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 Post subject: AFP Modernization 2.0
PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2015 1:15 pm 
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2015 4:32 pm 
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2015 4:39 pm 
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ASEAN Military Defense Review
6 upgraded APCs now in Tarlac
Posted by Maki Catama on 4:05 AM July 6, 2015

MANILA, -- Six of the 28 upgraded M-113 armored personnel carriers are now at the Mechanized Infantry Division (MID), Camp O'Donnell, Capas, Tarlac, the Philippine Army (PA) said on Thursday.

These vehicles arrived there Wednesday after leaving its Manila-holding area, Army spokesperson Lt. Col. Noel Detoyato said in a message to the PNA.

The six AFVs arrived in the Philippines late this June.

"Six APCs are already at MID headquarters in Tarlac. Other attachments and armaments will be installed in within 15 days," he added.

The six APCs will be followed by 18 other units, four of them by July or August.

Fourteen of the M-113s were configured as fire support vehicles, four as infantry fighting vehicles, six as armored personnel carriers, another four as armored recovery units.

The M-113s were supplied by Israeli defense manufacturer Elbit Systems Ltd.

The contract, which is worth Php882 million, was signed last June 22, 2014.

Upgrades include installation of 25 mm unmanned turrets, 12.7 mm remote controlled weapon stations (RCWS) and fire control systems (FCS) for 90 mm turrets.

The PA operates around 343 AFVs (armored fighting vehicles) and APCs.

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)

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

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

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An M-113 Armored Personnel Carrier with Elbit Systems' ORCWS 25-30mm Unmanned Turret System.

http://www.aseanmildef.com/2015/07/6-upgraded-apcs-now-in-tarlac.html




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pics c/o AFP will RISE FB page

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2015 4:40 pm 
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Aquino promised to fund the purchase of two modern frigates
Posted on July 7, 2015

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President Benigno Aquino III has promised (see below report) the military about P34 billion this year, which will fund the navy’s premier acquisition – the two multi-role frigate worth P18.9 billion for Philippine Navy (PN).

While the negotiations have been stymied by a complex two-phase process, six qualified bidders has emerged: Spanish firm Navantia Sepi (RTR Ventures) and South Korean firms STX Offshore & Shipbuilding; Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co Ltd, and Hyundai Heavy Industries Inc; India’s Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd of India And Europe’s STX France SA.

According to MaxDefense, “PN is likely to choose a design with a lot of future-proof capability,” moreover, “the requirement for high sea state capability together with capability to mount more weapons systems plus allowance for future-proofing means that the ship should have sufficient size.”

UPGRADING FRIGATES

Navy Vice Commander Rear Adm. Caesar Taccad confirmed early this year that the acquisition of missile systems for BRP Gregorio del Pilar and BRP Ramon Alcaraz is “in the pipeline.”

The procurement seeks to maximize the potential of the two warships to secure the country’s territory.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines has benefited under Aquino’s administration. To date, multiple modernization programs have either reached significant acquisition stages or have been completed entirely during his term. (Tankler.com)

http://tankler.com/aquino-promised-to-fund-the-purchase-of-two-modern-frigates/


PHL ramps up military spending in face of China threat
By MANNY MOGATO,Reuters July 7, 2015 6:14pm

The Philippines plans to ramp up military spending over the next 13 years, earmarking more than $20 billion to modernize its forces in the face of Beijing's maritime ambitions in the disputed South China Sea, a top Air Force official told Reuters.

Major-General Raul del Rosario, military chief of plans, said the blueprint includes installing radars and sensors, and buying equipment such as submarines, frigates, fighters, surveillance planes and missile systems.

"By the time we complete this plan, we will have complete coverage of the South China Sea," said Del Rosario, a former fighter pilot, showing the military's detailed plan that was approved on Friday.

"We will have 24/7 awareness of what is happening in the disputed area and we'll be able to respond quicker to any contingency in our own exclusive economic zone."

He said the ambitious plan was initiated in 2013, but top brass had only approved overall spending of P998 billion ($22.11 billion) last week.

