I have been closely monitoring the developments on the controversy surrounding the Philippine Navy’s (PN) purchase of two Frigates from Hyundai Heavy Industry (HHI) for the past couple of months, but held off writing a blog until I had gathered and studied enough information from news reports about it.
And now I think I have enough material to comfortably write about the topic, hence this blog. The controversy started to break out into the mainstream when just a couple of days before Christmas on December 19, 2017, Vice Admiral (VA) Ronald Mercado was relieved of his post as Flag Officer in Chief (FOIC) of the PN by the Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.1 Continue reading The Philippine Navy’s HHI Frigate Controversy→
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→
The bidding for the Philippine Navy’s new Frigate Acquisition Project officially resumed when the Department of National Defense (DND) posted recently on the official Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System (PhilGEPS) website the schedule of the Bid Submission and Opening of the Second or Final Stage of the bidding. It was initially set for February 16, 2016, but was later reset to March 3, 2016, then reset again to March 10, 2016. Along with the initial announcement, they also published a REVISION to the specifications of the Frigates, and it is quite long at over 71 pages.
I already made a couple of blogs about the candidates for the Philippine Navy’s New Frigate Acquisition Project, and I actually didn’t want to write another one. I figured that by this time the winner of the bidding would have been announced already and thus I would be writing about that instead. However, that has not happened, so here I am again writing about a “prospect” for our new Frigates.
In 2014, a Frigate of the French Navy, the Prarial, visited the country and its Commander Frederic Daumas confirmed that STX’s candidate for the bidding was an updated version of the Floreal Frigate. I subsequently blogged about it, but at that time I did not have clear information on the exact details of the upgraded ship that was being offered. However, in May of 2015 STX finally released an official brochure for the upgraded Floreal, so using that as main reference it is now time to make a “reboot” of my previous blog. Continue reading New Frigate Bidding Candidate: New Generation Floreal Frigate→
Today, October 2, 2015, marks the SECOND YEAR ANNIVERSARY of the bidding for the Philippine Navy (PhN)’s two brand new Frigates. Yessir, the whole project is now TWO YEARS OLD and can be called a “Saga” already, with still no end in sight. The project is still a “Go”, with PNoy finally signing off the approval for the release of their budget last September 8, 2015.
However, no definite date has been officially announced to the public on WHEN the next stages of the bidding will be made, although a representative of one of the bidders, India’s Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) said in an interview that the Financial Bids are going to be opened “soon”, but that the announcement of the winner will likely be done only by the end of the year probably after the Post-Bidding checks have been completed. Continue reading The Sigma 10514 Almost Fits the Navy’s Frigate Requirements→
The Indian press recently announced that the Indian shipbuilding company “Garden Reach Ship Builders and Engineers (GRSE)” is bidding for the Philippine Navy’s (PhN) Frigate Acquisition Project.  UNFORNATELY, NONE of the reports indicated specifically WHICH ship GRSE in entering into the bidding.
The only clue in the reports is that the weight of the ship is at approximately 3,500 tons. Looking at GRSE’s official website,  the only Frigate sized ship they offering there is the “Brahmaputra class Frigate” which has an empty displacement of 3,650 tons, but this maybe a little bit too big for the PhN’s Frigate project. Continue reading New Frigate Bidding Candidate: Kamorta-class Variant?→
Not many people realized it, but the bidding for the two new Frigates by the Philippine Navy (PN) celebrated its first year anniversary last month. Yessir, the bidding is now over a year old. It was October 2, 2013 when the Navy officially opened the bidding for the new Frigate Acquisition Program,1 and twelve months later where is it now? Sadly it is now in LIMBO, with no end in sight. Last April 2014, the Navy’s Technical Working Group (TWG) announced that they intended to award the bidding by July 2014,2 but that month came and went with no announcement of the winner.
The last official update released about the program was in August 2014 when the Department of National Defense (DND) announced that the program is still ongoing, but that it will instead be split into two acquisitions, one for the ship and another for its weapons.3 However, that official release did NOT indicate any timeline, they did not say anything about when the bidding will be completed. In other words, it is OPEN-ENDED, there is no clear schedule WHEN it will be done. Continue reading New Frigate Acquisition Bidding Delay – November 2014→