2013: What’s happening with the AFP modernization program

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

  • Lead-In Fighter Trainer / Surface Attack Aircraft: KAI F/A-50 Golden Eagle selected by way of the Defense System of Management (DSOM). Negotiations for terms of payment ongoing (see here)
  • Attack Helicopter project: awarded to AgustaWestland for eight (8) AW109 helicopters due for delivery in 2014 (see here)
  • UH-1H acquisition project: Awarded to Rice Aircraft services for 21 refurbished UH-1H helicopters (see here)

Philippine Navy

  • National Coast Watch Center (NCWC): contract to design and construct the NCWC, with associated data integration with various stakeholders, awarded to Raytheon. Project completion scheduled for 2015. (see here)

Philippine Army / Philippine Marines

  • M-4 assault rifle acquisition project: contract to supply 50,629 M-4 rifles awarded to Remington Arms Co (see here)
  • M113A2 acquisition project: 142 Excess Defense Article (EDA) M113A2s are slated to be acquired from the United States (see here). The delivery date for this project is currently unclear

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.

PN_mod Multi-Purpose Helicopter  agusta_zps2f72ac6a A batch of three (3) FLIR-equipped AgustaWestland AW109 Power helicopters were delivered in December 2013. Timawa discussion here
Small Unit Riverine Craft (SURC)  1237953_459876634127958_523532353_n 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.
PAF_mod Combat Utility Helicopter  W3A_zpsce926b5a The final two W-3 Sokol helicopters arrived from Poland in February 2013 here. This delivery completed the 8-helicopter order.
Refurbishment: AS-211 1092119_596083070414122_1193737797_o Two S211 aircraft were refurbished and returned to service. Timawa discussion here.
Refurbishment: Sikorsky S-76 air ambulance IMG_1111_zps5b4a89e3 Two S-76 helicopters were refurbished and converted into air ambulance configuration and returned to service in December 2013. Timawa discussion here.
71155_327179393712_8339928_n 5-ton truck acquisition (Philippine Army & Philippines Marines)  IMG_1114_zpsfce8ba76 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  command 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  serbia_mortar One hundred (100) Serbian-made mortars were delivered as part of the Philippine Army’s 81mm mortar acquisition project. Timawa discussion here.
ga Universal Weapon Rest  1238172_426250357486220_1969987738_n 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 1624408_10203293132317387_861917462_n 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

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