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The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Modernization Act also known as Republic Act No. 7898 was first made into law on February 23, 1995, under the leadership of President Fidel V. Ramos. It was aimed to modernize all branches of the AFP such as the Philippine Air Force, Philippine Navy and the Philippine Army. The law was intended to last for 15 years with an initial budget of 50 billion pesos for the first five years, but the funding was stopped due to the 1997 Asian financial crisis. After the financial crisis, the funding for the AFP modernization was halted and later neglected by successive administrations until the law expired in 2010.[1]

In December 11, 2012, the Republic Act no. 7898 was amended by Republic Act No. 10349 also known as the revised AFP modernization act which extends the modernization program for another 15 years with an initial budget of 75 billion pesos for the first five years in order to continue modernizing all the branches of the AFP. The amended law was made under the leadership of President Benigno Aquino III. This new law is aimed at building a defense system capable of addressing the assessed threats,[2][3] at a time when the Philippines is locked with a sea dispute with China in the contested Spratly Islands along with Taiwan and other southeast Asian nations like Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam.

The revised AFP modernization program is divided into three horizons.[4][5] The first was implemented from 2013 to 2017, the second is from 2018 to 2022, while the third is from 2023 to 2028.

In June 20, 2018, President Rodrigo Duterte approved the Armed Forces modernization program’s shopping list for Horizon 2. The list of projects will be implemented from 2018 to 2022, with a budget of about ₱300 billion, or about US$5.6 billion.[4][5][6]


Modernization programsEdit

The following acquisition programs is in-line with the ongoing AFP modernization program.

Philippine Air ForceEdit

  • The Department of National Defense is working for the immediate delivery of at least 4 of the total 12 FA-50 fighter jets plans to purchase from South Korea. The Department of National Defense has begun negotiations with the Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI) while it is waiting for Malacañang's final approval of the sales agreement. It will be a government-to-government procurement that requires multi-year obligational authority from the Department of Budget and Management. After the confirmation of the sales agreement and the multi-year obligational authority from DBM, the formal negotiations can start and schedule the delivery of at least 4 fighter jets.[7] The government is moving closer to acquiring 12 FA-50 fighter jets for the air force after the defense department’s Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) approved the terms of reference for the project. Once the terms of reference are approved with finality, the defense department could begin negotiations with the aircraft supplier, the state-run Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI). The negotiations are hoped to be finished by August.[8] The negotiations were completed on Feb. 21, 2014. The Department of National Defense Special Bids and Awards Committee approved the offer of Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) in a meeting that was held in Camp Aguinaldo.[9] On Mar. 28, 2014, it was announced by the state arms procurement agency of South Korea that South Korea signed a US$420 million contract Friday to export 12 FA-50 fighter jets built by Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) to the Philippines under a government-to-government deal.[10]
  • The Philippine Air Force has signed a contract for eight AW109 Power light twin helicopters. These aircraft will be used to perform a range of duties including homeland security, armed reconnaissance and close support. Deliveries will start in 2014. The contract also includes initial logistics support and training for aircrew and maintenance personnel.[11] The Department of National Defense (Philippines) stated that the project involved the purchase of eight helicopters with full night operation capability, complete weapons system and integrated logistics support package.[12] Two companies expressed their interest in the bidding process of the eight attack helicopters. Representatives of AgustaWestland and Eurocopter attended the pre-bid conference for the purchase of eight attack helicopters. Other companies including Bell Helicopter, FN Herstal, Elbit Systems and Boeing Company also sent representatives.[13]
  • The Department of National Defense will acquire 3 brand-new Medium Lift Fixed Wing Aircraft and its "initial" Integrated Logistics Support (ILS) for the Air Force with a budget of PHP 5.3 billion.[14] The plan is to acquire Medium Lift Fixed Wing Aircraft that can operate in any environment and will provide organic general support for territorial defense, internal peace and security plan, internal security operations, disaster response and national development.
  • The Department of National Defense will acquire 2 brand-new Light Lift Fixed Wing Aircraft and its Integrated Logistics Support (ILS) for the Air Force with a budget of PHP 814 million.[15] The plan is to acquire Light Lift Fixed Wing Aircraft that can operate in any environment and will provide organic general support for territorial defense, internal peace and security plan, internal security operations, disaster response and national development.
  • The Department of National Defense will also acquire 3 units of Full Motion Flight Simulators and its Integrated Logistics Support (ILS) package with an approved budget of PHP 246,430,000 million.[16] This will allow pilots an almost full sensory experience that can aid in improving flight instruction, enhancing proficiency, minimizing risks associated with emergency procedures training, reducing accidents, filling up downtimes, and saving on aircraft operational and maintenance costs.
  • The Department of National Defense will acquire 21 units of refurbished UH-1 helicopters through public bidding and will include PHP 60 million worth of Integrated Logistics Support (ILS) package.[17] After the failure of the third bidding, the DND has proceeded with the negotiated bidding with the joint venture of Rice Aircraft and Eagle Copter and finally awarded them on December 28, 2013, for a bid price of P1.25 billion for 21 refurbished UH-1 helicopters. Those helicopters should arrive within six months after the awarding.[18]
  • The PAF also eyes for JAS 39, F-16C, F-15E and IAI Kfir Block 60 as one of the next generation fighters.[19] In responding to the Philippine desire for multirole fighters, the United States offered variants of the General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon, and Sweden offered the Saab JAS 39 Gripen.[20][21] After a throughout study and research in 2018, the Department of National Defense prefers the Swedish-made Gripen multi-role supersonic jet fighter for the Philippine Air Force.[22][23]
  • On November 2013, the DND released an invitation to bid for the acquisition of 3 brand new Search and Rescue seaplanes with an Integrated Logistics package (ILS). The DND has allotted 2.67 billion pesos for this project. The pre-bid conference was scheduled at November 15, 2013, while the actual bidding was scheduled at November 29, 2013. The seaplanes being offered should be used by the Armed Forces of the country of origin or by the Armed Forces of at least 2 other countries.[24]
  • On Mar. 17, 2014, it was reported that there are plans to procure an additional eight combat utility helicopters.[25] It was later reported that these helicopters are Bell 412s that will be acquired from Canada. Three of these helicopters will be configured as VIP transports while the remaining five will be used to replace aging Bell 412 helicopters acquired during the Ramos administration.[26] The helicopters will be acquired from the Canadian Commercial Corp. through a government-to-government transaction.[27] It was also reported that the contract will be signed on Mar. 28, 2014.[27]

