Wednesday, December 27, 2017

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 


Philippine Air Force FA-50

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 "Sidewinder" missiles from German manufacturer Diehl Raytheon with a contract price of Php 1,016,734,088. The notice to proceed was issued on August 31st. Department of National Defense Public Affairs Office Chief Arsenio Andolong said that these missiles are going to be "factory fresh".

FA-50PH Flight Simulators

The Department of National Defense also ordered flight simulators for the FA-50PH from its manufacturer, Korean Aerospace Industries. The package will consist of a cockpit system, navigation system, video system, manuals, repair parts and support equipment. The delivery is expected in 2019 and contract price is Php 376 million.

6 Super Tucano's for Close Air Support

Philippine Air Force Super Tucano

Last November the DND awarded Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer Defense and Security for the contract to supply 6 light attach aircraft  with a contract price of Php 4.968 billion. Expected delivery will be on 2019. Aside from close air support missions the aircraft's will also be used in surveillance and counter-insurgency missions.

Philippine Navy

Phillippine Navy SSV


Delivery of second Strategic Sealift Vessel

The Philippine Navy's second amphibious landing dock vessel BRP Davao Del Sur LD-602 arrived in May. Based on the Makassar class ships, the Tarlac-class BRP Davao Del Sur was built by PT PAL Indonesia. Contract price for the 2 ships is Php 4 billion. The Tarlac-class of ships can carry up to 500 troops, 2 landing crafts, 3 helicopters, and 2 rigid-hull inflatable boats. Both 601 and 602 have been used in both humanitarian missions and in support of combat operations.

5 TC-90 Beechcraft surveillance aircraft

Philippine Naval Air Group TC-90

Five refurbished TC-90's was donated to the Philippine Navy after bilateral talks with the Japanese Government during the sidelines of the ASEAN summit last November. 2 of the TC-90's are already being operated by the Philippine Navy since March and the remaining 3 will be delivered in the first quarter of 2018.

Additional 3 MPAC Mk 3 

Last May the Philippine Navy activated 3 Mk 3 Multi-Purpose Attack Craft into its inventory. The Php 270 million project was undertaken by Propmech Corporation and Taiwan-based Lung Teh Shipbuilding Corporation.

Spike ER Missile System for the MPAC

Israel's Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd will install Spike Missile systems on an undetermined number of the Navy's MPAC. Scheduled to arrive this December but was postponed and rescheduled for delivery this coming January 2018. The delivery was postponed due to the unavailability of transport assets from the Philippine Air Force as it was focused on humanitarian missions ferrying relief supplies to typhoon affected areas in Visayas and Mindanao.

[UPDATE: added on December 31, 2017] 

The MPAC (Lot 2) Weapons System and Missiles Acquisition Project worth P594,319,550.

According to Defense Update, the Rafael Advanced Defense Systems will make each Remote Weapon System (RWS) operate 12.7 heavy machine guns also and mount Spike-ER launchers. This will extend the boat’s firepower to more than 8 kilometers. These acquisitions are significant because, for the Spike ER, it will be the very first missile system ever to officially enter service with our PN ships.

The new MPAC 3 armed with 4 canister Spike missile launcher and Mini typhoon RCWS.

The report said three Mini Typhoon remotely controlled stabilized gun mounts to arm the MPAC MKIII of the PN. Each will contain 2,000 rounds for 12.7mm, 4,000 rounds for 7.62mm ammunition, and 10 surface-to-surface missile canisters. (source - AsianMilDef)

Aerostat Radar from the US

The United States donated a Tethered Aerostat Radar System (TARS) to the Philippine Navy last August with the purpose of enhancing the Navy's maritime surveillance.

Philippine Army and Philippine Marines

12 Elbit Soltam M-71 155mm Howitzers

The Philippine Army and Philippine Marines have each received 6 brand new M-71 155mm howitzers from Elbit Systems of Israel. Estimated contract price is Php 410 million.

KM450 and KM250 military trucks


The Department of National Defense signed a government-to-government contract with Korea for military trucks to be used by the Army and Marines. The signing was held last October with an estimated value of about Php 1.4 billion for the Army contract and Php 313 million for the Marines contract.
1 1/4 ton KM450

The Army contract consist of 227 units 1/2 ton KM250 trucks, 10 units 2 1/2 ton KM250 wreckers, while for the Marines it will consist of 108 1 1/4 ton KM450 trucks.

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