Thursday, March 12, 2015

Philippine Airforce Conducts Media Demonstration of Newly Acquired Huey UH-1D

Villamor Airbase, Pasay City- Philippine Airforce (PAF) showed some of the newly acquired helicopters to the media that was previously reported as defective.

PAF have decided to explain to media the controversy which circulated lately that allegedly the helicopters purchased by the Department of National Defense were defectives.

2 Huey helicopters model UH-1D included in the 7 delivered and received by the PAF landed in the Villamor Airbase this morning to be exhibited to media.

Philippine Airforce firmly stated that there is no truth to the report that the helicopters are defective. They said that the news that this model is no longer used by the military in other countries because of unavailability of the spare parts is erroneous.

"Their parts are not obsolete and available in the market just like the parts for the existing fleet the UH 1H that we have in the Philippine Airforce" said Lt. Col. Enrico Canaya- Director, Philippine Airforce-PIO

At the moment, PAF is maintaining 20 helicopters and they intend to purchase another 21 new helicopters.

Lt. Col. Canaya stated, the additional air assets will be used to different missions like in combat operations, humanitarian assistance, disaster response and not just for training operations

The Airforce cited one by one the technical capabilities of the new helicopters and averred that these are compatible to the various missions in the country.

Major Aristides Galang, a test pilot, confirmed that he was one of those who tested and made an endurance flights of the delivered and accepted helicopters.

He said, the existence of discrepancy is not an issue because it is but normal to an aircraft to have that whether new or old.

He added, compared to the previous helicopters, Huey UH-1D helicopters are better.

  “I tried this, it is better powerwise, i still have more reserve power, for me to use this..its pull is stronger, its lift is more secure” said Maj. Aristedes Galang.

Before these helicopters were admitted, it passed through a strict inspection and procedure conducted by the technical and acceptance committee of the Philippine Airforce.

Philippine Airforce insisted that they will not accept any aircraft which will cause their personnel to perish.

Monday, March 2, 2015

PHL Airforce Assembling, Testing Newly Aquired Refurbished Huey Helis

UH-1 Huey of the PAF (photo : Tim O. Maceren)
Clark Airbase, Pampanga- Philippine Airforce is now in the process of assembling and testing their newly acquired refurbished Huey Helicopters.

DND conducted bidding of these choppers last 2013. Lone bidder Rice Aircraft Services failed to meet DND's requirements due to some irregularities in it's submitted documents. Because of three consecutive failed bidding, DND considered negotiated procurement as it's last option.

   “It could be a negotiated acquisition. What is best for the government. All process will be above board.” Undersecretary for finance  Fernando Manalo said on a press conference after the opening of bids.

See: Negotiated procurement- next option after three failed biddings for refurbished choppers

Before the said acquisition, Philippine Airforce have 76 Huey choppers in it's inventory. 33 of those are beyond repair, 22 needs funding to be able to fly again and only 21 are operational; barely meeting PAF's target of 75 operational Huey helicopters.

Because of the shortage, Department of National Defense (DND) through AFP Modernization Program opted to open the bidding for the acquisition of 21 refurbished Huey Choppers.

  "We are already familiar with this kind of aircraft because we are using it for a long time. There are scores of countries who are using it, plus it's spare parts are still available for another 20 years. We needed to tighten our belts due to scarcity of funds." said PAF Vice Commanding General Gabriel Dimatatac.

“While we wanted to buy choppers from Bell, but given the present situation we need 75. We get 20 storms a year and this is one of the primary equipment we use during disaster, that's why we needed these refurbished choppers to be able to respond quickly." added Usec Manalo.

UH-1 Huey of the PAF (photo : Tim O. Maceren)
14 out of twenty-one ordered refurbished Bell UH-1 Iroquois or "Huey" Helicopters were delivered October last year by US based Rice Aircraft Services and Canadian Eagle Copters. The contract price was Php 1.25 Billion.

Meanwhile, To ensure the availability of its UH-1 "Huey" helicopter fleet for combat and humanitarian disaster response missions, the Philippine Air Force (PAF) is allocating the sum of Php20,239,984.58 for the acquisition of electrical, instrument and fuel system requirements for the aircraft.

The Air Force is known to operate 20 to 40 models of the UH-1Hs. The "Huey" is the primary combat utility helicopter of the PAF and is used for fire support, re-supply, evacuation, transport and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions.

Submission and bid opening is on March 11, 9 a.m. at the PAF Procurement Center Conference Room, Villamor Air Base, Pasay City according to Philippine News Agency (PNA) report posted in their website.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

AFP Modernization, Main Agenda on the DND's Diamond Anniversary Celebration

CAMP AGUINALDO, November 17, 2014-- Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin presented some of the completed modernization projects of the AFP during the DND's 75th anniversary celebration in Camp Aguinaldo.

Some of the achievements proudly presented were the defense department's purchase of new equipment for the soldiers as well as providing benefits such as housing and livelihood for the Filipino soldiers and police.

