We are accepting donations

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Gov't Buying P66 Million Worth of Rifles for Marines

P66 million allocated for the acquisition of 120 units of 7.62 mm designated marksman rifles for the Marines (photo : Inquirer)
MANILA, Philippines- The Department of National Defense (DND) will acquire P66 million worth of rifles for the Philippine Marine Corps in line with its efforts to upgrade the military’s capability.
A bid bulletin signed by DND Assistant Secretary Ernesto Boac showed that the opening of bids for the project will be on Sept. 13.
The government has allotted P66 million for the acquisition of 120 units of 7.62 mm designated marksman rifles with integrated logistics support.
Bidders should have completed within five years from the date of submission and receipt of bids a contract similar to the project.
The DND will adhere to open competitive bidding procedures as provided by the implementing rules of the procurement law.
"Bidding is open to all interested bidders, whether local or foreign, subject to the conditions for eligibility,” DND said.
Interested parties may buy bid documents worth P50,000 from the DND Bids and Awards Committee.
The DND will hold a pre-bid conference on Aug. 30 at the DND office in Camp Aguinaldo to provide prospective bidders more information about the project.
The deadline for the submission of bids will be on Sept. 13. The offers will be opened on the same day. Bids that are higher than the approved budget of contract will be rejected.
The products being offered are eligible if they are being used by the military of the company's country of origin or by the armed forces of at least two countries.
The Aquino administration has vowed to provide the military the necessary equipment and assets to enable it to perform its mandate.
For the Navy, the government plans to acquire strategic sea-lift vessels with amphibious vessels, off-shore patrol vessels, three naval helicopters, coast watch stations and weather-heavy endurance cutters.
The Army would be given new assault rifles, armor assets, tanks, armored personnel carriers, force protection equipment like helmets and bulletproof vests, night-fighting equipment and radios.
Meanwhile, the government would buy surface attack aircraft, air defense radars, long-range patrol aircraft and closed air support aircraft for the Air Force.

Navy Studying if Philippines Needs to Buy Submarine

The Philippine Navy is planning to acquire submarine not later than 2020. (photo : wn)

MANILA, Philippines -- President Benigno Aquino III said the Philippine Navy is now conducting a study on whether or not it would be practical for the country to acquire its first submarine.
“That is being studied by our Navy – whether or not it is practical and whether or not it meets our needs,” Aquino said in an interview after touring the Navy’s latest and fastest surface combat-ready vessel, BRP Gregorio del Pilar.
Aquino noted that in 1998, a regional neighbor bought submarines from the Eastern bloc only to find out the vessels were not fit for tropical weather.
Submarines are equipped with sensors and radars that can monitor movement on the surface, and even identify nearby ships using propeller signatures.
The Philippine Navy is reportedly planning to acquire its first submarine, which can cost billions of dollars, not later than 2020.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Government Urged to Get New Aircrafts for Top Officials

Beechcraft King Air. Philippines government needs at least six new aircrafts—one regional jet, one jet for local travel, two propeller-driven aircrafts (1 Queen Air and 1 King Air), and two helicopters. (photo : executivejetco)

MANILA (Updated) -- The tragic death of Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo in a plane crash Saturday prompted calls for government to get new aircrafts to ensure safety of high-ranking state officials during out-of-town trips.
The minority bloc in the House of Representatives said government should spend US$85 million (P3.6 billion) for the purchase of at least six new aircrafts.
Robredo and two pilots died Saturday after a chartered Piper Seneca plane carrying them to Naga City crashed before reaching the airport in Masbate City. The Cabinet official and his party came from Cebu for an official business trip when they met the accident. Robredo's aide, June Paolo Abrazado, survived the crash with only a few injuries.
House Minority Leader Danilo Suarez said the government needs at least six new aircrafts—one regional jet, one jet for local travel, two propeller-driven aircrafts (1 Queen Air and 1 King Air), and two helicopters.
"We should not put a tag price in the security of our leaders," he said in a press conference Wednesday.
Suarez said the Airlift Wing of the Philippine Air Force, which has the mandate of providing safe air transport for the President and members of his official family, has a fleet of aircraft and helicopters but most of which are older than Aquino.
Beechcraft Queen Air (photo : flugzeuginfo)

