The Israeli company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd revealed to the press recently that they will provide the Spike ER missiles for the Philippine Navy (PN) and the Spike NLOS missiles for our Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Helicopters. The Spike ER will likely be used on our Multi-Purpose Attack Craft (MPAC) Mark Three (Mk3) while the Spike NLOS will be used on our AW159 Wildcat Helicopters.
Both Spike missile versions were bought as part of the packages for the MPAC and AW159, with the MPAC project awarded in February 2016 while the AW159 acquisition was awarded in March 2016. These acquisitions are significant because for the Spike ER, it will be the very first missile system ever to officially enter service with our PN ships. The Spike NLOS on the other hand will be the first ever guided missile to enter service for use with the PN’s helicopters. Continue reading The Spike ER and NLOS Missiles of the Philippine Navy→
The Philippine Army (PA) finally entered the age of Remote Weapons Station (RWS) when such units it bought were finally delivered. An RWS is a remotely operated weapons system that can be installed on various platforms. These systems became common when the major armed forces of the world like the United States of America (USA) and the major European countries started adopting them during the last decade or so.
The Army’s RWS turrets were bought in 2014 under the PNoy Administration from the Israeli company Elbit Systems as part of an upgrade program for the PA’s M113 Armored Personnel Carriers (APCs). Four M113s were upgraded to have RWS turrets armed with 25 mm cannons while another six M113s were armed with .50 caliber Machine Guns. The .50 caliber RWS-equipped M113s were the first to arrive in September last year and a year later the 25 mm RWS-equipped units were delivered. Continue reading The Elbit UT25 and ORCWS Systems of the Philippine Army→
Officially this is my first blog under the Administration of the new Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, and guess what? It talks about the Philippine Navy’s (PN) Frigate Acquisition Program on the brink of being either approved … or cancelled outright. First, an update on the whole Frigate program so far.
‘Frigate Program Progress’
The Indian company Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) Ltd was found to be the lowest bidder in the PN’s Frigate program, submitting a bid of P 15.047 Billion (USD 326 million), or P 953 million (USD 20.7 million) lower than the P16 billion (USD 347 million) budget for the project. The next lowest bidder was Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) who submitted a bid worth P15.744 billion (USD 341 million), higher by P 697 million (USD 15.1 million) than that of GRSE. Two other bidders, Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) Co. Ltd and Navantia SA submitted bids but failed to meet some documentary requirements. Continue reading The Navy’s New Frigates – On the Brink, and their ISO/HADR Capabilities→
This month marks the third year anniversary of my “rhk111’s Military and Arms Page” which I started in 2013. With around 113 published blogs and over 860k views in three years, it continues to exceed my expectations, and I thank all the readers for this.
’Delayed and Completed Projects’
During my last year’s anniversary blog, I wrote about delays that hounded the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Modernization, and unfortunately, up to now MOST of those items have still not been completed yet, and with the end of term of the current Administration nearing, then I am not anymore optimistic that they will be awarded a contract anytime soon. These delayed projects are namely the following:
– Long Range Patrol Aircraft (LRPA)
– Close Air Support Aircraft (CAS)
– Shore Based Missile System (SBMS)
– Rocket Propelled Grenade or RPG-7
– ROKS Mokpo (PCC-759) Pohang-class Corvette
– Missiles for our Del Pilar class Ships Continue reading Third Year Blog Anniversary→
One less publicized fact about the PNoy Administration’s acquisition of the Remington R4 Assault Rifles is how the Philippine Army (PA) and Philippine Marine Corps (PMC) can now also switch to using a newer type of ammo, the M855. This is because the R4 Rifles have barrels with 1 in 7 inch Twist Rates which allows them to do so.
First, just an explanation on the term “Twist Rate”: A bullet when it leaves the barrel of a firearm needs to be imparted a “spin” in order for it to travel further and on a more stable trajectory. Without this spin, then the bullet won’t be able to travel as accurately or as far and will drop to the ground quicker. Continue reading Our Armed Forces’ Switch to the M855 Round→
One big surprise during the recent Balikatan 2016 Military Exercise was how the United States (US) Army decided to bring and highlight their High Mobility Artillery Rocket System or HIMARS. This is the first time they have brought over the system to the annual, joint US-Philippine exercises, and it literally made quite a splash as it was all over the local news. One wonders if this has something to do with the revelation made last year by Israel Military Industries (IMI) that the Philippines was set to buy a similar system, the Lynx armed with EXTRA Missiles.
That deal did not push thru as the then incoming Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Hernando Irriberi decided to cancel it in favor of buying more Force Protection Equipment (FPE) for the Philippine Army. It ended up being a “Lose-Lose” situation as not only did we not end up with the Lynx, but we also did not end up with any of the FPEs he wanted bought instead. Irriberi had the opportunity to be remembered as the AFP Chief of Staff to usher in the “Missile Age” for the Army, but instead he will be remembered as the one who had DELAYED it. Continue reading HIMARS for the Philippine Army?→
The first of our Strategic Sealift Vessels (SSVs) was finally launched a couple of months ago and has been officially named as the LD-601 BRP Tarlac. As of this writing it has already completed and passed its Sea Trials, and is scheduled for delivery to the country by May 2016. However, while there are plans to arm the ship with modern weapons, it will be arriving without them. In fact, it doesn’t seem like the budget for those has been set aside or approved yet. In light of this, I am speculating on how it will be initially armed, and also offering my opinion on additional weapons and defensive systems that I feel at the very least it should have.
’The Tarlac Class
We call these ships as SSVs, but most navies around the world also classifies them as Landing Platform Docks (LPDs), ships that are designed to support Amphibious Landing Operations by carrying a combination of Helicopters, Vehicles, Landing Crafts and Troops. The BRP Tarlac is the first of two such vessels we ordered from Indonesia’s PT PAL for USD 46 million each, with the second one due to be delivered no later than 2017. Continue reading Arming and Equipping the Tarlac-class Ships of the Philippine Navy→