(Updated July 2, 2016. See bottom of the page for the complete revision history)
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.
* 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.
– 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).
– 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.
– 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.
* 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.
* October 18, 2013
– A second Pre-Bid Conference is made on November 11, 2013, and Bid Submission moved to November 25, 2013.
* 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.
– DND opens bidding for 2 frigates
– Exchange Rate as of October 15, 2013 used was USD 1 = P 43.4)
(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.