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Saturday, April 12, 2014

DND Purchases RFTE for Military

Radio frequency test equipment (photo : ferret)

RFTE for counter-terror operations, not for spying --DND

MANILA, April 10 (PNA) -- The Department of National Defense (DND) said on Thursday the acquisition of the so-called "radio frequency test equipment" (RFTE) for the military is solely for counter-terror operations and not for spying purposes.

"The DND emphasizes that all its purchases are in line with its constitutionally mandated duty of safeguarding the nation and its people. Our efforts to upgrade the capability of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) remain one of our highest priorities as we move our focus from internal security operations towards building a credible external defense," DND acting public affairs office chief Arsenio Andolong said.

He added that the acquisition of the RFTE is not a secret as it has been identified as a capability requirement of the AFP and is intended to boost the latter’s capacity to combat terrorism and protect the Filipino nation and its people.

"Furthermore, the acquisition project falls within the ambit of the Human Security Act of 2007 or the 'Act To Secure The State And Protect Our People From Terrorism'," Andolong stressed.

Simply put, "the RFTE is intended for counter-terrorism and monitoring the activities of those who intend to wreak havoc and sow terror in our communities," he said.

"The acquisition of such equipment is meant to safeguard the Filipino people and not to violate the rights and intrude on the privacy of our citizens," he added.

"As such, the Department categorically denies the existence of any project called 'Spectrum' and would like to assure the Filipino people that the Armed Forces of the Philippines is a professional organization, and would in no way, use its resources for any political purpose," Andolong stressed. 


Philippines will Get U.S. Foreign Military Financing Possibly Getting a Third Hamilton-Class Cutter

This year, the Philippines will get $50 million under U.S. foreign military financing, the largest amount in more than a decade, and $40 million from a U.S. global security contingency fund. (photo : Brunei Mindef)

U.S.-Philippine pact to highlight Obama's Asia rebalance - minister

(Reuters) - An agreement on U.S.-Philippine defence cooperation, expected to be signed this month during a visit by President Barack Obama, will be a clear sign of a U.S. "rebalance" to Asia despite U.S. preoccupations elsewhere, the Philippines' top diplomat said.

The deal will enable the sharing of Philippine bases, an increase in the rotation through the Philippines of U.S. ships, aircraft and troops, and will reassure U.S. allies of support against a rising China.

"There is full resolve on the part of the U.S. to fulfil their commitments on this Asia rebalancing, not only in terms of defensive security but also in terms of enhancing economic cooperation," Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario told Reuters in an interview late on Monday.

"This enhanced defence cooperation is a clear manifestation of that," he said, days before the eighth and final round of talks on the pact between the old allies.

"The situation in the Middle East, the situation in Ukraine - this has been of some distraction in terms of their focus on doing this. But I believe that the resolve is very strong in terms of fulfilling their rebalance to Asia."

The deal will boost the Philippines' surveillance capabilities in the disputed South China Sea, del Rosario said, as it strives to keep in check an increasingly assertive China.

Even without the agreement, the Philippine military is getting more support from the United States. This year, the Philippines will get $50 million under U.S. foreign military financing, the largest amount in more than a decade, and $40 million from a U.S. global security contingency fund.

The funding will be used strictly to boost naval capability, with the Philippines possibly getting a third Hamilton-class high endurance cutter, del Rosario said.

The first two Hamiltons that the Philippines got from the United States in the last three years are the largest and most modern warships in the Philippine navy.

"The South China Sea can be very rough, and smaller ships ... cannot manage the South China Sea in periods that are not summer, very few of our ships can withstand the waves there," del Rosario said.

"Centre of Attraction"

Military sources have told Reuters the United States plans to rotate to Philippine bases a squadron of fighters, P3C-Orion long-range maritime surveillance aircraft, and a littoral combat ship after the pact is signed.

The United States has also promised to help install coastal radars to help the Philippines watch it its maritime borders.

Apart from China and the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia and Taiwan also lay claim to South China Sea, or at least parts of it. The sea provides about 10 percent of the global fish catch, carries at least $5 trillion in ship-borne trade a year and is believed to be rich in energy resources.

China claims virtually the entire sea and has sought to resolve disputes with other claimants on a bilateral basis.

In the face of rising tension, Manila has filed an arbitration case, seeking a ruling to confirm its right to exploit the waters in its 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone as allowed under the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea.

China has dismissed the case but del Rosario said it was aimed at clarifying everyone's entitlements and ensuring freedom of navigation.

"Everyone is watching that now. I think the Philippines has become the centre of attraction in terms of how this is going to pan out," he said.


Bidding for P270-M MPAC for Navy Deal Fails

MPAC for Philippine Navy (photo : Blue Maxxx)

MANILA - The bidding for the supply of three multi-purpose attack craft for the Navy failed as bidders did not meet the documentary requirements set by the government.

Five parties expressed interest on the P270-million project, which seeks to boost the Navy’s operational readiness in maritime security, domain awareness and mobility for territorial defense operations.

