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)
- 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.
|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|
Something I put together for a thread on PinoyExchange
The AFP's priority is to acquire whatever capabilities it can in the soonest possible time. Given a choice between using imported technology that is available now, or waiting for indigenous solutions to mature . . . naturally they will go with what is already available.
HOWEVER, purchasing items from foreign suppliers does not automatically mean that it is a disadvantage for local industry. The key mitigating factor is in the mode of payment. This is where COUNTERTRADE comes into play. With countertrade, vendors are paid in kind, not money. Government money is used to buy local products which are then used to pay the vendor.
The lead agency for countertrade transactions is the Philippine Investment & Trading Corp. (PITC). Based on PITC statistics, the AFP is the largest user of countertrade transactions. The following modernization items were paid for using countertrade:
-> SIAI-Marchetti S211 trainer jets (Italy): 40% of the amount was paid for with the following items: Crude Coconut Oil, Garments/Fabric, various Copra products, various Porcelain, Black Tiger Prawns, Activated Coco Carbon, various Handicraft
-> Squad Automatic Weapons (Belgium): 85% of the acquisition was paid for with semi-processed rubber
-> Harris communication equipment (USA): 100% paid for with semi-processed rubber products, dessicated coconut, various handicraft
-> 105mm howizter upgrade (France): 100% paid for with copra products, desiccated Coconut, canned Tuna, assorted handicrafts
Aerotech Industries Philippines was awarded a P69,482,840.81 contract to perform a Major Structural Inspection (MSI) of S211 #021 of the Philippine Air Force. Teresa Parian, CEO of the company was given notice on the 6th of November 2012.
MSI, alternatively referred to as Programmed Depot Maintenance (PDM) or Inspection Replace As Necessary (IRAN), is a process by which the subject aircraft is taken apart and all its components -- with the exception of the engine, ejection seat, and similarly self-contained systems -- are evaluated and then replaced when required.
As per the DND's 1st semester Procurement Monitoring Report, it issued the following resolutions in connection with this project.
|March 1, 2012||Pre-procurement conference
DND BAC Resolution No. AFPMP-PAF-MSI-12-001 and 002 - Resolution recommending to the SND the use of alternative mode of procurement (Direct Contracting) in lieu of Public Bidding for the procurement of services for MSI of S211 Project of the PAF
|June 8, 2012||Change in the mode of procurement from Public Bidding to Direct Contracting and the creation of the negotiating committee for the project. Approved and signed by the SND|
|June 21, 2012||BAC resolved to approve the Terms of Reference, Timelines and the Post Qualification Plan|
A copy of the Notice of Award appears below
For additional information about efforts to keep the S211 in the air, see the following Timawa.net thread.
|Procuring Entity||AFP - BIDS AND AWARDS COMMITTEE|
|Title||Procurement of Services for the Repair/Overhaul of S-211 Engine JT15DC-4C Aircraft with Tail Nr 021|
|Area of Delivery||Pampanga|
|Trade Agreement:||Implementing Rules and Regulations|
|Procurement Mode:||Public Bidding|
|Classification:||Goods - General Support Services|
|Category:||Aircraft Spare Parts|
|Approved Budget for the Contract:||PHP 25,000,000.00|
|Contract Duration:||120 Day/s|
Timawa.net\forum discussion: http://www.timawa.net/forum/index.php?topic=27260.0
On the 28th of April, the Philippine Air Force lost one more Aermacchi (formerly SIAI-Marchetti) S211 trainer, and two of its pilots in a crash. S211 #020 crashed in Banawang village, Bagac, Bataan, killing both pilots: Major Ephraim (Ronin) Suyom and Capt. De Leon
The aircraft was one of several S211s modified under the PAF's Project Falcon to enable it to perform close air support missions. These aircraft are identifiable from other dedicated trainer aircraft by their air superiority-grey color schemes.
This was the 11th aircraft of this type lost to a crash. Details and/or Timawa discussions of this, and past crashes, are available in the links below:
Merged: S-211 crashes in Bataan (4/29); pilot killed (April 2011)
Merged: Incident involving S211 #024 (July 2010)
Merged: S211 missing over Kalayaan (November 2007)
Mechanical problems (January 2002)
Engine failure (December 1998)
Crashed, but aircraft recovered (July 1995)
Ran out of fuel (June 1995)
Mid-air explosion due to ejection seat installation error (March 1993)
Crashed on take-off (September 1992)
Dove into ground (April 1992)
Stall after engine fire (March 1992)
As of writing, the investigation of this most recent crash was in-progress, and the remaining two functional S211s in the inventory were grounded in the interim.