Philippine Navy New Frigate Acquisition Timeline

(Updated July 2, 2016. See bottom of the page for the complete revision history)

A Sigma 10514 Frigate. Hopefully we will get something as beautiful as this. Photo courtesy of the Naval Open Source Intelligence Website
A Sigma 10514 Frigate. Hopefully we will get something as beautiful as this. Photo courtesy of the Naval Open Source Intelligence Website

Below is the approximate timeline of the acquisition of the two brand-new Frigates by the Philippines arranged from the latest to the previous news. It’s not meant to be comprehensive, just the major developments during the acquisition of the aircraft.

I will be updating this post every time an important, new development occurs regarding the Frigate acquisition. For quick reference, just look for it on the “Timelines” category on the “Categories” section on the Side Bar.

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* July 1, 2016
– The Department of National Defense (DND) Spokesman Peter Paul Galvez confirmed that the Indian shipbuilder Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) has been disqualified from the Philippine Navy’s (PN) Frigate Acquisition Program due to failing to meet the Net Financial Contracting Capacity (NFCC) requirement during its Post Qualification (PQ) inspections. The NFCC is a financial indicator of a contractor’s ability to fulfil a contract.
(Source: Philippines disqualifies Garden Reach from light frigate programme)

* June 29, 2016
– The head of the Philippine Navy’s (PN) Technical Working Group (TWG), Rear Admiral Roland Joseph Mercado confirmed that representatives of the PN have visited and conducted Post-Qualification (PQ) inspections on South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) during the first week of June 2016 for the Philippine’s first missile-capable Frigate Project. He added that the PQ inspection result found HHI to be very favorable in terms of meeting the project’s Technical Proposals and Technical Requirements.
(Source: Post-qualification inspections conducted on S. Korean proponent of PHL frigate project)

* April 1, 2016
– The Indian company Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) Ltd was found to be the lowest bidder in the Philippine Navy’s Frigate Acquisition Project. As per Department of National Defense (DND) Undersecretary Fernando Manalo, GRSE submitted 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, Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) 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. GRSE is now undergoing Post-Qualification Checks for the bidding.
(Sources:
Indian firm offers lowest bid for P16-B Navy frigates project
– Exchange Rate as of April 1, 2016 used was USD 1 = P 46.1
)

* February 10, 2016
– The bidding for the Navy’s new Frigates officially resumed, Department of National Defense (DND) announced that Submission and Opening of Bids will be on February 16, 2016. The specifications were also revised to include (among others) minimum length of 92 m and minimum weight of 2,000 tons. Six companies are qualified to bid: Navantia Sepi, STX Offshore and Shipbuilding, Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering Co. Ltd (DSME), Hyundai Heavy Industries, Inc. (HHI), Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd. (GRSE) and STX France SA.
(Source: ACQUISITION II PN Frigates with License to Manufacture)

* September 20, 2015
– The Chairman and Managing Director of Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) Ltd., Retired Rear Admiral AK Verma said that GRSE sent a delegation to the Philippines last September 8-10, 2015 for the final round of technical clarifications, and that the financial bids are likely to be opened soon. However, he said the winner may only be announced after three months (in December 2015) probably due to the Post-Bidding Checks …
(Source: Manila to soon decide if it will buy India-built warships)

* September 18, 2015
– The Commercial Director for Naval Ships of the Spanish Shipbuilding company Navantia, Sofia Honrubia confirmed to the Infodefesa website that the new Frigate Project of the Philippine Navy has resumed and that it is in the Final Phase of the bidding, but gave no indication on when the final bidding will indeed be.
(Source: Navantia prepara ofertas de patrulleros y buques multiproposito para Polonia y Alemania)

* September 8, 2015
– Department of National Defense (DND) Undersecretary for Finance, Modernization, Installation and Munitions Fernando Manalo revealed to a Congres hearing that President Benigno Aquino had finally approved the pending Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) projects including that of the two new Frigates. This paves the way for the release of the budget for these projects and continuation of the procurement process.
(Source: Acquisition of much-needed military equipment given green light –DND)

* August 1, 2015
– The Chairman and Managing Director of Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) Ltd., Retired Rear Admiral AK Verma said in an interview to the “Arming India” website that the Price Bids for the Philippine Navy’s new Frigates will be opened “soon”, though no definite date has been provided. He also mentioned that along with GRSE, the South Korean companies Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME), France’s STX (the article made an error when they wrote “SPX”) and Spain’s Navantia are competing for the contract.
(Source: GRSE Powering India’s Quest To Become Warship Exporter Under Modi)

* May 28, 2015
– Anonymous sources in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) revealed to the Press that some of the high value projects including the two new Frigates has yet to be approved by President Benigno Aquino despite the fact that the projects had been submitted for approval since February 2013. This is the main reason for the delay of the Frigate bidding process as without the approval, funds could not be released. No information was cited as to WHY PNoy had not approved the projects yet.
(Source: 28 AFP modernization projects face delay)