These are the joint venture of Propmech Corp. and Taiwan’s Lung Teh Shipbuilding; the joint venture of Stoneworks Specialist International Corp. and Indonesia’s Multi Prima; Rovia Road Yacht Boat Builder, Colorado Shipyard Corp. and Hong Kong’s Armacraft Co. Ltd.; and Santiago Shipyard and Shipbuilding Corp.

Only four of the five companies that bought the bid documents submitted offers. Local firm Santiago Shipyard and Shipbuilding Corp. did not join the bidding because it lacked time to comply with documentary requirements.

None of the bidders, however, was able to fully satisfy the requirements under the procurement law.

Most of the bidders failed to submit a detailed bill of quantities, a document that specifies all the items and services they plan to provide.

The submission of the detailed document is required under the law to discourage lump sums, which have been perceived as a possible source of corruption.

One of the bidders, the joint venture of Stoneworks and Multi Prima, failed to present a certification from the Indonesian embassy that the English translation of its documents was accurate.

Because of the unsuccessful bidding, the documents of the project will be returned to the Navy for mandatory review.

Security sources told The STAR that the Bids and Awards Committee is likely to hold another public bidding for the project.

The project involves the purchase of the three vessels and initial integrated logistics support, including crew training. A separate project or lot will involve the acquisition of advanced weapons system, including missile launch systems.

The vessels will be installed with a day and night electronic navigation system, communications suite, safety-of-life-at-sea equipment, propulsion system, and seamanship and ship-handling equipment and gears.

The winning bidder is required to deliver the vessels within 540 days from the opening of the letter of credit, which guarantees the supplier that the government will fulfill its obligations.

To be qualified, a prospective bidder should be the manufacturer of the boats it will offer. The vessels being offered must be used by the military of the supplier’s country of origin or by the armed forces of at least two other countries.

(ABS-CBN News)

DND will be Acquiring a Multi-Role Fighter by 2018

After F/A-50 contract has signed, DND announced that it will be acquiring a multi-role fighter by 2018. (photo : military wallpaper)

PHL to get MRF by 2018

MANILA, (PNA) — With the country now on its way to acquire its first-ever supersonic jet aircraft in 34 years, the Department of National Defense (DND) announced that it will be acquiring a "multi-role fighter" (MRF) by 2018.

This was revealed by DND undersecretary for finance, modernization, installations, and munitions Fernando Manalo

2018 is the second phase of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Program.

During this period, the defense and military establishment will determine whether to acquire additional units of the South Korean F/A-50 "Fighting Eagle" or go full stream with the acquisition of the MRFs to enhance the country's external defense capabilities.

Studies are now underway to determine the best MRF designs for the Philippines.

The Philippines and Korea Aerospace Industries, Ltd (KAI) signed the P18.9 billion deal for 12 units of the F/A-50 last Friday. Manalo said that the first two F/A-50 jet aircraft will be delivered 18 months after the opening of the letter of credit, the next two will be delivered 12 months later and the remaining eight jet planes to be delivered in staggered basis within eight months.


DND Plans to Sign P18-B Navy Frigates Project in July

Navantia (Spain), STX (Korea), Daewoo (Korea) and Hyundai (Korea) are passed the first stage of bidding. (photo : Navy Recognition)

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of National Defense (DND) aims to sign the deal for the P18-billion Navy frigates project in July to fast-track the upgrade of the country’s territorial defense capabilities.

“We aim to perfect the contract for the frigates in July. The contract will have been completed by that time,” Defense Undersecretary Fernando Manalo told The STAR in a recent interview.

Workshops were done last February to determine if the four firms that pre-qualified can move on to the next stage of the bidding.

The four firms that pre-qualified are Navantia Sepi (RTR Ventures) of Spain and South Korean firms STX Offshore & Shipbuilding, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. Ltd. and Hyundai Heavy Industries Inc.

The Navy recently finished studying the documents of the four companies eyeing the project.

The Navy technical working group that conducted the workshops has declared all the four companies as eligible bidders.

“They passed the first stage of the bidding, hence they are qualified to participate in the second stage of the bidding,” said Commodore Ronald Mercado of the Navy technical working group.

The second stage involves the submission of financial documents, including the price tag of the ships they are offering.

Seven companies joined the bidding for the frigate project, the second largest item in the military’s upgrade program after the P18.9-billion lead-in fighter trainer jets.

Three other companies – Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd., STX France SA and Thyssenkrupp Marine System – were disqualified during the first phase due to deficiencies in the documents they submitted.

Issues were raised on the net financial contracting capacity of Garden Research and STX France and the list of completed contracts submitted by Thyssenkrupp Marine.

The three firms have asked the DND bids and awards committee to overturn their disqualification.

The DND asked the opinion of the Government Procurement Policy Board (GPBB) on the three firms’ appeal but has yet to receive a response. The queries were contained in a letter written by Manalo and sent to the GPBB last December.

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