"We are expressing our concern for the safety of the President and his family because, as we are all aware, our country does not have a dedicated Presidential plane and he takes chartered flights for official travel," the close ally of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said, adding that the new aircrafts will also benefit political leaders after Aquino's term.
Back in August 2009, then President Arroyo reportedly cancelled an order for a presidential jet after the public reacted negatively to the purchase.
Senate President Juan Ponce-Enrile, who held Cabinet positions during the time of then President Ferdinand Marcos, saw nothing wrong of the proposal.
"During our time, we attempted to provide the executives of the government, especially those who are travelling often out of Manila, a safe transportation system. We are an archipelago. You traverse jungles and large bodies of water. When you travel by helicopter, if the helicopter crashes in the sea, there is zero survivability," he said in a chance interview.
He said it is normal for the government to receive criticism if and when it pushes through with the plan given other pressing problems such as poverty.
"That is the burden of leadership. You expect criticism because you cannot please everybody when you make a decision," Enrile said.
The House minority bloc also asked the government to immediately review all modes of public transportation following Robredo's death.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Senate Suggests Air Force One Aircraft

Currently, Philippines presidential aircraft was the Fokker 28 (photo : Carlos A.Morillo)
Malacanang Advised to Get Official Plane for Noy, Cabinet
MANILA, Philippines - President Benigno Aquino III should acquire an "Air Force One" and beef up the government’s fleet of aircraft to protect himself and the members of his Cabinet, Senate majority leader Vicente Sotto III said Monday.
“I have told them to shun criticisms and get an aircraft for the President. I have said that it is about time to upgrade the airplanes being used by our government officials,” Sotto said.
Sotto lamented the unfortunate plane crash involving Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo and the two pilots last Saturday.
“They should no longer think twice about it or be swayed by criticisms because the safety of the President and his cabinet members should be our primordial concern,” the majority leader said.
“Look at what happened, you are the DILG secretary, and he should have had his own chopper or aircraft to go around the country,” Sotto added.
Robredo is not the first top government official to be involved in a plane crash. During the time of ex-president and Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, former press secretary Jose Capadocia was killed in a helicopter crash in Benguet.
As this developed, Sotto said the Commission on Appointments (CA) would have set the confirmation hearing for Robredo on August 29.
Sotto, chairperson of the CA subcommittee on local government said the initial CA hearing last Wednesday was postponed due to the request of some congressmen who wanted to be present during the necrological services for Sorsogon Rep. Sonny Escudero.
According to Sotto, the CA was supposedly to be re-scheduled to Wednesday, August 22, but Robredo himself asked that the hearing be postponed to a later date because he would not be available this week.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Philippines in the Market for ASW Helicopters

Philippines will acquire 4 ASW helicopters for Navy within 2013-2017 (photo : Militaryphotos)
MANILA — As part of its efforts to improve the capabilities of the naval service, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) announced that it will be acquiring four anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopters for the Philippine Navy (PN) within the period 2013 to 2017.
Col. Arnulfo M. Burgos, Jr., AFP spokesperson, said the decision to acquire ASW assets for the PN is part of country's Medium Term Defense Acquisition List for the next four years.
The ASW choppers will be assigned to the BRP Gregorio Del Pilar and the soon-to-come BRP Ramon Alcaraz and hopefully to the two "Maestrale" class missile-firing frigates from Italy being eyed by the Department of National Defense (DND) for acquisition by 2013.
Burgos declined to identify the manufacturer of the proposed ASW helicopters but said studies are now undergoing to identify the best and most affordable aircraft for the Philippines.
DND Secretary Voltaire Gazmin earlier announced that the Philippine Air Force (PAF) will be getting 10 brand-new units of Eurocopter attack choppers to boost its fleet.
He added that this contract is worth P3.2 billion.
Gazmin said that the DND has already presented it to the government policy and procurement board for evaluation.
This was after the defense department recommended acquisition approval for the above-mentioned helicopters.
And should the contract be signed anytime this August, the DND chief said that the first four units will be delivered within the year.
"All these choppers are brandnew and fitted with weapons, navigation and sensor equipment," Gazmin stressed.
The body of the Eurocopter is made from 80 percent carbon fiber reinforced polymer and kevlar, 11 percent aluminum, and six percent titanium.
The rotors are made from fiber-plastic able to withstand combat damage and bird strikes.
Protection against lightning and electromagnetic pulse is ensured by embedded copper/bronze grid and copper bonding foil.
Eurocopter's armor can withstand 23 mm autocannon fire.
The helicopter can be equipped with a variety of air-to-ground weapons, rockets, and even air-to-air missiles and state-of-the-art sensor and navigation systems. (PNA)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