* May 21, 2015
Philippine Navy (PhN) Spokesperson Colonel Edgard Arevalo said that the bidding for the two new Frigates are still undergoing, but that he could not provide a date on when it will be completed.
(Source: PH’s West Philippine Sea presence to be boosted by new ships- Navy)

* March 23, 2015
– The Chairman and Managing Director of Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) Ltd., Retired Rear Admiral AK Verma said in a Press Conference that they are doing technical negotiation for two Frigates for the Philippine Navy (PhN). He added that the Price Bids are being finalized, and that their competitors include European and South Korean firms.
(Source: GRSE negotiating for building warships for Philippines)

* February 24, 2015
AgustaWestland‘s Vice President for the Asia-Pacific region, Mr. Andrew Symonds offered his opinion during an interview with IHS Jane’s that he expected the Philippine Frigate Acquisition program to be completed no later than April of 2015.
(Source: Avalon 2015: AgustaWestland troubles in securing domestic partner for Japanese UHX Army helo)

* December 19, 2014
– The Indian press confirms that the Indian Naval Shipyard Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Limited (GRSE) is bidding in the Philippine Navy’s new Frigate acquisition project, and that the GRSE is admitting it is facing tough competition from European and Asian shipbuilders. No detail of the competing ship was given, but other reports hint at a 3,500 ton ship as GRSE’s candidate for the bidding.
(Source: India bids for building frigates for Manila)

* December 17, 2014
– The head of the Philippine Navy’s (PN) Weapons Systems program, Rear Admiral Caesar Taccad echoed the announcement made earlier in December 2014 by the Department of National Defense (DND) that the navy intends to announce the winner and sign the contracts for the 2 new Frigates in early 2015.
(Source: PHL to get frigates, gunboats, helicopters as sea row tension simmers)

* December 4, 2014
– Defense Undersecretary Fernando Manalo said that the Defense Department is confident that they will be able to finally announce the winner of the bidding and award the contract for the Philippine Navy’s 2 new Frigates by early 2015. Manalo said that they have completed the second and final stages of the bidding and that the delay was due to their inability to finalize the Terms of Reference (or technical specifications) of the project.
(Source: PH eyes final bidding for 2 new warships)

* August 10, 2014
– The Department of National Defense (DND) Assistant Secretary Patrick Velez said security officials have decided to separate the purchase of ammunition from the ship/hull for the Frigate Acquisition Project due international arms restrictions. P 1.25 Billion (or USD 28 million) will be alloted for the ammunition per ship while P 7.75 Billion (USD 176 million) will be allotted per ship or hull. Velez also said that they intend to finish the project within the year (no later than December 2014).
(Sources:
DND to spend P15 B for two ships, P2.5 B for ammunition
– Exchange Rate as of August 10, 2014 used was USD 1 = P 43.93)

* August 2, 2014
– Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) revealed to IHS Jane’s at the inaugural Asian Defence and Security 2014 (ADAS 2014) exhibit in Manila that they are officially pitching the HDF-3000 as their candidate for the new Frigate Bidding Acquisition Project by the Philippine Navy. They also said that they expect the winner of the bidding to be announced by September 2014, which would be 2 months later than the DND’s planned announcement date of the winner.
(Source: ADAS 2014: HHI pitches HDF 3000 design for Philippine frigate programme)

* May 2, 2014
– France is the first country to semi-officially reveal to the public their candidate for the new Frigate bidding of the Philippine Navy when Cmdr. Frederic Daumas, Captain of the French Frigate Prarial, said that part of the mission of their 5-day visit into Manila was to show what the Prairial could do and how it could fit into the country’s needs. He also said that an upgraded version of the Prarial (a Floreal-class ship) with a better radar system and an improved hangar was being offered. France is represented by STX France in the bidding.
(Source: Try us, says visiting French Navy commander)

* May 1, 2014
– The Department of National Defense (DND) accepted the motions for reconsideration of 2 out of the 3 companies that were disqualified during the pre-qualification stage. The 2 companies are Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers, Ltd. and STX France, SA. The 3rd company, Thyssenkrupp Marine System, remains disqualified from the bidding. The 2 newly qualified companies will be given 5 days each to present their products to the Philippine Navy Technical Working Group and their Private Consultants.
(Source: DND admits Indian, French shipbuilders to frigate program)