Del Rosario said P83 billion had been earmarked for the first five years, P444 billion for the second five years and P471 billion for the last five years.

In 1995, Congress had earmarked P364 billion for a similar 15-year plan. Less than one-tenth of that sum was actually spent by 2010.

The modernization program is designed to strengthen Manila's claims in the South China Sea, believed to be rich in energy deposits.

China has become increasingly assertive in the South China Sea, building artificial islands in areas over which the Philippines and other countries have rival claims. The moves have sparked alarm regionally and in Washington.

Submarines, missiles and surveillance planes

President Benigno Aquino III has promised the military about P34 billion this year, which will fund the purchase of two frigates and a twin-engine long range maritime aircraft.

So far, the government has given the military P9.4 billion in 2014. This has been used to purchase eight combat utility helicopters and as a downpayment for 12 FA50 fighter-trainers from South Korea. Two of the aircraft are expected in 2016.

Del Rosario said that between 2018 and 2023 the Philippines would buy electric-diesel submarines and advanced missile systems.

Three aerial surveillance radars with a range of 350 nautical miles will also be installed in Ilocos Norte, Lubang island and Mount Salacot in Palawan, all facing the South China Sea to detect movements in the disputed area.

These will complement the navy's two surface sensors capable of detecting ship activities 200 miles away. Three surveillance planes will also be on constant patrol in the area.

"We do not aim to defeat China," Del Rosario said. "But our goal is make any state think twice before attacking. We will make sure anybody attacking us would end up with a bloodied nose." — Reuters


More from: http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/517726/news/nation/phl-ramps-up-military-spending-in-face-of-china-threat

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Last edited by don robert on Sat Jul 18, 2015 4:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2015 4:41 pm 
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The rapid rise of Iriberri to AFP leadership
By: Frances Mangosing@FMangosingINQ INQUIRER.net 02:42 PM July 10th, 2015

Lieutenant General Hernando Iriberri took the helm of the Armed Forces of the Philippines on Friday at a time when the military is shifting to territorial defense amid China’s aggression in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

Iriberri will be the sixth AFP chief under President Benigno Aquino III. His retirement date, April 22, 2016, will be at the height of the preparations for the May 2016 elections. Whether he would be extended or not has yet to be known.

But in Aquino’s speech, he hinted a possible term extension as he challenged Iriberri to an orderly elections next year.

“Lt. Gen. Iriberri, ito ang hamon sa iyo ngayon: Ipagpatuloy ang magandang nasimulan ni Gen. Catapang at ng mga nauna sa kanya, at lalo pang itaas ang kalidad ng serbisyo ng ating mga kawal. Alalahanin natin: Malapit na naman ang eleksiyon. Kasama sa inyong tungkulin ang pagsigurong magiging mapayapa at malinis ang pagpili ng ating mga kababayan ng susunod na pinuno. Sa ganitong paraan ninyo masusuklian ang suporta at pagkalingang ibinigay sa inyo ng mamamayang Pilipino, ang ating mga Boss,” he said at the AFP change of command ceremony at the AFP Commissioned Officers Club at Camp Aguinaldo on Friday.

(Lt. Gen. Iriberri, this is the challenge you are facing now: Continue what Gen. Catapang and the others before him have started, and further raise the quality of service of our soldiers. Let us remember: The elections are drawing near. It is included in your mandate to make sure that the elections will be peaceful and orderly. This will be your way of paying back the support and concern given to you by the Filipino people, our Bosses.)

The newly installed AFP chief does not have close ties with Aquino but he is quite known for his connection with Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, who is said to have a big influence on Aquino’s military appointments.

Iriberri was Gazmin’s spokesman when he was Army chief in 2000. He was also the latter’s senior military assistant from July 2010 to January 2013.

A member of the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1983, Iriberri was the first in his batch to become a division commander. He was named the Army’s 7th Infantry Division in July 2013 after serving as brigade commander of the Army’s 503rd Brigade in Abra from January to July in 2013.

He would also be the first to get a three-star rank in his batch. When he was named Army chief last year, Iriberri beat officers more senior than him — AFP chief Gen. Gregorio Catapang of PMA Class 1981 and then Special Operations command chief Lt. Gen. John Bonafos of PMA Class of 1982.