Philippine ArmyEdit

  • The Philippine Army is expecting delivery of 114 M113A2 armored personnel carriers from the ex-US Army stocks, which are expected to arrive before the end of 2014.[28] These are part of an earlier request by the Philippine government which was approved by the DSCA in 2012.[29] Another batch of 28 M113A2, which includes 14 units to be armed with 76 mm turrets taken from decommissioned FV101 Scorpion tanks and fitted with modern fire control and thermal imaging equipment,[30] 10 M113A2 with a Remote Controlled Weapons system (6 with 12.7mm machine guns, 4 with 25mm autocannons), and 4 armored recovery vehicles.[31] These modifications will be made by Israeli company Elbit Systems Land and C4I before delivery in 2015.[32]
  • The government would also acquire rocket launchers, hand-held radios and night fighting equipment for the Philippine Army.[8]
    • In January 2014, the Philippine Army ordered 400 Airtronic RPG-7s from the United States to replace their obsolete M18 and M67 recoilless rifles. The Airtronic RPG-7 is 60 percent lighter than the recoilless rifles and deliveries are to be completed by the end of the year.[33]
  • The Bids and Awards Committee of the Department of National Defense has declared the United States-based Remington arms company the winning bidder to supply 50,629 pieces of M4 rifles according to the Philippine representative of the company. The bid was for little less than P2-billion. "Remington submitted a total bid price of P1,944,261,591.66, saving government coffers P1,245,365,408.34, based on the total authorized budget of contract of P3,189,627,000". This would place the price for each rifle at around P38,400, or around $960.[34] On 18 March 2014, the Philippine Army confirmed the purchase of 63,000 new-built M4 carbines for P2.4 billion, with the rifles costing P38,402 each. The M4s are part of an effort to replace the Army's Vietnam-era automatic rifles.[35]
  • The Armed Forces of the Philippines will acquire close to P40m ($1m) worth of hand grenades to be used for security operations. A bid bulletin published in The STAR showed that the AFP will acquire 11,364 smoke grenades and 11,460 fragmentation grenades. The government has allotted P19.944m for the smoke grenades and P19.998m for the fragmentation grenades.[36]
  • The government is ordering 44,080 force protection equipment sets, composed of bulletproof vest, plate inserts and soft-ballistic panel, for which the government allotted some P1.76 billion. Each FPE weighs from 5.8 kilograms to 6.8 kg. The BAC expects the winning bidder to deliver 15,000 sets within 120 days of the opening of Letter of Credit. The remaining 29,080 sets will be delivered later.[37]
  • The Philippine government is planning to buy anti-aircraft guided missiles from Israel. The surface-to-air missiles or multiple launch rocket systems were being offered by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. and Israel Military Industries Ltd., both based in Israel. Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin was planning to go to Israel next week to forge an agreement with the prospective suppliers. “If you have an agreement this would hasten the procurement process, say in three to six months you would already have the weapons. The agreement gives you the leeway to access all the information you want know about a particular weapon you want to procure”.[38]
  • The Philippine Army was planning to purchase a number of 155mm self-propelled artillery to bolster the country’s territorial defense capability. The Department of National Defense opened the bidding for 12 units of 155 mm howitzers and 240 rounds of projectiles worth of P438.6 million. The acquisition will boost the existing howitzers in its inventory but were outdated. On 1 April 2014, Israeli company Elbit Systems won the bid and will deliver 12 Soltam ATHOS towed artillery pieces.
  • The Philippine Army has allotted 1.5 million pesos for its development of its 3rd Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). The UAV will be an enhanced version of the Philippine Army's first two drones, the "Raptor" and the "Knight Falcon".[39]
  • It was reported that the Philippine Army is planning to acquire P530 million worth of disaster response equipment that includes 6 units of road rollers, 30 units of dump trucks, 14 units of excavators, 8 units of road graders, and 12 units of dozers.[40]
  • It was reported that the DND plans to acquire a shore-based missile system with a budget of Php 6.5 billion that will be placed under the control and supervision of the Army.[41] On 31 March 2014, it was reported that the SSM System will consist of 12 launchers with its attendant trailers and tracking systems plus the missiles themselves. These shore-to-ship missiles could be fired to hit naval or other sea-based targets.[42]
  • On 31 March 2014, a defense official stated that the Government is considering the acquisition of the Raytheon MIM-23 HAWK (Homing All the Way Killer) surface-to-air missiles (SAM). Made by US defense firm Raytheon Corporation, the HAWK is a medium-range SAM that has a range of about 40 kilometers and can reach targets flying as high as 40,000 feet. It is intended that the Hawk-5, the variant being eyed for purchase, will compliment and protect the shore-to-ship launchers the government also intends to acquire.[42]
  • The Department of National Defense (DND) is looking at the possibility of acquiring some medium tanks with a total of 15 units for its armored division. This was emphasized by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana when asked by the PNA Wednesday on whether the ongoing conflict in densely-packed Marawi City, where Maute Group terrorists converted concrete houses and buildings into fortified fighting positions, necessitates the acquisition of a main battle tank fleet.[43]