91 modernization projects were already completed, 46 of which were procured from 2010 until 2014, while 52 projects are already on the pipeline

46 modernization projects includes the procurement of new combat utility helicopters, multi-purpose attack aircraft, combat vehicles, new guns, ammunition, and more.

DND Secretary Voltaire Gazmin reported the department's achievements such as the provision of benefits for the veteran soldiers, reform of the defense department, the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) enhancement of major courses and more.

He also said that the department also needed to further strengthen its forces in response during disasters and accidents.

Sec. Gazmin said that he is confident that most projects will be completed during the remaining term of President Aquino III.

  "Majority of the project will be finished, not all but the projects that we planned within his (President Aquino) term, up to the time he steps down. There are some projects that will left behind such as the FA-50,  the delivery will not be completed in time, come June 2016."--Sec Gazmin

President Benigno Aquino III was the guest of honor during the celebration and he is happy with the DND's accomplishments under the leadership of Secretary Voltaire Gazmin.

  "On behalf of the Filipino people, Thank you very much for your efforts to further upgrade the level of your service to the people and the flag. May you always serve as an example to your colleagues for them to further enhance the fulfillment of their duty."-- President Aquino

Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin also presented the "Philippine Defense Transformation Roadmap-2028".

Friday, August 15, 2014

President Aquino led the ceremonial distribution of assault rifles to the Army and Marine troops

Camp Aguinaldo, Philippines (August 14, 2014)-- President Benigno Aquino III lead the ceremonial distribution of assault rifles to the Philippine Army and Marine troops at the Armed Forces of the Philippines General Headquarters.

The distribution of additional rifles is part of the afp modernization program.

Under the program is the acquisition of 50,629 units of 5.56 millimeters M4 assault rifles and it will replace the early models such as M-16 & M-16A1 assault rifles.

According to the executive summary given by AFP, assault rifle acquisition project has contract price of more than 1 billion 944 million pesos, 38,402.13 per rifle.

With NEL MARIBOJOC (UNTV Correspondent for MalacaƱang)

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III graced the opening of ADAS 2014


PASAY CITY, Philippines, July 17, 2014- "Modernization efforts for the Armed Forces of the Philippines has nothing to do with the ongoing conflict in the West Philippines Sea".

This is the core message of Philippine president Benigno Aquino III in his speech on the opening of Asian Defense, Security and Crisis Management Exhibition and Conference (ADAS 2014) held in World Trade Center in Pasay City.

Modern battle gears from the armaments to fighter jets, naval fleet, combat ships and other modern technologies from 130 international defense companies from 16 countries were shown to president Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III as he led the opening of ADAS 2014.

Members of ASEAN states and various security and defense agencies participated on the said event.

President Aquino said that he wants to examine all the exhibited modern equipments in line with the ongoing modernization efforts of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

 “If I may share: For the longest time, the state of our military’s equipment had been neglected. It reached a point where even lawless elements possessed superior equipment. This is precisely why, from day one, we have done everything in our power to give the AFP the support they need to perform their duties to the fullest of their capabilities—and to make sure that the risks they take in the battlefield are reduced to a bare minimum.”- President Aquino

He also said that in the past 4 years, his government had allocated more than 4 billion pesos for the modernization of the Armed Forces (AFP).

The president reiterated that the purpose of AFP modernization does not meant to further exacerbate the "tension" in the West Philippine Sea.

It is about the disputed territorial issue in the region and China's claim on the majority of the islands in the area.

 “Lest anyone accuse us of shifting to a more militaristic position, I must emphasize: Our efforts seek to modernize the capabilities of our security sector is to address the needs in human disaster response arenas and for our own internal defense. None of these actions are meant to increase tensions in the region; rather, they are meant to address our domestic problems and issues.” The president said

This is the first time that ADAS was held in the Philippines, because of the country’s interest in procuring modern arms, equipments and technologies from various countries. 

With NEL MARIBOJOC (UNTV Correspondent for MalacaƱang)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Philippine Air Force F/A-50 "Fighting Eagle" will be capable of conducting maritime strike missions

Manila, Philippines--Department of National Defense (DND) Undersecretary Patrick Velez confirmed during the signing ceremony of the P18.9 billion F/A-50 contract Friday(March 28), that the F/A-50 "Fighting Eagle" role will not only to protect the country's airspace against hostile intruding aircraft but also to attack unwanted targets (e.g. ships) at high seas.

Usec Velez said that the F/A-50 can be configured to have the capability to do maritime strike missions by installation of anti-ships missiles, stand-off weapons, and sensors which the aircraft have in provisions.

The F/A-50's wing tip rails can accomodate AIM-9 "Sidewinder" air-to-air missile while internally behind the cockpit houses its three-barrelled cannon version of the M-61 Vulcan which fires linkless 20 mm ammunition.

The light combat aircraft is also compatible to air-to-surface weapons including the AGM-65 "Maverick" missile, Hydra 70 and LOGIR rocket launchers, CBU-58 and Mk-20 cluster bombs, and Mk-82, −83, and 84 general purpose bombs, Velez said.