* April 2, 2014
– The Department of National Defense (DND) Undersecretary Fernando Manalo provided the following update on the procurement of the 2 new Frigates:
+ Target date for contract signing is by July 2014.
+ The first stage of the bidding has been completed, the Philippine Navy’s Technical Working Group has declared all 4 pre-qualified companies as eligible bidders and thus all will proceed to the 2nd stage of the bidding.
+ The second stage of the bidding involves the submission of financial documents, including the price tag of the ships that are on offer.
+ The 3 companies disqualified during the pre-qualification have submitted an appeal to the DND to overturn their disqualification, but the DND is still waiting for the opinion of the Government Procurement Policy Board (GPBB) on the issue.
(Source: DND plans to sign P18-B Navy frigates project in July)

* January 23, 2014
– The Philippine Navy (PN) Technical Working Group proposed for approval to the PhN hierarchy a progressive payment scheme to the winning bidder for the 2 brand-new Frigates. The payment will be broken down into 8 installments based on agreed milestones during the construction and delivery of the ship.
(Source: 8 installment payments scheme eyed for 2 frigates)

* January 22, 2014
– The Philippine Navy (PN) announced an “Evaluation Stage” wherein each of the qualified bidders will be given one week to present their designs to the PhN Technical Working Group and their Private Consultants. The Evaluation State will be conducted at the Sangley Point Naval Base in Cavite on February 2014, and with 4 qualified bidders the stage will last the entire month.
(Source: Only proven ship designs will be evaluated in P18-B frigate project)

* January 21, 2014
– The Department of National Defense approved the Philippine Navy’s request to hire a Consultancy Firm to assist in finalizing the technical specifications for the bidding of the new Frigates. Budget will be P25 million (USD 551k), and the firm is expected to start working with the Navy by February 2014.
(Sources:
Navy allots P25M for consultant
– Exchange Rate as of January 21, 2014 used was USD 1 = P 45.37)

* December 4, 2013
– Bidding successfully conducted, 4 firms qualified (Navantia Sepi, STX Offshore and Shipbuilding, Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering Co. Ltd. and Hyundai Heavy Industries, Inc.), while 3 firms (Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd., STX France SA and Thyssenkrupp Marine System) also submitted bids but were not qualified due to deficiencies.
(Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZZW9_U0fd8)

* November 18, 2013
– Bidding moved from November 25, 2013 to December 4, 2013, presumably to give more time for the bidders to prepare their documents.
(Source: http://www.dnd.gov.ph/transparency/procurement/DND_BAC/Supplemental_Bid/SBB%20Nr%20AFPMP-PN-FAP-13-02.pdf)

* October 18, 2013
– A second Pre-Bid Conference is made on November 11, 2013, and Bid Submission moved to November 25, 2013.
(Source: http://dnd.gov.ph/transparency/procurement/DND_BAC/Supplemental_Bid/SBB%20Nr%20AFPMP-PN-FAP-13-01.pdf)

* October 15, 2013
– A total of 11 firms expressed interest in bidding for the Philippine Navy’s (PhN) 2 brand-new Frigates by buying bid documents. These firms are: Piriou Naval Services, Navantia Sepi (RTR Ventures), Thyssenkrupp Marine System, STX Offshore & Shipbuilding, Damen Shipyards, Fincantieri, STX France SA, Hyundai Heavy Industries, Inc., Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd., DCNS France and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. Ltd. The bidding is scheduled on October 25, 2013.
(Sources: 11 firms interested in P18-B ship deal)

* October 10, 2013
– Technical specifications for the new Frigates unofficially released to the public.
(Source: Philippine Navy Frigate Acquisition Project Technical Requirements)

* October 2, 2013
– The Department of National Defense (DND) formally opened the bidding process for the 2 brand-new Frigates with a budget of P18 Billion (USD 415 million) by making the bidding documents available on the DND website. A Pre-Bid Conference will be made on October 11, 2013, with the formal bidding to be done on October 25, 2013.
(Sources:
DND opens bidding for 2 frigates
– Exchange Rate as of October 15, 2013 used was USD 1 = P 43.4)

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Revision History:

(1) March 6, 2014: Originally posted
(2) April 3, 2014: Updated post to reflect recent update by DND on the developments related to the 2 new Frigate acquisition.
(3) May 2, 2014: Updated post to reflect news on inclusion of 2 new bidders to the project.
(4) May 10, 2014: Updated blog to reflect news that an improved Floreal-class ship was one of the candidates of the bidding.
(5) August 12, 2014: Included news of Hyundai’s official entry into the Frigate bidding and the DND’s announcement to split the purchase of the ship/hull from the purchase of its armaments.
(6) November 2, 2014: Included news on the hiring of Consultant firm last January 2014 for the bidding.
(7) December 4, 2014: Added news on the DND planning to complete the bidding by early 2015.
(8) February 1, 2015: Added news on the PN’s announcement that they intend to sign the contract by early 2015, and the Indian press’ announcement that GRSE joined the PhN Frigate bidding.
(9) April 22, 2015: Added news about the AgustaWestland VP’s opinion on when the Frigate bidding will be completed.
(10) August 3, 2015: Added the news items from March to August 2015 from GRSE and the PhN.
(11) October 14, 2015: Added news items on delay and then subsequent approval of the budget for the new Frigates and the confirmation by Navantia and GRSE on the resumption of the Frigate Project; Added a numbering system for the revision summary.
(12) May 30, 2016: Added news on the official resumption of the bidding and revision of specs; And also news of GRSE having the lowest bid and undergoing Post-Qualification Checks.
(13) July 2, 2016: Started using “The Wayback Machine” to archive the links; Added news confirming the favorable PQ inspection of HHI and the disqualification of GRSE during its PQ inspection; Added Exchange Rates as necessary.
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48 thoughts on “Philippine Navy New Frigate Acquisition Timeline”

