Skip to main content

Php18.9-B FA-50 trainer jet project hangs; DND pitches counter offer to Koreans


The project to procure 12 units of Korean trainer jets worth a total P18.9 billion for the Philippine Air Force continues to hang over issues of downpayment and after-sales service turnaround, but the Department of National Defense, which recommended a counter-offer, remains confident the deal will push through.   

Apparently, sources said, President Benigno Aquino III himself seemed not keen on signing the contract owing to the hurdles that cropped up in DND negotiations with manufacturer Korean Aerospace Incorporation (KAI) for the sale of the 12 FA-50s.

Among the key issues, as identified earlier by Undersecretary Fernando Manalo, is the 52 percent “advance payment” sought by KAI before it starts production. Republic Act 9184 only allows 15-percent advance payment.

Manalo is head for Finance, Munitions, Installations and Materiel of the DND.

The second major issues revolves around KAI’s reluctance to accept the Philippine government’s terms for it to deliver spare parts within 30 to 45 days upon receipt of notice.

“The turnaround time, our standard turnaround time is between 30 and 45 days upon receipt of the notice of the proponent, and that the warranty is still valid. They have to deliver the spare parts so we can immediately replace the defective spare parts. I think the warranty is two years or 600 hours, whichever comes first,” said Manalo. He explained that the dispute stems from KAI’s insistence on a 180-day turnaround, which DND deems too long. 

The issues notwithstanding, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin is optimistic negotiations can still proceed. At Tuesday’s joint DND-Armed Forces New Year Call at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City, Gazmin said the department recommended a counteroffer to KAI, which they are asking Malacanang Palace to clear.

“Nag-submit na kami ng recommendation to the President for his approval…Ang recommendation nito [We submitted our recommendation to the President for his approval. The recommendation] is progressive billing,” he said.

Should the project push through, delivery of the first batch of the units is targeted in 2015. This means delivery will only be completed after President Aquino’s term ends. 

Military insiders earlier expressed doubts over the wisdom of the FA-50 negotiations, saying among others that the jet platform is not what the country needs for territorial defense. “Painfully, the much touted FA-50 Lead-In Fighter has revealed itself to be newly designed short-range trainer aircraft with recent certifications for only very basic weapons; in effect, just enough rhetoric to label it a Lead-In Fighter, as opposed to its true form, an Advanced Jet Trainer with limited weapons,” one source said.

Another source had another track: “As FA-50 negotiations continue and the request for a P10-billion down payment looms, the DND should look towards its counterparts in Brazil, where the Super Tucano is manufactured.  After a long number of years of extensive research, study, and consideration, Brazil has just announced its choice for its next Multi-Role Fighter aircraft,” he said. 

Compared to the Super Tucano, the source added, “the FA-50’s combat capability is disappointing. 

The propeller-driven Super Tucano can travel further, stay on patrol longer, and is a combat-proven aircraft with a myriad of advanced weapons, superior to the weapons of the FA-50.  Although not a Multi-Role Fighter, the Super Tucano’s combat abilities quite embarrass those of the FA-50.” 

Article Source: InterAksyon

Comments

More Philippine Defense News

AFP Modernization 2017: Highlights and Review

The modernization of the Armed Forces of the Philippines was on a roll this year, as we've seen a few big ticket items having completely delivered this year. Game changers as they say, these new assets have proven their capabilities both in combat and humanitarian missions.

Here's a brief on everything what we know about the AFP modernization this 2017.

Philippine Air Force  FA-50PH


The final batch of the FA-50PH Lead-In Fighter Trainers have been successfully delivered by the Korean Aerospace Industries last May. The last batch of 2 arrived on May 31st at Clark Air Base. The contract consist of 12 FA-50's at the price of Php 18.9 billion. AFP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla mentioned on a March 23 article in Inquirer that there are plans to purchase 6 more additional FA-50's if the funding allows it and if the performance is good.

FA-50PH Weapons - AIM-9 Air-to-air Missiles
Aside from the aircraft itself the Department of National Defense also ordered AIM-9

DND wants frigate with 'surface-to-air' missile power

MANILA, Philippines - Defense spokesperson Peter Paul Galvez announced on Friday that one of the frigates to be acquired by the Philippines will have "surface-to-air" capabilities. That is, the ship will have the capability to fire missiles, guided by radar or heat sensors, at airborne targets.
"Aside from this, our latest frigate will have heavier gun armament and other equipment that will make it very effective in patrolling and securing the country's waters," Galvez said in Filipino.
He declined to state the particular country the Philippines will acquire this ship but stressed that acquisition will be done through a government-to-government transaction.
The Philippines has taken on a new sense of urgency to upgrade its naval capabilities as tensions continue to rise around the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea). US President Barack Obama's announced "pivot" for America towards the Pacific has stirred greater naval activity on the p…

2 deliveries in 2018 to beef up Philippine Navy's capability

Two more platforms which will help boost the Philippine Navy (PN)'s capabilities to defend the country's vast maritime domains are expected to be delivered this 2018. This was bared by Defense spokesperson Arsenio Andolong when sought for an update on other deliverable items for the PN this year.
3 MPAC mk3's with Spike ER System This has been discussed already in the AFP Modernization 2017 Highlights article.  

First among the deliverables is the Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd's Spike ER (extended range) missile systems which will be fitted on three of the Navy's brand-new multi-purpose assault craft (MPAC) which was activated last May 22.

The weapons are on anti-ship mode meaning it can engage surface vessel targets and is capable of penetrating 1,000 mm (39 inches) of rolled homogeneous armor and has a maximum range of five miles. And while not giving the exact dates for the delivery of the missiles and its platforms for security purpose, Andolong said the…