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Man-Portable Air Defense System (2024) Acquisition Project of the Philippine Army

As part of efforts to finally widen its very limited air defense capabilities as part of its modernization, the Philippine Army has started to plan for the procurement of Man-Portable Air Defense System (MANPADS).

These are meant to be mobile and would be used for air defense of critical infrastructure like the presidential palace and other facilities.

A Mistral 3 MANPADS. 

Project Summary:

Man-Portable Air Defense System (MANPADS) (2024) Acquisition Project

Note: Edited as of 31 January 2024.

* End User:
Philippine Army (specific unit unconfirmed)

* Quantity: 10 units

* Modernization Phase: not applicable

* Project ABC: Php381,621,000.00

* Acquisition Mode: TBC

* Source of Funding: Philippine Army GAA FY2024 Capital Outlay

* SARO Release/s: TBC

* Winning Proponent: TBC

* Product for Delivery: TBC

* Contract Price: TBC

* Residual Amount: TBC

* First post by MaxDefense: 31 January 2024 (this post)

* MaxDefense Searching Hashtag: #PAMANPADS2024Acquisition

* Project Status:
Project was first floated as part of acquisitions being pushed by the Philippine Army in 2023. Request for Information has been sent to different manufacturers as of late 2023. Actual procurement process expected to start in early 2024.

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Overview:

Air defense has been a key capability that has been almost missing with the Philippine Army for several decades.

The Philippine Army used to have air defense units using anti-aircraft guns received from the US government after World War II, including M45 Quadmounts using 12.7mm machine guns. But these have all been retired from service decades ago.

Currently it does not have any purpose-built air defense system. It has no gun or missile air defense systems of its own, and while it is holding a few dozen Man-Portabale Air Defense Systems, these are actually for the Presidential Security Group (PSG) and are assets owned by the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

There was an effort to procure new MANPADS for the Philippine Army under the Horizon 2 Phase of the Revised AFP Modernization Program, but it has failed to reach actual procurement stage by the end of Horizon 2 Phase in 2022, and it appears to have been cancelled and re-introduced as a new project for Short Range Air Defense System (SHOADS) under the Horizon 3 Phase from 2023 (which will have its own separate resource page for further discussion).  It is still unclear though if these will still be consisting of MANPADS, or a short range system that is more capable than MANPADS but falls short to be called a medium-range air defense system.

While there is already a procurement project for such, it appears that a new separate effort is being made to procure  small quantities of MANPADS outside the AFP Modernization Program, and will be funded using annual capital outlay for ordnance procurement.

It is still unclear as to the concept of this procurement plan, but it appears that this is meant for the Philippine Army to hasten the introduction of air defense systems starting with MANPADS, and to start introducing such systems to specific units of the Philippine Army that will be handling air defense in the future.

The urgency of this procurement, the small quantity involved, and not waiting for the Horizon 3 Phase project for SHORADS is very obvious in this specific project, and it remains to be seen as to why.

The project specifications has not been made available yet, and for now we can only speculate as to what the potential products in the market that could be offered to the Philippine Army.


Potential Models for Consideration

Being a revision of the earlier MANPADS Acquisition Project under Horizon 2 phase of RAFPMP, we are expecting the same products that were offered before to be again reconsidered for this new project, although shortlisted products might have an advantage over others.

Among the potential candidates for the supply of MANPADS are:

* MBDA Mistral 3
– one of the shortlisted models under the Horizon 2 phase MANPADS requirements, it is an improvement of the older Mistral variants and has even been proven for use against surface targets. This is already in service with the Philippine Navy as the short-range air defense system found on the Jose Rizal-class frigates, and could find its way to several other ships for the same requirement. An older variant is already in service with the Presidential Security Group although they are reportedly under the safeguard of the Philippine Army’s Armor Division based on documents received by our parent page MaxDefense Philippines a few years ago.


* Raytheon FIM-92 Stinger – the main MANPADS of the Philippines’ only treaty ally, the United States. There are also reports that the Presidential Security Group are also in possession of a few of these missile systems, also safeguarded by the Philippine Army. The Stinger has proven its effectiveness and worth against Russian aircraft and drones in Ukraine, despite its older design. 

The FIM-92 Stinger MANPADS.


* LIG Nex1 Chiron – South Korea’s indigenous MANPADS that is now being offered for export. The Chiron is said to be a Korean copy of the older version of MBDA Mistral. Our parent page MaxDefense Philippines reported before that the Chiron, together with the Mistral 3, are among the top choice of the Philippine Army for its previous MANPADS Acquisition Project under Horizon 2.

The Chiron in service with the ROKA.

 

* Thales Starstreak Mk. II – the MANPADS of choice of the British armed forces, the system was also offered to the Philippine Army as part of the highly-mobile ForceSHIELD air defense system. It uses a Semi-Automatic Command to Line of Sight (SACLOS) using laser beam guidance system whose advantage includes resistance to jamming by infrared and/or radar/radio countermeasures, although it also means it is not a fire and forget system and exposes the operator.as he need to keep the laser on the arming unit on the target until impact. Starstreak is also considered a hyper-velocity missile due to its high speed, considered to be the fastest among current MANPADS in the market.

The Starstreak MANPADS. Photo credits to Wikimedia.


* Mesko Piorun NG – an improved version of the older Grom missile from Poland, including  improvements in the detection sensitivity that allowed for increased range, increased resistance to countermeasures, use of priximity fuse and improved night capability. The only issue at the moment is production is currently ramped up for European orders including supplying to Ukraine for use against Russia.

The Piorun and Piorun NG in a display. Photo c/o 


Due to CAATSA and the War in Ukraine, we do not expect Russian products to be included in any evaluation except for comparison purposes only.

 


Related Readings:

Further reading can be made on similar projects of the Philippine Army. Click the project names below which links to the respective resource page.

Man-Portable Air Defense System (MANPADS) Acquisition Project of the Philippine Army



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First posted and released on 31 January 2024
Copyright MaxDefense Philippines / Philippine Defense Resource

 

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