IriberriWith his appointment as AFP chief, Iriberri also beat other officers more senior than him, and even those closer to Aquino.

Other contenders for the post were Air Force chief Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Delgado, Southern Luzon Command chief Lt. Gen. Ricardo Visaya, Western Command chief Vice Adm. Alexander Lopez and Central Command chief Lt. Gen. Nicanor Vivar.

Delgado and Visaya have close ties with Aquino. The former was a member of the Presidential Security Group during the time of President Corazon Aquino. He was also a part of the PSG when her son Benigno assumed office.

Visaya, meanwhile, was the commander of Army’s 69th Infantry Battalion based in Tarlac and Pampanga during the Hacienda Luisita massacre in 2004.

Iriberri, together with Catapang and Gazmin, was recently on the news when the P6.5 billion Shore-Based Missile System project for the AFP modernization program, an item that would have been crucial to the country’s defense to the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), was shelved and marksmen rifles, chemical-biological-radiological-nuclear protective gear and long-range sniper weapons systems were instead prioritized.

The report by Inquirer early this week said the change was allegedly to earn commissions, to which Iriberri denied, saying it was a “pure lie.”

“We cannot discuss matters pertaining to capability gaps of the Philippine Army as these are classified information involving national security,” Iriberri said.

He was also charged with graft before the Ombudsman for shelving of three ammunition purchase projects. The complaint was filed by a military contractor. IDL

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/704298/the-rapid-rise-of-iriberri-to-afp-leadership



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Last edited by don robert on Sat Jul 18, 2015 4:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2015 4:42 pm 
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AFP Chief Lt. Gen Iriberri defends acquisition of force protection equipment over missile system
Tuesday, July 14, 2015

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Gen. Hernando Iriberri assumes office as the 46th Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff (http://www.gov.ph)

CAMP AGUINALDO, Quezon City --The newly installed Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Lt. General Hernando Iriberri admitted the huge capability gap of Filipino soldiers.

He said the increasing number of casualties among soldiers because of improvised explosive device used by enemies such as the rebels and terrorists is a pressing issue.

"It is really unfortunate to see a soldier in critical condition just because of an IED, just because he has no body armor or helmet. I cannot give the details on how huge our capability gap is because these are classified information" said AFP Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Hernando Iriberri.

The general also said he has given a counter-proposal to the Department of National Defense (DND) that instead of acquiring a Shore-Based Missile System (SBMS); force protection equipment such as rifles, body and armor for soldiers must be purchased first.

The first phase of the revised AFP modernization program from 2013 to 2018 includes the proposal acquiring Shore-Based Missile System (SBMS) or Anti-Aircraft Missiles (AAM) from Israel amounting to 6.5 billion pesos.

But Lt. Gen. Iriberri said reports on scrapping the said project just to give way to the acquisition of individual force protection equipment are erroneous.

He stressed, however, that he has requested the project to be included instead to the second part of the AFP Modernization Program from 2018 to 2022 and give priority to the procurement of individual equipment for soldiers battling in the field.

"And I also want to clarify that the budget with the amount of 6.5 billion for the re-prioritization will be used for the acquisition of the individual equipment; these will be used by our ground troops, regardless of their situation, regardless of their mission" said AFP Chief Iriberri.

The general also said gaining commission is not the reason for the re-prioritization of the projects.

He also reiterated that his request underwent required processes and was cleared by officials of the Department of National Defense and the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

http://www.vjdefense.com/2015/07/afp-chief-lt-gen-iriberri-defends.html

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2015 4:45 pm 
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Progress of the CN-212 Light Transport Aircraft for the Philippine Air Force being built by Indonesian Aerospace at Bandung, Indonesia.

Update c/o Phil. Airforce FB Page

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2015 4:46 pm 
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She is the youngest resident in Pag-asa Island, Palawan, Philippines.
Let our voices be heard -- Like and share if you are with us in fighting for her rights and of every Filipino in the West Philippine Sea!