Philippine Navy and Marine CorpsEdit

  • The Philippine Navy will be provided with two warships, amphibious assault vehicles (for Marines), naval helicopters, multi-purpose attack craft, and base support facilities.[8]
  • The Philippines is getting two brand-new frigates as part of the modernization program of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.[44] The frigates would add to three refurbished Hamilton-class cutters formerly used by the US Coast Guard that the Philippines acquired and refurbished from its US ally to upgrade its aging navy fleet.
  • The BRP Alcaraz (FF-16) is the Philippine Navy's second Hamilton-class cutter and sister ship of the BRP Gregorio del Pilar (PF-15). The BRP Alcaraz has 14 officers and 74 crew members led by Capt. Ernesto Baldovino. It is capable of conducting patrols for long periods of time and can withstand heavy weather and rough sea conditions. BRP Alcaraz was named after Commodore Ramon Alcaraz, a Philippine Navy officer, who commanded a patrol boat that shot down three Japanese aircraft.[45]
  • BRP Andrés Bonifacio (FF-17) is the third Gregorio del Pilar-class frigate In commission. She is the second ship of the Philippine Navy to be named after Andrés Bonifacio, a Filipino revolutionary leader, regarded as the "Father of the Philippine Revolution" and one of the most influential national heroes of the Philippines.
  • It was also reported that the Philippine Navy is planning further upgrades for its Gregorio del Pilar-class frigates. The upgrades will feature upgrades for navigation, propulsion, communication, surveillance, and weapons systems.[46]
  • Four groups took part in a conference for the bidding of 2 Strategic Sealift Vessels with Integrated Logistics Support (ILS), a PHP4-billion ($93 million) project of the Philippine Navy.[47] The pre-bidding held at the Department of National Defense saw groups such as Navantia of Spain, Daewoo of South Korea, Larsen and Toubro of India, and Austal of Australia each appearing keen to win the supply contracts. It is among the 24 big-ticket items that President Benigno Aquino III wants to accomplish under the five-year military modernization program. The winning bidder is required to deliver the first SSV within 730 calendar days from the opening of the Letter of Credit and the second SSV to be delivered a year later. The delivery of the first SSV is expected to take place in 2015 and the second in 2016 before the term of President Aquino ends. SSVs are multi-role vessels for search and rescue operations that can also be fitted with hospital facilities and a helipad, but the ship’s primary role is to transport a battalion of soldiers with armored vehicles.[48]
  • The Supply and Delivery of CWS Requirements for the Enhancement of Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) Capability and Security of DOE Service Contract Areas of the Philippine Navy was also publicly bid by the DND and AFP.[49] The Raytheon Company won the design and construction of the National Coast Watch Center (NCWC); support integration of data from various agencies into the NCWC; and provide acquisition, installation and training on an automatic identification system as well as radio communications for the Government of the Philippines. The contract was awarded July 2013, and will end July 31, 2015.[50]
  • The Philippine Navy looked forward to the delivery of 3 AgustaWestland AW109 Power naval helicopters. The contract includes initial logistics support and training for aircrew and maintenance personnel. The AW109 Power’s multi-role abilities and high performance will provide the Philippine Navy with an enhanced maritime operational capability.[51] The 3 helicopters arrived on Dec. 8,2013. 2 more AgustaWestland AW109 Power naval helicopters are scheduled to arrive in the first quarter of 2014.
  • The Philippine Marine Corps has a joint purchase with the Philippine Army is for around 44,080 new body armor or force protection equipment,[52] additional 50,000 new rifles based on M16/M4/M4A1/AR-15 platform and 5,500 close combat optics is underway, to replace the older M16A1 still in service on both armed forces branches.[53] composed of basic vest, plate inserts and soft-ballistic panel and weighing between 5.8 kilograms to 6.8 kg.[54][55]
