A new Timawan, “amnmtv”, shared with the forum community a Federal Bizz Ops (FBO) entry by the US Department of the Navy, Naval Sea Systems Command — on behalf of the Philippine Navy — to invite shipbuilders to submit proposals for brand-new Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV).
The synopsis for the solicitation, dubbed N0002411R2217, went as follows:
This Request for Information (RFI) N00024-11-R-2217 is being issued in anticipation of a potential future procurement program for the Republic of the Philippines. The Naval Sea Systems Command is conducting market research to determine the existence of a general purpose Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) possessing the characteristics listed below.
The vessel must be new construction, but derived from a proven hull design previously built by the contractor. Existing vessels or conversion vessels will not be considered. The vessel would be procured under a Foreign Military Sales (FMS) Case and would operate within tropical waters in Southeast Asia.
The Philippine Navy is potentially interested in having this vessel built in the Philippines, which would require the prime contractor to use a shipyard in the Philippines as a subcontractor for vessel construction.
As described, the boats would be 80 meters in length, able to operate in Sea State 6, initially armed with a 76mm Oto Melara gun which is similar to the main armament of the Jacinto Class patrol vessels and the BRP Gregorio del Pilar, have a secondary 25mm gun, able to launch two 11-meter Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats (RHIB) from a stern ramp, and be able to embark an unspecified number of helicopters. The specifications also required that the design have provision for the addition of Surface-to-Air and Surface-to-Surface Missiles, as well as a towed sonar array.
The freshly minted solicitation was entered into the the FBO database on the 6th of May 2011. An amendment to the original solicitation was added on the 18th of May, to modify the requirement as follows:
In the original notice, the first sentence of the second paragraphs states, “The vessel must be new construction, but derived from a proven hull design previously built by the contractor”. This sentence is revised to read as follows, “The vessel must be new construction, but derived from a proven hull design.”
The Philippine Navy is no stranger to this form of procurement. In the late 8o’s and 90’s, the Navy received newly-built Halter 77-foot/78-foot patrol boats via FMS in an arrangement that had the first 18 boats built in the then-Equitable shipyard in New Orleans, Louisiana, and the remainder in the Philippines. These boats eventually became the Jose Andrada class — the single most numerous patrol craft in the Philippine Navy.