Samsung Thales (STC) formally announced the development an AESA radar for FA-50 to compete with LIG Nex1's AESA radar model (photo : SamsungThales)
DND Undersecretary Velez also revealed that they are also planning to install equipment that would give the F/A-50 "Fighting Eagle" a "beyond visual range" (BVR) capability to make the F/A-50 a much more capable aircraft in defending the country's airspace.

BVR is the capability to detect, track and if needed attack air targets beyond 20 nautical miles (around 37 kilometers).

According to Velez, due to the equipment's cost which is estimated to range from P800 million to P1 billion per BVR fitting, not all 12 aircraft will be fitted.

  "We are looking at the possible installation for three to four aircraft to provide us with a long range intercept capability," Velez said.

He also added that installing BVR capability to the F/A-50s is relatively simple as the aircraft is already fitted with a decent air-to-air radar. Adjusting it to BVR standards would just mean upgrading the radar to be capable of detection at much longer range and fitting of BVR weapons like the Raytheon AIM-7 "Sparrow" missile.

AFP Chief-of-Staff Emmanuel Bautista looks at a miniature model of an FA-50 fighter jet after the signing of an agreement between the Department of National Defense and Korea Aerospace Industries on Friday. The deal involves around US$528 million worth of military aircraft and support services.
(photo : ABS-CBN News)
The Philippines and Korea Aerospace Industries Ltd. signed the P18.9-billion contract for the acquisition of the 12 aircraft last Friday(March 28).

DND Undersecretary Fernando 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 in staggered basis within eight months.

F/A-50 has a top speed of Mach 1.5 or one-and-a-half times the speed of sound and is capable of being fitted with air-to-air missiles, including the AIM-9 "Sidewinder" air-to-air and heat-seeking missiles aside from light automatic cannons.

The F/A-50 will act as the country's interim fighter until the Philippines get enough experience of operating fast jet assets and money to fund the acquisition of more capable fighter aircraft.

The aircraft's design is largely derived from the F-16 "Fighting Falcon" and they have many similarities: use of a single engine, speed, size, cost, and the range of weapons.

The aircraft can carry two pilots seating in tandem. The high-mounted canopy developed by Hankuk Fiber is applied with stretched acrylic, providing the pilots with good visibility, and has been tested to offer the canopy with ballistic protection against four-pound objects impacting at 400 knots.

The altitude limit is 14,600 meters (48,000 feet), and the airframe is designed to last 8,000 hours of service.

There are seven internal fuel tanks with capacity of 2,655 liters (701 US gallons) -- five in the fuselage and two in the wings.

An additional 1,710 liters (452 US gallons) of fuel can be carried in the three external fuel tanks.

Trainer variants have a paint scheme of white and red, and aerobatic variants white, black, and yellow.

The F/A-50 "Fighting Eagle" uses a single General Electric F404-102 turbofan engine license-produced by Samsung Techwin, upgraded with a full authority digital engine control system jointly developed by General Electric and KAI.

The engine consists of three-staged fans, seven axial stage arrangement, and an after-burner.

The aircraft has a maximum speed of Mach 1.4-1.5.

Its engine produces a maximum of 78.7 kN (17,700 lbf) of thrust with after-burner.

(with: PNA)

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Philippine Army's M113 stocks (24) to get major upgrade from Elbit Systems of Israel for $19.7m

MANILA, Philippines -- The Department of National Defense (DND) has formally signed the contract for the delivery of 28 "armored infantry fighting vehicles" which will boost the inventory of the Army's light armored units.

Assistant Secretary Patrick Velez said that this project is worth P882 million. He said the contract was already signed weeks before the ceremony. 

DND has hired an Israeli firm (Elbit) to refurbish 24 of their M113 armored vehicles for $19.7 million. In addition to rebuilding the structural, mechanical and electrical elements of the M113s, Elbit will install new fire control systems as well as night vision sensors along with GPS, intercom and radios. 

Philippine Army (PA) will supply the turrets from 14 of its decommissioned Scorpion reconnaissance vehicles. These two man turrets are equipped with a 76mm gun that can provide excellent infantry support. Four of the M113s will be equipped to tow damaged vehicles or carry casualties.

Velez declined to give specifics of the vehicles' armament, speed and armor but stressed that these armored infantry fighting vehicles "are very capable."

These upgraded armored vehicles is expected within a year or around January 2015. The PA, which has around 10 infantry divisions, is equipped with 343 AFVs (armored fighting vehicles).

Capt. Anthony Bacus, Army spokesperson, said earlier that these AFVs are distributed to the various infantry units to provide them with mobility and additional firepower. 

 "Around 85 percent of these AFVs are on green status (fully mission capable) while another 10 percent are on yellow status (undergoing repair) and five percent are on red (beyond repair)," he added.


Some 150 of these are the United Kingdom-built GKN "Simba" with the remaining AFVs consisting of US designed V-150 and V-200 APCs, M-113, Turkish made ACV-300s and British Scorpion CVRTs.

These AFVs give the PA dependable armor capability and are organized into a 14-vehicle mechanized infantry companion for deployment with regular units.