Photo Credit: Major Jessie Rose Bucalen-Austria PA (c/o Facebook page of Western Command Armed Forces of the Philippines)

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2015 4:50 pm 
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DEFENSE STUDIES
Funds for AFP Modernization Assured
27 Juni 2015

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Defence spending in the region (all images : PAF)

THE modernization of the Armed Forces will continue as the government will continue acquiring equipment to provide the needs of its soldiers, Malacañang said Tuesday.

“The AFP has a modernization plan and the Aquino administration has consistently made sure that it is funded,” deputy presidential spokeswoman said in a text message to reporters.

“We continue to acquire equipment that will serve the needs of our soldiers as well as engage with other countries to continue training and learning best practices.”

Valte made her comments after she was asked about the AFP’s capability to defend the South China Sea, where China has been building islands.

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The AFP recently said one of its problems was its “limited equipment and facilities” to defend Philippine territory against China’s creeping expansion in the South China Sea.

A report says the Philippine Air Force has also acknowledged its weaknesses in territorial defense in its strategic plan called Flight Plan 2028.

The Air Force cited limited equipment, bases and facilities for territorial defense as well as inadequate training and the absence of established doctrines for territorial defense.

It also admitted in a report in April that it is not configured for territorial defense.

The Philippine military has been trying to build a minimum credible defense amid China’s expansion in the South China Sea.

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The report says the Air Force’s breakthrough goal is to “build capability to detect, identify, intercept and neutralize intrusions in the Philippine Air Defense Identification Zone and West Philippine Sea by 2022 and the entire Philippines by 2028.”

The Air Force aims to have Area Readiness 3 to Area Readiness 1.

The report says the ability to neutralize incursions refers to 51 to 74 percent of Philippine territory while Area Readiness 1 means 100 percent of the country’s territory, which is estimated to be 40,000 square nautical miles.

On the other hand, Jane’s Defense Magazine in 2012 said the Philippines has no fighter aircraft compared to China’s 1,082 with radars, missile defense, ballistic missile and nuclear arms.

Vietnam, one of the claimants in the South China Sea, has 208 fighter aircraft, Thailand has 55, Indonesia 48 and Malaysia 42.

(Malaysia Standard Today)

http://defense-studies.blogspot.de/2015/06/funds-for-afp-modernization-assured.html?m=1

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2015 4:51 pm 
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What’s the latest on Long Range Patrol Aircraft of PAF?
Posted on June 29, 2015

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Department of National Defense (DND) Undersecretary for Modernization Fernando Manalo said on Thursday the country’s “long range patrol aircraft” (LRPA) project is still on go.

But he clarified that the bidding process for the LRPA is suspended pending the approval and signing of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Program.

This is in the wake of reports saying that defense officials of Japan and the Philippines are talking about a possible transfer of two to four P-3C “Orion” maritime patrol aircraft to the country’s military forces.

Manalo said that the LRPA acquisition is a separate project from the P-3C

The DND’s LRPA project is worth PhP5.9 billion and is for two aircraft.

The LRPAs are for the use of the Philippine Air Force.

Earlier, in a supplemental bid bulletin posted at the DND website, prospective bidders were told to submit aircraft designs with systems that allow autonomous operation.

“The aircraft must be equipped with a system that allows autonomous operation in remote bases ensuring electrical, pneumatic and hydraulic power on ground. The system must also be able to start the engines without ground support,” it said.

This means that the LRPAs can be deployable in remote airfields lacking modern start-up facilities.

Aside from this, the planes must be equipped with a noise reduction system which is capable of reducing both cabin vibration and noise and eliminate many of the buzzes and rattles which would otherwise be a major source of annoyance and distraction for surveillance and patrol mission crew. (PNA)

– See more at: http://www.ptvnews.ph/bottom-news-life2/11-11-nation-submenu/45752-lrpa-project-still-on-go-says-dnd-official#sthash.9EchlxA3.dpuf

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2015 4:52 pm 
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Two ships from Australia to be commissioned on July 23
Posted on July 12, 2015

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The two “Balikpapan” class landing craft heavy (LCHs), donated by the Australian government to the Philippine Navy early this year, will be formally commissioned into service on July 23.

