the government under new President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. would support the planned acquisition.



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15 December 2023:

No funding has been released as of 15 December 2023, with the project appearing to be moved to the Re-Horizon 3 Phase of the RAFPMP, subject to confirmation of the final approved shopping list sent this month to the Pres. Ferdinand Marcos Jr.


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01 January 2024:

The PAF's 15th Strike Wing has confirmed in a document shared to our parent page MaxDefense Philippines that the unit is proposing the acquisition of a new heavy attack helicopter with enhanced survivability in heavily contested airspace, as well as improved lethality and firepower delivery.

So far, it has identified the Boeing AH-64 Apache as a prospect platform, although no specific variant and quantity has been mentioned.

There were also no information provided as to how these would be procured, and to which country would they be sourced. MaxDefense Philippines believe that the aircraft eyed are second-hand units used by either the US Army, or 3rd parties like the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) which is scheduled to retire all their AH-64DJ Apache Longbow in a few years time.

An AH-64DJ Longbow Apache of the JGSDF. Photo credits to Aoki Toshi.


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29 January 2024:

Our parent page MaxDefense Philippines has confirmed that there the acquisition of additional T129B ATAK attack helicopters are among those being prioritized as part of the Re-Horizon 3 Phase of the RAFPMP, together with other projects.

Currently the Philippine Air Force has 6 T129B ATAK attack helicopters acquired under the Horizon 2 phase, and the plan is to increase this to a minimum of 12 units to form a complete squadron with the 15th Strike Wing.

More information will be made available in the coming months as MaxDefense Philippines expect this project to be among those to be started this year.


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First edit and release: 15 August 2022
Copyright MaxDefense Philippines / Philippine Defense Resource


Friday, June 24, 2022

Combat Engineering Equipment Lot 8 - Armored Backhoe Loader/Excavator Acquisition Project of the Philippine Army

The Philippine Army has raised a requirement for the acquisition of a few Armored Backhoe Loader / Excavator vehicles, and has opened up a public bidding for the supply of these combat engineering equipment.

This project was included under the Combat Engineering Equipment Acquisition Project of the Philippine Army that was approved in-principle by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte in June 2018.

The JCB HMEE, an example of an armored backhoe loader / excavator that is currently in use by the US Armed Forces and other countries. Photo credits to JCB and used for reference only.

Project Summary:

Combat Engineering Equipment Lot 8 - Armored Backhoe Loader/Excavator Acquisition Project:

Note: Edited as of 04 February 2024.

* End User: Philippine Army (Combat Engineering units)

Quantity: 6 units


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


* Project ABC:
 Php480,000,000.00


Acquisition Mode: Public Bidding, changed to Negotiated Procurement (Government-to-Government with Turkey) 

* Source of Funding: TBC

* SARO Release/s: 
TBC


* Winning Proponent: Cukurova Makine Imalat Ve Tickaret Anonim Sikreti - Safer PH Innovations Inc. Joint Venture


* Product for Delivery: Cukurova Defense 4X4X4 armored backhoe loader


* Contract Price: Php479,900,000.00

* Residual Amount:
 Php100,000.00

* First post by MaxDefense: 24 June 2022 (this post)


* MaxDefense Searching Hashtag: #PACEEABLEAcquisition 


* Status: The DND published a requirement for Armored Backhoe Loader / Excavator on 20 June 2022. SOBE was scheduled on 03 August 2022. This is totally new project not previously covered by the Combat Engineering Equipment Acquisition Program that was approved on June 2018. 1st bidding attempt failed in 2022, with the DND changing the procurement process to Negotiated Procurement (G2G) with Turkey. PQI with Cukurova Makina was conducted on 19-26 October 2022, and a Notice of Award was released on 29 December 2022. No update as of 04 February 2024 if the Contract has been signed and Notice to Proceed released, although it is believed that this have happened in 2023 without an update being made on PhilGEPS or any other public website.


Overview:

The Philippine Army has added a requirement for Armored Backhoe Loader / Excavator, which was previously called the High Mobiity Emplacement Excavator based on 2018 documents, and was included as part of the Combat Engineering Equipment Acquisition Project which was raised as part of the Horizon 2 phase.

An armored backhoe loader / excavator are useful in combat engineering missions for different purposes including clearing roads and areas, assisting in construction work, or creating obstacles to slow down an attacking enemy.

It can also be used for peacetime purposes including humanitarian and disaster relief operations despite having an armored cabin.

