Philippines open bidding for ₱18 billion 2 New Frigates; No to Refurbished Italy Maestrale-class frigates as expensive

Lockheed Martin's Multi-Mission Combat Ship family Reportedly being offered is the 118-meter design (middle) (photo from Lockheed Martin website) 

5 Countries joining the bidding, namely:

United States of America (May Showcase their Lockheed Martin's Multi-Mission Combat Ship family, which is where the USN's Freedom-class LCS was based)

 Israel (Sa'ar Israel's Newest Next Generation Frigates to be offered to the Philippines)

Croatia (A newest member to EU effective July 1, 2013 May join with Swedish Manufacturer of Göteborg Class corvettes)

 Australia (Independence-class LCS, to be constructed in Cebu's Austal Philippines A consortium between Austal Australia and Austal Philippines)

 South Korea (Daewo's may offer the DW-3000H frigate and Hyundai Heavy Industries may offer their Incheon-class frigate Designs)

The Department of National Defense (DND) has finally earmarked 18 billion for two brand-new frigates for the Philippine Navy and opened the bidding for the ships aimed to boost military modernization.

"The DND/Armed Forces of the Philippines now invites bids for the acquisition of two units new construction frigates with ammunition for the Philippine Navy," DND Undersecretary for Bids and Awards Committee Fernando Manalo said in the invitation to bid.

As stated in the bidding announcement, the contract for the frigate project includes complete weapons systems.

The bidding will also be conducted through a two-stage competitive bidding procedures using a non-discretionary "pass/fail" criterion as specified in the Republic Act 9184 or otherwise known as the government procurement reform act.

Bidding documents may be purchased starting Thursday (October 3, 2013) worth 75,000. The pre-bid conference will be on October 11 at 10 a.m. at the DND BAC Conference Room, Right Wing Basement of the DND Building at Camp Aguinaldo.

Bidders are required to have delivered a project of similar scale in the last 10 years and will have to turn over the new vessel to the DND within 1,460 calendar days (4 years) from the opening of the letter of credit, or expected delivery by 2017-2018.

The DND said it will hold the pre-bidding conference on October 11, while the first stage of bidding is set on October 25 at the DND Bidding Awards Committee Conference Room, Basement, DND Building, Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

The agency has acquired two second-hand Hamilton-class cutters BRP Gregorio del Pilar (PF-15) and BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PF-16) the past year. While the Del Pilar has started its service under the Navy, the Alcaraz is set to be commissioned this month.

Philippine Navy flag officer-in-charge Vice Admiral Jose Luis Alano has said that five countries have so far expressed interest in joining the bidding namely the US, Israel, Croatia, Australia and South Korea.

DND also said that purchasing brand new vessels are more cost-effective than pushing through with plans to acquire Italy's Maestrale-class frigates.

"We found out that it will be more expensive to maintain second hand vessel(s) than buying a new one," DND undersecretary Fernando Manalo said in a previous report.

The acquisition of the two frigates is part of the 24 projects that the DND plans to acquire through the AFP modernization funds worth 75 billion.

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