  • In 2011, the Philippine Navy ordered 6 US-made riverine patrol boats. These boats arrived on August 15, 2013.[56]
  • The Philippine Navy announced that it will acquire an anti-submarine helicopter to boost up its naval air group. This is aside from the helicopters ordered from AgustaWestland that will be arriving in 2014. "This is under the Medium Term Capability Development Program (MTCDP 2013-2017)". The anti-submarine helicopter is part of the PN's efforts to build its anti-submarine warfare capability.[57] The bidding for 2 anti-submarine helicopters worth Php5.4 billion will start on April 24, 2014.[58]
  • The Philippine Navy eyes for the submarine, Reports as of May 2011 indicate that the Philippine Navy is eyeing the purchase of its first submarine not later than 2020, although no further details were provided.[59][60] The “Philippine Fleet Desired Force Mix” strategy concept publicly released on May 2012 indicates the requirement of at least 3 submarines for deterrence and undersea warfare to be available by 2020.[61]
  • On March 3, 2013, it was reported by the Philippine News Agency that a South Korean defense manufacturer is now talking with the Department of National Defense regarding its requirements for two brand new frigates. The company is offering the Philippine Navy varieties of the Incheon class frigates.[62] Other countries reported to be offering new frigates are the United States, Israel, Croatia and Australia.[63] In early October, DND announced the invitation to bid for the 2 brand-new frigates with an approved budget of Php18B. The package includes complete weapons system and must be delivered within 1,460 calendar days from the opening of the letter of credit. Pre-bidding is scheduled on October 11 and the first stage of bidding will be on October 25.[64]
  • On 24 October 2016, the contract to supply two brand new general purpose stealth frigates was signed between the Department of National Defense, represented by Defense Sec. Delfin Lorenzana, and Hyundai Heavy Industries, represented by its Senior Vice President Mr. Ki Sun Chung, under the presence of officials from the DND, AFP, PN, HHI, and the South Korean Ambassador to the Philippines. On the same day, HHI released a computer generated image of the frigate in their website, and released information about the dimensions of the ships.
  • On the DND invited bidders for Amphibious Assault Vehicles Acquisition Project of 8 brand-new units of amphibious assault vehicles (AAV) with Integrated Logistics Support (ILS) for the Philippine Navy amounted to Php2.5B. Delivery is required for 850 days from the opening of the letter of credit. This acquisition is part of the PN's MRV/SSV or "Mother Ship" Project which will serve as platform for insertion of troops in beaches in an event of military siege.[65][66] Also, they are interested to purchase a Russian BMP-3F.[67]
  • On February 4, 2014, a Philippine Navy official told that the Navy is going to modernize its current fleet of MPACs, which includes installation of more advanced radar and sensor equipment and possibly of more longer range weaponry such as anti-ship missiles.[68] The DND already opened a public bidding for the companies who will provide remote-weapon systems and missile launchers for the MPACs.[69]
  • On February 7, 2014, the Philippine Navy announced its acquisition of three medium-sized refueling tankers that will boost the Navy's "RAS" or "replenishment at sea" capability.[70] The ships will come from the Philippine National Oil Corporation (PNOC) and will arrive by May, during the Navy's 116th founding anniversary celebration.[70]
  • On August 22, 2018, The Spike-ER missiles system, which arrived in the country last April, the Navy’s first missile weapon capable of penetrating 1,000 mm (39 inches) of rolled homogeneous armor and having a range of eight kilometers, was formally put in service.

See alsoEdit


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  2. ^ "Republic Act No. 10349". The Corpus Juris.
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External linksEdit