  1. For a country with very long coast line, we hope we could get more brand-spanking new frigates, naval fast crafts and throw in some Arleigh Burke class.

    1. Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are too expensive to buy, operate and maintain for the PN. It is a great class of destroyer but costs too much.

      The lack of a towed-sonar array is a problem as rhk111 previously pointed out. Probably the PN already have something in mind but would procure it later. I would be nice if the PN can buy more frigates with ASW capability. Doing ASW with a towed array sonar is a tedious and slow process. IIRC the top speed you can go with a towed sonar array is around 12-15 knots.

      One important consideration for any hull is that there is room to install upgrades for future technology. The AEGIS combat system could be integrated in the future. Or a capability that would allow the frigates to seamlessly operate alongside USN, JMSDF or RAN ships like tactical data links (Link 16) and sharing a common operational picture (COP).

    2. Arleigh Burke Destroyers are deadly destroyers of U.S. Navy arsenal.But this warships are design as Nuclear Missile Launcher Ships capable of making cities destroyed and disappear on the face of the earth.They do same thing as Virginia Class Submarines which are Nuclear Missiles Launchers.What the Philippines need is maybe an Arleigh Burke class destroyers but an Aegis armed with more on Anti Ship firing Missiles to counter Chinese modern warships.

  2. This is a wonderful ship and I have high hopes that our future frigate would be similar to this. All we need is to be aware and be supportive of our government defense initiatives and transcendent on its procurement process so that our tax money will go to the best equipment our armed forces need. Thank you for posting. Its very interesting and informative as well.

  3. according to pn the sigma class is out of their budget thereby leaving a couple of Korean firms in the bidding. I’m just curious what the new class of frigates they will be offering. I hope that they will be as sleek as the sigmas’ and their weapon systems are all intact. The pn should be learning about these systems asap. are israel’s missile boats/frigates still operational? are they already obsolete? we could get one for electronic warfare, missile targeting training purposes. just saying…

    1. I think the new Frigates will have the same “stealth” or low observable outline of modern ships such as the Sigmas, its just a question of how heavy and large it is, what systems and weapons will be put into it, etc.

      The Israeli’s Sa’ar 4.5 boats are still operational, but they are selling their Sa’ar 4 Corvettes as Excess Defense Materials, and these are actually good ships for the PhN. Worn out and needs modernization, though …

      1. For your information stealth platform is almost PHP7B which is for corvette or light frigate design. If the philippine navy will go for 2,400 displacement this platform is proto type. Remember a well armed frigate is 3,000 plus or 4K plus in tonnage. So come to think of it the battle today is to have stealth designed almost tge RCS of small fishing vessel in littoral environment.

  4. i think we re aligned our opportunities. our policy makers want to purchase 2 new frigates but in regards to budget we have a big question mark..can we afford it or not. but we waste a lot of time shopping and negotiating and at the end nothing will come out. how about instead of buying 2 new frigates, its funding will be diverted to buy 2 squadrons of brand new MRF. i still believe that the air force should be given top priority because one MRF of $60m can sink one $250m-400m frigate and i still believe warships are vulnerable to air attacks. and we know our 2 hamiltons are capable to be armed with tomahawk anti ship missiles and phalanx, upgrade them to carry all those weapon system. if we have already the 2 squadrons of MRF and the hamiltons capable to launch anti ship missiles, then we can go back to the drawing board and plan for acquisitions of brand new frigates. i think in this manner we can speed up modernizing our navy and air force.

    1. I think we need to modernize all the major branches of the AFP at the same time, it won’t be good to modernize one branch at the expense of another. Besides, all fighter aircraft have “consumable” lifespans, and are therefore difficult and expensive to maintain compared to ships.

