Note: This article is also available on the Timawa.net forum on the long-standing “What’s happening with the AFP modernization program” thread.
In comparison with the past two years, 2013 was significantly muted from a modernization perspective. Many of the acquisitions that had been announced in previous years have either been delayed, fell through, or have delivery dates after 2013. It was, however, a noteworthy year for “Notices of Award” and acquisition negotiations.
The following projects have reached this stage in the acquisition process and are in various stages of post-qualification or terms-of-reference negotiation. These efforts aren’t expected to yield results till well after 2013 and their successful completion is not, by any stretch of the imagination, assured. For that reason they are separated from the actual acquisition list. Here is a sampling of prominent projects:
Philippine Air Force
Philippine Army / Philippine Marines
Arguably the most prominent arrival for the year was the BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PF-16) for the Philippine Navy. However this ship was officially turned over to the PN in 2012 and rightfully counts as an acquisition of that year. PF-16 was formally commissioned as a PN frigate in 2013 after having spent the better part of a year in Charleston, NC USA after the turnover from the USCG.
One aspect of the modernization program that did get traction in 2013 was the Government Arsenal, with the arrival of key quality assurance equipment. Training for a brand-new multi-station bullet assembly machine, which the DND Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) awarded to Waterbury Farrel in 2011, commenced in May 2013 (see here). However delivery of the GA-customized machine was slated for 2014.
The following list focuses on actual deliveries of equipment that were made in 2013. These include refurbishment efforts that returned previously inactive assets to service. This list is in flux as definitive confirmation of key projects remain pending as of publication.
|Multi-Purpose Helicopter||A batch of three (3) FLIR-equipped AgustaWestland AW109 Power helicopters were delivered in December 2013. Timawa discussion here|
|Small Unit Riverine Craft (SURC)||Six (6) units of Silver Ships Small Unit Riverine Craft (SURC), which were acquired via FMS, were delivered to the Philippine Marines in September 2013. Timawa.net discussion here.|
|Combat Utility Helicopter||The final two W-3 Sokol helicopters arrived from Poland in February 2013 here. This delivery completed the 8-helicopter order.|
|Refurbishment: AS-211||Two S211 aircraft were refurbished and returned to service. Timawa discussion here.|
|Refurbishment: Sikorsky S-76 air ambulance||Two S-76 helicopters were refurbished and converted into air ambulance configuration and returned to service in December 2013. Timawa discussion here.|
|5-ton truck acquisition (Philippine Army & Philippines Marines)||Twelve units of Kia KM-500 5-ton trucks were acquired for the Philippine Army and Philippine Marine Corps. Timawa discussion here|
|1/4 ton-truck acquisition||A batch of 190 Kai KM-450 trucks, including 4 ceremonial car versions, were acquired. Timawa discussion here|
|Flat-bed trailer acquisition||Flat-bed trailers for the transport of tracked vehicles were acquired. Timawa discussion here|
|Force protection equipment acquisition||Timawa discussion here|
|Global Position System (GPS) equipment||Timawa discussion here|
|81mm mortar acquisition project||One hundred (100) Serbian-made mortars were delivered as part of the Philippine Army’s 81mm mortar acquisition project. Timawa discussion here.|
|Universal Weapon Rest||Universal Weapon Rest, manufactured by Saber (United Kingdom), used to test the accuracy of weapons such as as M-16, M-14, MSSR, SPR & various pistols was delivered and installed at the GA Ballistics Facility on September 16, 2013. Timawa discussion here.|
|Weighing and gauging machine||An automated electronic weighing and gauging machine from Waterbury Farrel — a key component in the company’s ammunition production system — was delivered and installed at the GA. Timawa discussion here|