NFNL Conducts Naval Exercise

PF-15 and PF-11 docked together (photo : Azkals-pdff)

The Naval Forces Northern Luzon (NFNL), the operational Command of the Philippine Navy in Northern Luzon has just concluded the conduct of a small-scale Naval Exercise code-named SAGEX 02-12 last August 14 to 16, 2012 at the waters of West Philippine Sea.
The Naval Exercise aims to test the capability of naval vessels under NFNL in conducting naval operations at sea under adverse and heavy weather and sea conditions to accomplish its Territorial Defense Mission in protecting Philippine territorial waters.
The scenario is based on the concept of maneuvers along critical sea lanes of the West Philippine Sea and it involved the conduct of Patrol, Simulated Tracking of Targets and Interdiction and capped by live firing exercises.
More than one hundred (100) Sailors and Marines, and three (3) naval vessels namely the BRP GREGORIO DEL PILAR (PF15), BRP RAJAH HUMABON (PF11) and BRP LIBERATO PICAR (PG-377), participated in the exercise under Naval Task Force (NTF) 11.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Coast Guard Ordered to Dispose of Rundown Vessels

PCG should dispose of 10 rundown vessels (photo : timawa)

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) should dispose of 10 rundown vessels so it could save funds, the Commission on Audit (COA) said in a report.
The PCG reportedly has 14 aging ships and 33 small sea craft and airplanes, 10 of which are already broken beyond repair and “just occupy space in piers.”
COA said keeping the vessels was costly “because personnel need to be assigned in the area to guard these assets.”
“Mothballed assets will be better disposed of immediately, rather than left to further corrode,” COA said.
An audit team began checking on the condition of PCG vessels last year. Aside from the vessels, the PCG also has five aircraft.
Of the 14 ships, only eight or 57 percent are ready for sea (RFS), meaning these ships can sail out to sea whenever needed, while six ships or 43 percent are on a NRFS (not ready for sea) status.
Of the six ships on NRFS status, the COA report said four are already being considered as mothballed or beyond repair.
“The mothballed floating assets, whose net book value could not be determined because of the absence of documents, appeared to be beyond economical repair. These boats are no longer used by PCG,” the COA report said.
“We believe that the non-action of the PCG on the disposal of mothballed ships and small crafts is disadvantageous to the government,” the audit team stressed.
State auditors said the PCG management should immediately conduct inspection and evaluate the status of all its floating assets.
“If found to be no longer needed and are not under litigation, decommission the ships and small crafts and prepare the necessary inspection and inventory report to begin the process of disposal,” COA recommended.

