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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Philippine Marine Corps formally received 6 Small Unit Riverine Crafts (SURC) called "Silver Ships" from US

Photo for PN Facebook page
MANILA, Philippines-- Philippine Navy formally received 6 brand new units of Small Unit Riverine Crafts (SURC) called "Silver Ships" yesterday at Andrada Naval Station. Ambassador Harry K. Thomas Jr. turned over the crafts to the Philippine Marine Corps (PMC), a Type Command of the Philippine Navy and were received by Flag Officer in Command, Philippine Navy Vice Admiral Jose Luis M. Alano, PMC Commandant Major General Romeo T. Tanago and In-shore Boat Battalion (IBBN) Commander Lieutenant Colonel Noel R. Precioso.

Photo for PN Facebook page
The SURCs were donated by US as a part of their counter-terrorism campaign program in the country. These units will be used by PMC specifically by IBBN personnel for tactical mobility and as weapons platform to counter terrorism. It can also be used as a platform for command and control, reconnaissance, logistics/resupply, medical evacuation, counter-drug operations, humanitarian assistance, peacekeeping and non-combatant evacuations operations during disasters.

Photo for PN Facebook page
According to Vice Admiral Alano, the SURCs will be a very important addition to the capability upgrade of the Philippine Marine Corps.
“These water assets will be essential in maintaining maritime security and ascertain peace and order in our communities especially in littoral and riverine environment”, he said. 
Photo for PN Facebook page
“The SURCs will be deployed to augment our sea-based forces to address terrorism and lawlessness such as the current crisis in Mindanao”, Vice Admiral Alano added. 

Ambassador Thomas said that US government will continue to find ways to upgrade the skills of both US and Philippine armed forces and also provide technical assistance to the newly acquired floating assets.

Photo for PN Facebook page
“We will use every chance we get to make the best of our resources, to make our units work seamlessly together and to build every unit as the best team possible”, he said.

With PN official FB page

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

DND to open bidding for 3 Medium Lift Fixed Wing Aircraft and logistics support

C-295 Fixed Wing Aircraft of Indonesia (Photo for illustration purpose only)--Photo from
MANILA, Philippines--Department of National Defense/Armed Forces of the Philippines (DND/AFP) is set to open the bidding of (3) Medium Lift Fixed Wing Aircraft and it's integrated logistics support package amounting to 5.3 billion pesos.
The main role of the aircraft will be to airlift troops and supplies for territorial defense and internal security operations, disaster response and development efforts.
Defense Undersecretary Fernando Manalo said that they are fast-tracking the projects that will upgrade the capabilities of the armed forces.
Qualified prospective bidder should have completed a similar aircraft project. They can buy complete set of bidding documents from the Bids and Award Committee (BAC) secretariat in Camp Aguinaldo for P75,000.
Pre-bidding conference has been slated for Sept. 23. The deadline for the submission of bids will be before the opening of bids in Oct. 7.
BAC will review submitted bids for a week.
The company that offers the lowest bid will undergo a post-qualification phase, wherein security officials validate the documents submitted by the bidder. The post-qualification phase will be held from Oct. 15 to Nov. 14.
Aside from the three medium transport aircraft, the air assets to be acquired include 21 UH-1 combat utility helicopters for P1.26 billion, 12 lead-in fighter trainer jets for P18.9 billion with 3 Full Motion Flight Simulators for P246 million pesos and long-range patrol aircraft for P5.96 billion.
DND is also in the process of acquiring air surveillance radars worth P2.68 billion to enhance the country’s territorial defense capabilities. 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

DND still keen in purchasing two brand new missile firing frigates

Navantia offered it's Avante 1800 corvette design.
Photo taken from Navantia's product brochure.
August 18, 2013- Department of National Defense (DND) announced that the the bidding process to  acquire two brand new frigates is still on go.

DND undersecretary for finance, munitions, installation and material Fernando Manalo said that the frigate program is still ongoing.

"It's in the process now. We are coming up with the final documents for bidding," Alano said

The upcoming new frigates will cost the government P18 billion, higher than the earlier P11-billion budget.

Incheon Class frigate being offered by South Korea
Five naval firms earlier expressed their interest to build these modern missile-firing frigates to boost the Philippines' naval capabilities in patrolling its waters. The firms are South Korea's Hyundai and Daewoo, Spain's Lavantia, West Australia's Austal and an unnamed Singaporean naval yard.

ST Engineering's New Generation Frigate (right) being offered by Singapore
DND is open to the option of building these frigates in our local shipyard for it will generate jobs. Filipinos are world renowned shipbuilders fourth in rank after China, South Korea and Japan. 

Evaluation and studies on Italy's Maestrale-class frigates served as an "eye-opener" for the Navy, stating that acquisition of Maestrale will be costly in the long run.

"We found out that it will be more expensive to maintain second hand vessel(s) than buying a new one," Manalo said.

Alano also said that the crew of the Augusta 109 helicopters are now training in Italy to get the necessary qualifications.

"They will be part or the extension of the vessels to increase their capability for maritime surveillance," Alano said. "Helicopters will extend the range of our awareness because we have a very large area to cover," he added.

DND cancelled acquisition of third Hamilton Class Cutter

MANILA, Philippines-- The Department of National Defense (DND) through undersecretary for finance Fernando Manalo announced yesterday that DND will no longer be acquiring the long planned third cutter from United States.

Usec Manalo stated that the funds intended for the acquisition of the third cutter will be used instead to support additional requirements for the acquisition of two modern frigates. DND is in the process of acquiring two brand new missile firing frigate to boost the country's maritime defense.

Philippine Navy commissioned it's first Hamilton Class Cutter BRP Gregoryo Del Pilar  last December 14, 2011. The second cutter BRP Ramon Alcaraz who arrived recently is on month long drydocking for repainting and refitting and scheduled to be commissioned in October.

The Hamilton Class Cutters are the largest and advanced floating assets of the Philippine Navy to date.
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