      However, I do agree that ships are vulnerable to aircraft, and the current SAM requirement for the 2 new ships is very weak at best, not good for a USD 200 million ship. The PhN should revise that requirement to have missiles with at least twice the range at 12km MINIMUM. If they can get ESSMs, so much the better. More on this on my next blog, coming out in a couple of days …

      1. both have merits. the paf aircraft although cheaper cannot loiter for long and have shorter lifespans, the pn vessels are expensive but can loiter a whole lot longer, have longer lifespans but are easy prey. I think both should be developed at the same time but the navy should at least 6 really high tech vessels as deterrent and maritime force projection and 24 mrfs for airspace protection and enforcement.

      2. Yup, you need ships to establish a presence at sea and to do long-range, long-duration patrols, something which will eat up a lot into an aircraft’s limited lifespan if they do try to do the same …

  5. i agree with you that all branches should be modernized but what we lack is quick response to threats. and only the air force have that capability if we have MRFs and naval helo gunships capable launching anti ship missiles.

  6. further with due respect in regards to life span air force jets were able to out serve naval ships which they were launch at the same time. examples carriers like the enterprise, kitty hawk, rangers, the spruance class destroyers were already retired while the b-52s,f-4s anf f-5s are still in service.. its really about maintenance rather the use. if you will argue that we have still world war 2 ships but they are no longer deterrent. and now the f-15s anf f-16s can out serve the arleigh burke. f-15 and f-16 upgrade will extend its life for another 25 years by that time the zumwalt destroyers will replace the whole arleigh burke fleets.

    1. naval ships consume their lifetimes at sea. As long as they are afloat they are consuming lifespans. jets on the other hand consume their lifetimes when they are flying only not while they’re parked. that is why naval vessels are replaced regularly. but i think service life extensions (SLEP) are relative to the country that has the budget for that. a rich country can afford to buy new and a poor country will upgrade. the teen series fighters are still flying because the new gen fighters are really expensive to mass produce. boeing and lockheed will continue to upgrade and produce them until they become obsolete not because they want to but because there are no wars that can test their superiority. If a new fighter comes along that will easily defeat the teen series then they will cease to exist. uav will most likely change the course of fighter aircraft.

    2. I totally agree that the phaf is the easiest way to modernize the afp but we also should consider that jets cannot patrol and deter 24/7. One should also distinguish service life and lifespan in reference to ships and jets. The arleigh burkes service life is about to end because they will be replaced by the zumwalts not because they lack maintenance but because they are already dated and old (for usn standards) but its lifespan may be extended if they want to. just like the jets the teen series fighters service life is continually extended and is continually in production because the next gens are really expensive and still under development. that is why it seems like they outlast the ships. Just imagine what we could do if the the usn gave us their old ships and planes as assistance for free (another mans trash is another mans treasure).

      1. Latest U.S. Navy ships design use a Diesel/Turbine Propulsion systems. Turbine Engines consumed more fuels than Diesel Propulsion.They use this type due to the need of more speed in times of actual naval combat at sea.A slow moving warship during a shooting war lost the chance of winning.That is why every time U.S. Navy warships travels to any ocean in the world, a supply (Fuel ships always tag along. At present Philippine economic situation, I do not think the Phil. Navy budget can afford that.

  7. What about Oliver Hazard Perry Clads Frigates? I am sure they will be ours after 2016 short after decommisioned fron US Navy.
    The 3rd WHEC Hamilton class still on negotiation stage for transfer to PN.CMIIW.

    1. The OHPs are nice ships, but expensive to operate because of their fuel-hungry Gas Turbine engines. The US Coast Guard Command is going to retire 2 Hamilton-class ships in 2015, these are probably the ships the Philippine Navy says they want to get.

      1. OHP class frigate is a true standard frigate contrary to Hamilton class cutter which is not.I think it’s navigational aids,communications and most especially it’s combat management systems is more sophisticated compared to Hamilton class cutter.Anyway the only obstacle is it uses gas turbine engines which is costlier than diesel so why not change it into diesel turbine engines or add it were commonly there are two engines installed for a warships.

  8. the life span of military equipments that includes planes and ships are shortened when program of maintenance failed. just what happened in our armed forces instead of buying replacements parts we use to cannibalized and we called it sariling sikap. this is wrong. thats why its scary, now we have the 12 brand new fa-50s. due to our bad attitude of cannibalizing parts if this will not be corrected we can be assured after five years some of those fa-50s will no longer fly. cannibalizing parts is also affected due to budgetary restraints.