“The commissioning and handover of the ships will take place on July 23 at Australia,” PN flag officer-in-command Vice Admiral Jesus C. Millan said in a message to the Philippines News Agency on Sunday.

Millan said that the LCHs will be christened upon their arrival in the Philippine by last week July or early August.

The two ships will be named BRP Ivatan (AT-298) and BRP Batak (AT-299).

They will be joining the five other landing craft units in PN service.

“The two LCHs will be named after indigenous tribes as we follow the PN policy in naming (landing craft) vessels. The Ivatan are from Batanes and the Batak are from Northern Palawan,” the PN chief added.

Last June 29, a group of PN personnel was dispatched to Cairns, Australia to act as the LCHs sailing and logistics crew.

The two donated LCHs are formerly named the HMAS Tarakan and HMAS Brunei in the Royal Australian Navy service.

The ships were decommissioned from Australian service at a ceremony in Cairns last Nov. 19, 2014.

LCH is an extremely versatile vessel capable of moving large amounts of cargo, personnel and equipment from larger ships to shore.

A very shallow draft (two meters) allows these ships to deliver personnel and equipment to areas otherwise unreachable, especially during humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) operations.

It is an all-welded twin-screw vessel, able to transship cargo and supplies from ships lying offshore to water terminals or across the beach.

Maximum cargo load is governed by the load-fuel balance and varies between 140 and 180 tons.

A typical load of 175 tons gives the LCHs a range of 1,300 nautical miles, increasing to 2,280 nautical miles for a load of 150 tons.

Up to five shipping containers with HADR supplies and equipment can also be embarked.

LCHs have a draft of two meters, length of 44.5 meters, beam of 10.1 meters and displacement of 364 tons.

It has a speed to 10 to 13 knots and a range of 3,000 nautical miles and a crew of 15. (PNA)

http://tankler.com/two-ships-from-australia-to-be-commissioned-on-july-23/

– See more at: http://www.zambotimes.com/archives/news/91808-Australian-donated-LCHs-to-be-commissioned-on-July-23.html#sthash.chmVB6WU.dpuf

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2015 5:08 pm 
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Philippine Air Force carries out flight demo of controversial helicopters
Tuesday, July 14, 2015



CAMP AGUINALDO, Quezon City--To prove that there is nothing anomalous in their deals, the Department of National Defense (DND) and the Philippine Air Force (PAF) had carried out flight demonstrations of their newly acquired helicopters.

One of PAF’s latest acquisitions, the refurbished UH-1 helicopters was used during the flight demonstration of the Philippine Air force with the media.

It is included in the controversial 1.2 billion peso deal of the Department of National Defense.

From Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City, chosen media personnel rode in the UH-1 and UH-1H choppers to go to San Mateo Rizal.

The news team first rode in the old UH-1H helicopter on the way to San Mateo; and then tried the refurbished UH-1 helicopter going back to the Camp Aguinaldo. The whole flight took them more than thirty minutes.

Through the flight demonstration, DND and PAF wanted to prove the refurbished UH-1 helicopters are not defective.

There were also allegations that the transaction of DND with the dealer of the helicopters, the US-based company Rice Aircraft Services Incorporated and Eagle Copters was anomalous.

This was denied by the DND.

"There is no truth in everything she said. No one in the dnd officials is involved in the alleged commissions" said DND Under-Secretary Fernando Manalo, Chairman of DND-BAC.

From supposed 21 UH-1 helicopters to be delivered according to the contract, only seven helicopters were delivered and accepted by the Philippine Air Force.

Because of this, the DND partially terminated the contract with the said company in April because of the failure to deliver the 21 refurbished Huey helicopters on time.

Undersecretary Manalo said, rigid inspections and strict procedures were done before accepting delivered helicopters.

"There is a checklist with 200 items which should be looked into first. It undergoes a tedious process before a helicopter is accepted" said Manalo.

The additional air assets will be utilized by the AFP in different missions such as combat operations, humanitarian assistance and disaster response, and not just limited to training operations.

This was the second time that the PAF and DND conducted flight demo of the newly acquired choppers.

