With the PhAF (Philippine Air Force) set to buy at least 6 Attack Helicopters soon, here are just some of my thoughts:
* Aside from the price, maybe we should also look at the overall package each manufacturer will be bidding. Items like:
– TRAINING (Pilots & Maintainance personnel)
– SPARE PARTS
* I was thinking that perhaps we can ask the bidders to also include TECHNICAL DRAWINGS for the parts, but w/ only 6 aircrafts to buy, am not sure if the manufacturers will aree to that.
* But, who knows, some of them might actually do it. Good if we can get the drawings for most, if not all the components. If not, then maybe the just the non-critical components.
* If we can get the technical drawings, its just then a question of finding the supplier who are able to make the parts. FLORO has good machineries for MACHINED (Steel or Aluminum) parts. There are a couple of good companies in the country who can make good ALUMINUM CASTED parts. PLASTIC INJECTION PARTS are even easier.
* If not locally, we can source almost any metal/plastic working around Asia. For high-end processes, Singapore would be a good bet. China, or Taiwan, too. Maybe even India.
* So, I hope the PhAF doesn’t forget to prioritize these also, sort of “localize” the fabrication of at least some non-critical spare parts. It would be a good preparation for bigger purchases later on.