Monday, August 6, 2012

2 Italian Frigates to Sail In with Technical Support

Maestrale class frigates (image : MConrads)
MANILA — They will not only be sailing into Philippine waters with their weapons, sensors and other equipment intact.
A Defense official said Italy's "Maestrale" class frigates eyed by the government to bolster its Navy will also sail in with technical support which will allow the prospective crew to use the ship to its fullest potential.
DND Undersecretary Fernando Manalo said this is one of the reasons the "Maestrale" is such an attractive proposition.
Technical support means the Italians would train PN personnel in the proper use of the frigates' systems and maintenance.
Acquisition of the ships is expected to cost the Philippine government P 11.7 billion.
Aside from this, the Italian Navy also guaranteed to supply its Filipino counterpart with spares which the ships need for dockyard maintenance.
"It means that we don't have to scrounge around for parts. We can call them about the items we need and they will supply them to us. It means greater availability for our
'Maestrale' for maritime missions," Manalo stressed in Filipino.
He added the Italians will put the ships on "zero time" or intensive overhaul wherein their equipment — weapons, navigation, sensors, engines, and hulls — will be made good as new.
"This will take around nine months. Once it is complete, the ships will be good as new or even better," he emphasized.
AB-212 anti submarine warfare helicopter (photo : Militaryphotos)

The "Maestrale class is composed of eight vessels, all of which were built by Fincantieri S.p. A, Riva Trigoso, except for Grecale, built by Fincantieri S.p.A. – Muggiano, La Spezia.
It is primarily designed for anti-submarine warfare.
However, the ships are highly flexible so they are also capable of anti-air and anti-surface operations.
Ships of this class have been widely used in various international missions and during normal operations of the Italian Navy.
The first of these ships entered the service in early 1982. The rest of the fleet was launched over the next three years.
The ships of the Maestrale class are scheduled to be replaced by the "Rinascimento" class starting in 2011.
The frigates have a displacement of 3,100 gross register tons, a length of 122.7 meters, draft of 4.2 meters.

Its propulsion system consists of two GE/Avio General Electric LM2500 gas turbines; two D Grandi Motori Trieste BL-230-20-DVM diesels, and two five-blade propellers.
This gives the "Maestrale" class a top speed of 33 knots and cruising range of 6,000 nautical miles at 15 knot economical speed.
It has a complement of 24 officers and 201 enlisted personnel.
The "Maestrale" frigates armament fit consists of four Teseo Mark-2 anti-ship missile launchers, one octuple Aspide surface air missile launchers, one Otobreda 127 mm main gun, two Oto Melara twin 40mm automatic cannon, two 533mm torpedo tubes and two 324mm torpedo tubes for anti-submarine warfare.
It is also capable of carrying two AB-212 helicopters for anti-submarine and patrol work.
With all these features, the "Maestrale" will be the most potent ships acquired for the PN, making the latter more capable of defending the country's territorial waters. (PNA)

Saturday, August 4, 2012

DND Officially Recommends T-50

TA-50 Golden Eagle (photo : KDN)

Purchase of Korean Jets Recommended

The Department of National Defense (DND) has recommended to President Aquino the purchase of South Korean-made jet fighters to boost the country’s external defense capability.
Fernando Manalo, DND undersecretary for finance, munitions, installations and materiel, said the assessment conducted revealed that it is South Korea’s T50s which is ideal for the country’s Philippine Air Force.
“Based on our assessment it is the T50 of South Korea that is most advantageous to us in consideration to the obtaining situation in the West Philippine Sea,” said Manalo.
Aside from capability, the T50s are also ideal in terms of the country’s limited budget for Air Force modernization, he said.
If the contract is signed with South Korea before the end of 2012, Manalo said the fighter jets could be delivered to the country within two years from 2013.
What would happen if the contract is signed, according to Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, is that they would request for immediate delivery of two of the T50s to facilitate the training of Air Force pilots.
“We will negotiate so we can get the two immediately for training so that when the rest of the 10 arrives, our pilots are already trained,” said Gazmin.
Manalo stressed the need to sign into law the P75-billion modernization budget for military modernization.
“Without the law, we cannot implement the acquisition of these fighters . . . because there is no budget,” said Manalo.
The Philippines is now focusing on its external defense after it became locked in a standoff with China a few months ago near the Scarborough Shoal.
The two Philippine civilian ships have already pulled out several weeks ago to deescalate the tension but Chinese ships remain in the area and even set structure to block other ships from entering the Shoal.