The first demo was conducted last March in Villamor Airbase using 2 newly acquired refurbished Huey UH-1D, immediately after the controversy broke out to the media.

DND Secretary Voltair Gazmin himself rode the controversial chopper on the way back to his office to show the media his confidence to the newly acquired air assets .

Read: Philippine Air Force Conducts Media Demonstration of Newly Acquired Huey UH-1D


Media invited to fly with UH-1D: DND acquisition process to be explained
Philippine News Agency - July 13, 2015

Media practitioners covering the Defense beat will be given a chance to see firsthand and fly with one of the controversial UH-ID combat utility helicopters Tuesday, July 14 morning. Seven UH-IDs and two UH-IHs helicopters will be in front of the Camp Aguinaldo Grandstand, Quezon City for the activity.

“It’s an initiative of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) to demonstrate that the recently accepted refurbished UH-1(D) helicopters are all air worthy and mission capable,” said Defense public affair office chief Arsenio Andolong.

The acquisition for the 21 UH-IDs, which is worth Php1.26 billion, have been wracked in controversy after claims of bidding irregularities and the aircraft being defective.

It was partially terminated last March 25 after suppliers Rice Aircraft Services Inc. and Eagle Copters Ltd. failed to deliver the rest of the aircraft.

“In compliance with with Section 88, Rule XXII of the IRR of RA 9184 (Philippine Procurement Law), the contract agreement between the DND/AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) and the Joint Venture of Rice Aircraft Services, Inc. and Eagle Copters Ltd. for the supply and delivery of 21 UH-I helicopters for the PAF with corresponding contract price of Php1,263,000,000 shall be partially terminated for exceeding the ten percent maximum liquidated damages,” the DND order signed by Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said.

Selected media personnel will be flown over in Metro Manila and return to Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon where a press conference will be held on the acquisition process, acceptance process and technical specifications.




Actual flight pics and ceremony c/o MaxDefense FB page


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2015 5:10 pm 
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Latest update on Philippine Navy’s armed AW-109E
Posted on July 17, 2015

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The Philippine Navy (PN)’s two armed AgustaWestland AW-109Es are now undergoing “technical inspection and assessment.”

This includes the airframe and weapon systems.

Weapon systems of the AW-109Es consist of rocket and machine gun mounts which arrived in the second week of May last year.

This procedure is the final part before the aircraft is accepted and commissioned with the Naval Air Group.

The latter will determine whether there are any defects or deficiencies in the AW-109Es.

The last two AW-109E airframes arrived in the Philippines last December.

This is part of the five-helicopter deal, worth Php1.33-billion, signed by the Philippines with AgustaWestland in early 2013.

Three of the AW-109s were delivered and commissioned in Dec. 22, 2013.

The armed versions of the AW-109s will be equipped with machine guns, 20mm cannons and possibly, with air-to-ground rockets.

The AW-109 “Power” helicopter is a three-ton class eight seat helicopter powered by two Pratt and Whitney PW206C engines.

The spacious cabin is designed to be fitted with a number of modular equipment packages for quick and easy conversion between roles.

The aircraft’s safety features include a fully separated fuel system, dual hydraulic boost system, dual electrical systems and redundant lubrication and cooling systems for the main transmission and engines.

The AW-109 has established itself as the world’s best selling light-twin helicopter for maritime missions.

It’s superior speed, capacity and productivity combined with reliability and ease of maintenance make it the most cost effective maritime helicopter in its class.

For shipboard operations, the aircraft has a reinforced-wheeled landing gear and deck mooring points as well as extensive corrosion protection measures.

The ability to operate from small ships in high sea state enables the AW-109 to perform its mission when many other helicopters would be confined to the ship’s hangar.

Over 550 AW-109 “Power” and AW-109 light utility helicopters have been ordered for commercial, parapublic and military applications by customers in almost 50 countries. (PNA)

http://tankler.com/latest-on-philippine-navys-amed-aw-109e/

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2015 5:11 pm 
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STRATEGIC BASES I Plan to station ships and jets in Subic part of AFP upgrade
July 17, 2015 by Alvin Santiago in Military, News

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CGEA, Quezon City (DWDD) – The Armed Forces of the Philippines has been planning to station fighter jets and naval ships at Subic Bay, Zambales.