Based on the posted price of US Army's 2020 order for JCB HMEE armored backhoes of $269 million for 400 units, even with higher margins and inflation included, it is possible that the Philippine Army may have allocated the Php480 million budget for at least 12 units. But it is yet to be confirmed if the Philippine Army's previous request for 4 units with a Php480 million budget still holds.

There are only a few such products globally at the moment, with British equipment manufacturer JCB's High Mobility Engineering Excavator (HMEE) being the most famous, and used by western militaries including the US Armed Forces.

A company from Turkey, Cukurova Defence, is also offering an armored backhoe which could be cheaper than the JCB. With Turkey becoming a major arms supplier for the Philippines, this could be a potential one as well.

The initial public bidding process was posted on 20 June 2022, with the submission set on 13 July 2022.

The total quantities would be confirmed once more information has been received by our page, or by our parent page MaxDefense Philippines.

The rear of the JCB HMEE armored backhoe. Photo credits to Southwest JCB.

Technical Specifications:

Based on the Bid Documents Technical Specifications, the Armored Backhoe Loader/Excavator should have the following:

* Operating Weight: 14,000kg to 20,000kg;
* Engine: Turbocharged Diesel Direct Injection, Air Cooling, at least 200hp (149kw) gross power;
* Transmission: torque converter controlled, 4WD
* Loader: 4-in-1 multi-bucket, with 0.70m3 volume capacity, with 2,040kg lift capacity, a shovel breakout of at least 3,565kgf, and a loader breakout of at least 2,300kgf.
* Backhoe: hydraulic center pivot, with bucket capacity of at least 0.06cbm, and a digging depth of at least 3.94 meters.
* Cab: ROPS/FOPS approved to ISO3471 & ISO3449 or other similar internationally-accepted protective standard rating, air conditioned, can fit to C-130 with minimum modifications, adjustable operator's seat with ergonomically-positioned controls, applique armor, ballistic glazing or ballistic protected glass, protection against armor piercing infantry rifle rounds.

The vehicles should also have the following armor and safety features:
* floor/belly protection against blast effect of land mines;
* internal spall liner;
* blast attenuating seat;
* bar armor;
* roof hatch;
* floor plate.

The vehicles should also have provision for communications, electronic countermeasures, night vision, and thermal imaging systems.

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24 June 2022:

The Department of National Defense (DND) posted a new public bidding notice for the tender to acquire Armored Backhoe Loader/Excavator vehicles as part of its the Philippine Army's Combat Engineering Equipment Acquisition Project.

More details will be confirmed as the tender documents are yet to be made available.

The Cukurova Defence 4X4X4 Armored Fast Backhoe Loader from Turkey. Photo credits to Cukurova Defence.

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07 March 2023:

As per the Procurement Monitoring Report from the Department of National Defense (DND) Bids and Awards Committee-2 confirmed that a Notice of Award has already been released for this project as of 29 December 2022.

No information is available yet on which company won the project.

The report also confirmed that a Post Bid Qualification was held between 20 to 26 October 2022 to check if the leading tender complies with the requirements of the project.

The project's cost is Php479,900,000.00, or only Php100,000.00 less than the project's ABC.

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13 March 2023:

MaxDefense Philippines obtained documents confirming that Cukurova Makina Imalat Ve Tickaret Anonim Sikreti - Safer PH Innovations Inc. Joint Venture bagged the project.

The Notice of Award for the project given to Safer PH Innovations Inc - Cukurova Makina JV. Photo from DND.


This means the Philippine Army will be receiving the 
Cukurova Defense 4X4X4 armored fast backhoe loader for this project.

This would be Cukurova Defense's first ever contract in the Philippines, and this could establish their foothold in the country considering more armored backhoe loaders might be required in the future, and Cukurova has been active in providing technical support and joint venture with another Filipino company, Anos Research Manufacturing, in developing a Light Armored Tactical Vehicle that uses Cukurova Defense's technology.


This would be Cukurova Defense's first ever contract in the Philippines, and this could establish their foothold in the country considering more armored backhoe loaders might be required in the future, and Cukurova has been active in providing technical support and joint venture with another Filipino company, Anos Research Manufacturing, in developing a Light Armored Tactical Vehicle that uses Cukurova Defense's technology.

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First edit and release: 24 June 2022
Copyright MaxDefense Philippines / Philippine Defense Resource