  9. There’s nothing wrong with cannibalizing parts. It’s something we can’t avoid when those in charge of maintaining the equipment sees the advantage of it. The targeting system of the S-211s for example, was taken from the decommissioned F-5s to enhance it’s combat capability. The MSSR sniper rifle is a frankenstein of parts added to the M-16. In fact we have to encourage the culture of tinkering if we want to kickstart our own fledgling defense industry. The Israelis did it big time and look where they are now. If our government decides to get the kfir’s for example, we will have no trouble enhancing it’s capability by replacing its skin with carbon fibre composites, fbw system, and conformal fuel tanks. Then gradually expand its airframe to accomodate better powerplants. The possibilities are endless. So many countries are making a lot of money due to the rising demand of military hardware and they see the advantage of teaming up with as many startup companies as possible to help defray the costs and corner a bigger market since the competition is fierce. We should get into the bandwagon if we don’t want to be left behind.

    1. Cannibalizing parts from old, obsolete equipment not going to be used anymore is okay, but cannibalizing parts from operational equipment I think is not okay as it means the equipment is not being properly funded in terms of maintenance and parts replacement …

  10. its different with the israelis they were not cannibalizing but they enhance and modified their old equipments to add on the newly acquired equipments. one example israel were able to modify the old sherman tanks into 105 or 155mm self-propelled howitzers, that is addition. ok in our experience, before we could see at least 12 c-130s but due to cannibalizing were down to 3. singapore, thailand, indonesia and malaysia have still their f-5s, in our part due to cannibalizing we lost the whole squadron. and the s-211 we have more than 20 jets due to cannibalizing we have only 5 flying, broncos we have more than 20 now only 10 flying. look at singapore they modified their f5-Es to carry AMRAAMS that is addition to their air force. in their part they are adding ours is subtracting. it is better we have a systematic procurement program (buy parts) rather cannibalizing because we can maintain our numbers. in your example im not happy that s-211s were able to fly because they get parts from the decommissioned f-5s. how about we are able to buy parts for the f-5s maintain it and buy parts for the s-211 to enhance its capability and both will be flying. if we are able to maintain our f-5s at least we could see them responding to threats and extending their life a little bit while waiting for the new MRFs. again, due to cannibalizing not only planes, we lost also number of armored vehicles in this kind of bad practice.

    1. What do you expect? All that cannibalizing started when our presidient’s dear mom, in her vindictiveness withheld money meant for the AFP. The soldiers retaliated with repeated coups that further destroyed our economy which in turn swelled the ranks of the NPAs and the MNLF. The cash-strapped government cannot afford the parts so there’s no other choice but to cannibalize. We were so poor and cash-strapped that we had to buy the S211s using prawns and coconuts instead of hard cash to begin with so what happens when scheduled replacement came just at the same time as the Asian Financial Crisis? Cannibalize! lol. Now imagine if our economy had heavy-industry and manufacturing to begin with, we would have supplied those parts ourselves instead of flogging our farmers and fishermen. lol.

      All is not lost for our f-5’s. I suspect that part of the reason why our DnD prefers the Gripen is that Saab just made a deal to co-manufacture it with a key BRIC country: Brazil. I’m referring to Embraer, the same company where we purchased our six Super Tucanos, have also developed cheaper and better techniques to upgrade the f-5’s compared to US companies. They are also into weapons development which benefitted enormously from US and European tech transfers. Singapore’s upgraded f-5 is nothing compared to the Brazilian counterpart, which probably is the most advanced upgraded f-5 on the market today.

      1. really liked the f5 even if its dated. it had two engines, mach 1.6, light, simple to maintain and it was supposed to be what is today the f16 had it next model been considered by the dod of the us military (f20 tigershark). even the a4 of singapore was the most advanced a4 to be replaced by the m346 of the italians. The body of the f5 i suppose is a phaf museum piece i by now. the point is we should never go back to what our air force and navy is now. we are all in agreement that rp SHOULD spend for its afp ASAP and not stop there. or we risk being the whipping boy of asia forever begging for military aid from the usa. damn it this sucks big time.

  11. Any upate on the planned acquisition of 10 patrol boats from Japan? Urgency-wise, It kind of more interesting for me more than the advent of the two brand new firgates.

    1. No updates, and I’m not sure if they would be of any help as we do have some CG boats right now, but the Philippines just doesn’t want to send them. Its a chess game right now between China and the Philippines: The Philippines case against China is scheduled to formally start in the international court soon, but China doesn’t want that to happen and is trying to goad us into some sort of a confrontation before the arbitration begins.

      Gago talaga yang mga intsik na iyan. The sensible thing to do is just bear China’s bullying for now until the case is filed. We really need to find ways to defend ourselves against China on our own. The US is a fading superpower, and will have trouble projecting their power overseas from hereon.