According to Dr. Peter Paul Galvez, Defense Department Spokesperson, the plan was first discussed in 2013 and it is part of the ongoing modernization program to transfer all air units in Sangley Point, Cavite and reduce military air traffic in Clark Air Force Base, Pampanga due to commercial use and decongestion of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay.

Galvez added that it is just logical for the government to use the Subic Bay air facilities for our fighter jets and other aircraft and the nearby deepwater port for naval vessels since the area is well suited for the increasing capabilities of the Philippine Air Force as it already possess a world-class runway which no longer necessitates the construction of an expensive airport.

Subic Bay is also very strategic and our defense forces can easily cover and respond to any threat within the West Philippine Sea. PAS-DND / AES

http://dwdd.com.ph/2015/strategic-bases-i-plan-to-station-ships-and-jets-in-subic-part-of-afp-upgrade/






AFP to station new jets, frigates at Subic Bay
by Reuters
July 17, 2015

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The Philippines will station new fighter jets and two frigates at the former US naval facility in Subic Bay early next year, officials said, the first time the massive installation has functioned as a military base in 23 years.

Using Subic Bay would allow the Philippine air force and navy to respond more effectively to Chinese moves in the disputed South China Sea, security experts said. Subic Bay’s deep-water harbor lies on the western side of Luzon, opposite the South China Sea.

“The value of Subic as a military base was proven by the Americans. Chinese defense planners know that,” said Rommel Banlaoi, a Philippine security expert.

Once one of the biggest US naval facilities in the world, Subic Bay was shut in 1992 after the Senate terminated a bases agreement with Washington at the end of the Cold War.

Manila converted the facility, which was never home to the Philippine military, into an economic zone.

Defense Undersecretary Pio Lorenzo Batino told Reuters the Armed Forces signed an agreement in May with the zone’s operator, the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, to use parts of the installation under a renewable 15-year lease.

US warships have called regularly at Subic Bay since 2000, but only to dock during exercises with the Philippine military or to use its commercial facilities for repairs and resupply.

Officials said once Subic Bay operates as a military base again, the US Navy could have much greater access to it under a year-old agreement that gives US troops broad use of local military facilities, although that deal is on ice after it was challenged before the Supreme Court.

Using Subic would be the latest Philippine military move to combat China’s maritime ambitions.

Besides beefing up security cooperation with the United States, Japan and Vietnam, the military plans to spend $20 billion over the next 13 years to modernize its armed forces, among the weakest in Southeast Asia.

China, which claims nearly all of the South China Sea said it was aware of reports of the arms buildup.

“We hope that the Philippines does more to benefit regional peace and stability,” the defense ministry said in a statement faxed to Reuters.

JET FIGHTERS

Two FA-50 light attack fighters made by Korea Aerospace Industries, the first among a dozen ordered last year, would be based at the former Cubi Naval Station in Subic Bay from early 2016, two Philippine generals told Reuters. The two planes is scheduled to arrive in December.

The full squadron of FA-50s would be based in Subic, as well as the 5th Fighter Wing, which would relocate from a rundown base in northern Luzon, said the generals, who declined to be identified.

Two naval frigates would be stationed at Subic Bay’s Alava Port.

The generals cited proximity to the South China Sea and the ease in making the base operational as reasons for the move.

“There are existing facilities in Subic Bay. We need only to refurbish them,” one officer said.

Since Subic Bay hasn’t functioned as a military base for more than two decades, it was not among eight locations the AFP has said the U.S. military could use under the stalled 2014 defense deal.

The Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) would allow the U.S. military to deploy at Philippine bases for longer periods than under existing accords as well as build barracks and facilities for logistics purposes.

The agreement has been frozen since left-wing politicians challenged its constitutionality last year. The Supreme Court is expected to issue a ruling in the coming months.

“(Subic) could be one of the locations … under the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement,” Batino said.