Philippine Navy Buying 2 Italian Warships

Maestrale class, 3.100 ton frigates (photo : Militaryphotos)

MANILA, Philippines - Two Italian warships are set to strengthen the Philippines' maritime defense capabilities, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said Thursday.
Gazmin said the Philippine Navy is buying the P11.7-billion Maestrale class-frigates , which have anti-submarine and anti-aircraft weaponry.
The move is part of the Armed Forces' modernization program, the defense chief said at a forum in Camp Aguinaldo.
"These frigates are warships. These have anti-air, sub-surface, they have anti-submarine (capabilities). What we are getting are really meant for war," Gazmin said.
The frigates, which were commissioned in the 1980s, are being used by the Italian Navy.
He said the Navy is waiting for the approval of contract that is expected to be signed in January 2013.
The ships will then be delivered by November after they are refurbished.
"These are operational. They are being used by the Italian Navy. They will be refurbished and overhauled," Gazmin said.
The Philippine Navy bought a Hamilton-class cutter from the US Coast Guard for about P400 million last year.  A similar vessel is expected to be delivered to the Navy within the next few month.
"These will be a big help because they will be giving us a very good defense posture," Garzmin said. "These will help in guarding (our territory), against terrorism, enforcement of maritime laws."
Fernando Manalo, defense undersecretary for finance, munitions, installations and materiel, said a separate P3.2-billion contract for the purchase of 10 attack helicopters from Eurocopter could be signed this month.
The helicopters will be delivered this year if the contract gets the green light.
Multi-role fighter jets
The Department of National Defense is also eyeing KAI T-50 Golden Eagle supersonic advanced trainers and multi-role fighters from South Korea.
Manalo said Malacañang has received the department's proposal to buy the aircraft.
"We are also looking at other options for the lead-in (fighters) but to be specific, based on our assessment, it is the T-50 of South Korea that is most advantageous to us in consideration to the obtaining situation in the West Philippine Sea and what is affordable to us," he said.
However, the T-50's purchase will rely on the modernization law that is still being deliberated by Congress.
"We have been engaging the company (Korea Aerospace Industries) and for as long as the contract is signed before the end of the year, then the target of 2 years delivery period is still doable," Manalo said.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Navy to Receive 2 New Multi-Purpose Attack Craft

Philippine's Navy MPAC (photo : timawa)

MANILA, Philippines - The Navy is expecting delivery this week of two brand new multi-purpose attack craft manufactured by a Filipino company in line with efforts to upgrade its capability.
Navy spokesman Col. Omar Tonsay said the vessels have been acquired from local firm Propmech Corp. and were expected to be delivered in August.
“These are Filipino-made vessels. These make us proud,” Tonsay told The STAR yesterday.
Commander Kenneth Tingabngab, director of the Navy’s modernization office, said they have acquired three multi-purpose attack craft from Propmech.
The first one was delivered during the first half of the year and was blessed during the Navy’s 114th anniversary last May. The three vessels cost about P269 million.
“The boats will be used for interdiction, patrolling and for maritime and border security,” Tingabngab said.
Each boat is 16.5 meters long, 4.76 meters wide and can carry as many as 16 soldiers or about two tons of cargo.
Tonsay said there are four multi-purpose attack craft in their inventory.
He said sailors would test the boats once the vessels were delivered.
The Aquino administration has vowed to support the military’s modernization efforts to enable it to perform its mandate.
The Navy would be given strategic sealift vessels with amphibious capability, offshore patrol vessels, three naval helicopters, coast watch stations and weather-heavy endurance cutters.
The Navy also expects the arrival of a warship acquired from the United States Coast Guard in January. The warship, a weather endurance cutter, will be named after Ramon Alcaraz, a patrol boat commander during World War II.
For the Army, the government plans to acquire new assault rifles, armor assets, tanks, armored personnel carriers, force protection equipment like helmets, and bulletproof vests, night-fighting equipment and radios.
Meanwhile, the Air Force is expected to acquire surface attack aircraft, air defense radars, long-range patrol aircraft and closed air support aircraft.
Your Ad Here Click here to join ugg
Click to join ugg