  12. Just kind of interested in it because these are 40-meter boats for the coast guard. Right now, China is using their coast guard vessels to harass Ph vessels in the Spratlys and in Scarborough Shoal.
    And those vessels from Japan can somehow stand with China in a ‘White to White’ confrontation. Yes we have CG boats but this cannot stand with the Chinese counterparts simply because we do not have the numbers.
    But I totally agree with you that the painful reality right now is that we have to bear with China’s bullying sans new hardware acquisitions by our armed forces and the coast guard.
    What also worries me is what’s beyond 2016. Will we have a president who has the will and the balls to address the threat of external aggression and the urgency to further upgrade and modernize our armed forces? That remains to be seen although I see a couple of presidentiables carrying what has been started and/or being done by the current administration.

    1. If PNoy’s candidate will win in 2016, then expect the AFP Modernization to proceed at the current pace, meaning a combat aircraft and an additional 2 new Frigates, at the very LEAST.

      However, if Binay wins, expect a major slowdown in AFP Modernization as Binay had already publicly stated his willingness to be a “friend” of China and thus likely cooperate with them, and there is a LOT OF INCENTIVE to cooperate with China. Remember Abalos during Gloria’s time when he was offered P 300 million in bribes on the ZTE deal? One reason China hates PNoy is that they can’t buy him, no matter how much money they dangle in front of him.

      A Binay win means back to the time of Gloria Arroyo when the focus of buying AFP weapons and equipment were more for internal use, meaning lots of helicopters, armored personnel carriers, etc. I will be blogging about this, by the way, let me put it on my timeline so people will realize that our “Season in the Sun” of AFP Modernization will likely end soon.

      As for the Coast Guard boats, don’t hold your breath about them, Japan despite all their posturing doesn’t seem to be in a hurry to start the ball on those boats, and neither is our side. As I understand it these boats are going to be BUILT brand new, hence matatagalan pa talaga …

      1. saw the news about the asw helos. yup its too much. might as well add the budget to the frigates’ sonar suite. but i smell conspiracy. rp might just be masking the anti sub warfare for anti ship warfare since the frigates will be 2 years away. the wildcat can be armed with ashm or torpedoes. but they are still vulnerable to jets hence the two initial geagles as air support. maybe rhk can blog about the lynx paired with the del pilar class and what it can do if they are fully upgraded to an actual frigate.

      2. Yeah, I am blogging about those ASW Helicopters. I think they will be assigned to the Del Pilar-class ships initially if they arrive earlier than the new Frigates. I would like to see those new Frigates with advanced Variable Depth Sonar (VDS) like the CAPTAS-2 or CAPTAS-4. It wouldn’t be a good fit if you have state-of-the-art ASW Helicopters then pair them with a ship with mediocre or no sonar capability.

        They may also want to put sonar equipment also on the Del Pilar-class ships, God knows how deadly those submarines can be. Those AW159 Wildcats are really top-of-the-line, the Royal Navy itself will be using it as their main ASW/ASuW Helicopter, so if we get those it will be a huge thing for the PhN.

  13. I don’t think Binay will win. Although I personally voted for him on a Noy-Bi tandem because I believe he brings more calm to BSA’s administration than Mar not because of the latters credibility but because of the former’s alliance and inner circle.
    I assure you I won’t vote for him to succeed Pnoy. I would instead be looking at Roxas or Escudero or Cayetano or Duterte (if ever he can be swayed to run at all)- In that order. Of the 4, I believe Duterte is closest most to PROC in terms of connection and he is not denying it but I don’t think he’ll be the kind to compromise on internal and external security- you can bet me on that. And of the 4, I believe Roxas and Cayetano can and will carry on Pnoy’s lead as far as AFP modernization is concerned.

    1. Roxas even if he lacks that charisma and is kind of an elitist is the safest bet. Escudero and Cayetano im not so sure being lawyers they would most likely want a settlement of some sort. Im also wondering if China claims all the islets in spratleys why are we the only ones being bullied? vietnam is cautious since china is literally beside them but how about the others? why not bully them as well? coz we’re bully-able? china has bought the other countries? how about HALO dropping troops to sierra madre hehe:) will a fleet of hamina missle boats be equal to 6 frigates?

    2. Mar is not a decision maker. He professed before that he was a top notched investment banker but had only one deal to his credit. He is analysis, paralysis.

  14. what is important we have to fast track in upgrading our navy and air force. every time we extend a day, a month or year inch by inch we will lost our territories. practically we already lost physical position in panatag shoals now we could lost second thomas shoals, the chinese naval ships have blockaded the sea surrounding it. even the supply ships for our troops were blocked. the chinese have the intentions to starved our troops in order they will forcibly leave the area. in our own territory our troops were deprive of the basic need such as food A VIOLATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS. this makes our troops difficult that air force have to air drop supplies…now the problem the chinese air force is known to harass planes and the worst part if the last option of air drop will be harassed?? why not send the del pilar and other naval ships. we are not there to go to war just put presence of our military in the area…at least the world will realize that we need to be supported because the chinese violated human rights and illegally occupying our territory.