The Pentagon said there were informal talks about Philippine base locations but that no plans would be implemented until the Supreme Court issues a ruling.

STRATEGIC SHOAL

Security experts noted that Subic Bay is only 145 nautical miles (270 km) from Scarborough Shoal, which China seized from Manila in 2012 after a three-month standoff with the Philippine navy.

The disputed Spratly islands, where China is building seven man-made islands, some with military facilities, lie further to the southwest of the shoal.

China might one day also turn Scarborough Shoal into an artificial island, which could make it harder for the Philippines to protect its 200-nautical mile (370 km) exclusive economic zone off Luzon, said Patrick Cronin, a regional expert at the Center for a New American Security in Washington.

“New Korean-built light fighter aircraft could reach Scarborough Shoal in just minutes, and maritime patrol aircraft or drones could eventually provide persistent coverage of Chinese movements in the area,” Cronin said.

“A return to Subic Bay, this time led by the Philippine air force, would seem to be a prudent defensive response.”

CHINA’S TACT

Meanwhile, former national security adviser and ex-Rep. Roilo Golez said China may likely attempt to influence the outcome of next year’s presidential elections to guarantee the victory of an ally in Malacañang to further solidify its claim over contested areas in the West Philippine Sea (WPS).

Golez said there is a strong likelihood that China, which has refused to talk to the Aquino government over the WPS issue, will take the same tact it did during the US elections.

“I am worried that if they (Chinese) did it in the US, they might do it also to influence outcome of the Philippine elections. To them, Philippines is a very strategic country that would suit their interest,” he told reporters.

Golez aired this possibility as he chided government for failing to take seriously the warning of security experts on the growing external threat to the country.

He called on Filipinos to stop fence sitting and take a more active stance in supporting the country’s protest against China’s continued incursion on Philippine claimed areas in the WPS.

He said Filipinos can join various protest moves to get world attention against China’s bullying tactics.

Golez, a retired Philippine Navy officer urged citizens to join the 3rd global Day of Protest Against China on July 24 infront of the Chinese Embassy Consular offices in Makati City.

National Security Adviser (NSA) Cesar Garcia told a Senate hearing that the territorial dispute in the WPS is now the country’s biggest security concern. But instead of beefing up its external security defenses, Golez said officials made questionable purchases using the AFP modernization budget. (With a report from Ben R. Rosario)

Read more at http://www.mb.com.ph/afp-to-station-new-jets-frigates-at-subic-bay/#Yi5BTZkc7XzqpcyO.99

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2015 5:12 pm 
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F/A-50 December deliveries on schedule --DND official

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Deliveries of the two South Korean-made F/A-50 "Fighting Eagle" jet aircraft will proceed as scheduled in December, this year.

This was confirmed by Defense Undersecretary for Finance, Modernization and Materiel Fernando Manalo in an interview with the PNA on Tuesday.

"It is on schedule for December," he said.

The DND official added that it is very probable that the F/A-50s will be put on aerial display on the 80th anniversary of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) this coming December.

Manalo also disclosed that a team from Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) will be flying to the Philippines by September to discuss delivery details for the two F/A-50s.

The Philippines has signed a P18.9-billion contract with KAI for 12 F/A-50s.

The Philippines' F/A-50 took its maiden flight in South Korea last June 19.


The 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 F/A-50 design is largely derived from the F-16 "Fighting Falcon" and both have many similarities: use of a single engine, speed, size, cost, and the range of weapons.

KAI's previous engineering experience in license-producing the KF-16 was a starting point for the development of the F/A-50.

The aircraft can carry two pilots in tandem seating. 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 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 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 Korean Aerospace Industries.

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

Its engine produces a maximum of 78.7 kN (17,700 lbf) of thrust with afterburner. (PNA)

http://ptvnews.ph/bottom-news-life2/11-11-nation-submenu/46078-f-a-50-december-deliveries-on-schedule-dnd-official

- See more at: http://ptvnews.ph/bottom-news-life2/11-11-nation-submenu/46078-f-a-50-december-deliveries-on-schedule-dnd-official#sthash.2UUBnuYr.dpuf

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