    1. Rhk is right. Its a chess game right now. Our ace is the unclos. If we confront them our arbitration will be at stake. No matter how hard it is to swallow. We should take the moral road no matter how corny it is. Now if we win and china does not retreat now that is the problem. That we should prepare for. We should start collecting allies, ships, planes, missile batteries etc. but right now rp should resuply brp sierra madre asap. Our soldiers are gonna die there if we dont. HALO drop them if they have to. Ask help from the us navy seals for clandestine insertion etc.

  15. playing chess is to play smart. i dont feel our govt played smart in dealing with china. look what happened to panatag shoals before the filipinos and chinese co-exist including the coast guard of both countries. but when we filed our case in the international court, we left panatag, surrendering the physical position to the chinese. the chinese win the game of chess at panatag. now, the chinese intended to starved our troops at second thomas shoals and we send civilian ships to aid them but were blocked by the chinese coast guards and was even force to turn back. this is the reason we have to air drop supplies to our starving troops. and how long we can sustain in supporting our troops. how about send our navy or coast guard to bring the supplies….again, were afraid to provoke the chinese in a shooting war..but why japan was able to face-off the chinese and u.s. come to the rescue. why it did not happen to us. well, simple reason u.s. will not directly involve themselves or directly confront china without us in their side. strategically, the west philippine sea is the busiest sea lane in the world, whoever controls it will control the economy of the world. i dont think the americans are not interested but they are very interested…the only problem unlike japan, the philippines seems not interested to physically defend its so call territories in the wesi philippine sea. and u.s. is not crazy to directly confront china when we ourselves are not physically present in the disputed areas. it is a welcome news that we will offer our bases to the americans. but it should not stop there. if we are really sure that what we are defending is our territories. we must send people and equipments. occupy it and not to be abandoned, these re the “do/s” we should do in order to win the game of chess. chess is an offensive game. we will have a lot of game to loss if we are always defensive or passive. to make things clear,,again were not going to war..JUST PHYSICALLY OCCUPY OUR TERRITORIES IN THE WEST PHILIPPINE SEA.

  16. On a different note, i would think that we should purchase a few hamina stealth missile boats from finland. these boats are a complete package. they have AShW and ASuW capabilities as well a AA capability. though i doubt that they can sustain level 6 seas but i’m quite sure that they can scare the hell out of those greedy chinese.

    1. Personally, I like the Hamina, I think it is an excellent combat Corvette, the best all-around small ship I have seen so far. But it is expensive at USD 100 million per ship, and it is kinda short-legged for a ship with a range of only 900 km, so I am not sure if the PhN will be happy about that.

  17. well i guess, if they were just to patrol around the panatag area as a sort of a reinforcement to our troops stationed at KIG. although arming the larger KIG islands would be a cheaper option. or just buying a submarine instead like that Gotland SSK which is about $350M.

    1. Submarines will be the way to go for the Philippines if it wants to intimidate China, but they are expensive to buy, expensive to operate and needs to have an experienced and technically competent crew to operate well …

    1. We have to have one sub. At least for training future submariners. Tayo nalang wala. Its the only protection we have against subs for the our surface ships. Aside from the oil rich spratlys we also have to defend the benham rise east of luzon. We need a sub for that large underwater expanse.

  18. SIgma 1054, at first it was designed for Indonesian Navy?… expensive toys? well, the maroco version are much more expensive and vietnam version should be equal to indonesian version. Search for the cost that indonesian, vietnam and maroco pays for this toys. even the nakhoda ragam still to expensive for us ( and sophisticated? ), still…. the much smaller and cheaper ragam class bought by indonesian packs more firepower than our existing frigate.
    We (me) think that we still need to put quantity over quality. more second handed frigate with more punch should cost less than brand new frigate with less punch.

  19. again for us..we dont have to buy sophisticated frigates. so long it has anti ship, asw and anti aircraft missiles it will already fit our requirements. the frigates will be patrolling our territorial waters including the disputed areas. it is a symbol of our presence. naval assets such as the frigates purpose is not to fight alone but also combined air and land support. so no need for our frigates to be so sophisticated.

  20. I read a news from gmanews online that the Herma group of companies is willing to build a ship for the phil. navy and coast guard all he is asking is a tested design and technical people to guide them.If we are acquiring new frigate will there be transfer of technology from the source of the frigate acquisition? I like the ship hull and the main naval gun of avante 2500, the sensor and surface to ship of the French ,and the defence of the Incheon frigate. Can we acquire this capability and put it on our own ship?

    1. For these batch of brand new Frigates … No, they will not be built locally. In the future, though, the Philippine Navy might consider having their next batch of ships built in the Philippines. If they do, Herma Shipyard will still have to pass audit by a foreign company that they do have the capability to build the ships …

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