The Department of National Defense (DND) has scheduled on Oct. 12 the bid opening for the P4.9-billion contract for six close-air support aircraft.
The procurement is one of 30 multibillion contracts suspended earlier in May pending the go-ahead of President Benigno S. C. Aquino III. These include two navy frigates worth P18 billion, two long-range patrol aircraft worth P5.9 billion, and three air surveillance radars worth P2.68 billion.
The six firms who bought bid documents for the contract are Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd, Korea Aerospace Industries Ltd., European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company-Construcciones Aeronautics SA (EADS-CASA) Airbus Defense and Space, and Israeli defense contractor Elbit systems, and US-based Beechcraft Defense Company and IOMAX USA, Inc.
The bid documents were priced at P75,000, obtainable from the DND’s Special Bids and Awards Committee.
The Philippines has a budget of P85.3 billion for the military’s modernization program, apart from an annual budget from Congress.
The first AFP modernization law, Republic Act No. 7898, was approved in 1995 and was targeted to be implemented in a 15-year period. For the first five years, it had a ceiling budget of P50 billion.
Republic Act No. 10349, enacted three years ago, revised the first modernization law and provided the Armed Forces a P85.3-billion budget to be spread out between 2013 and 2017.
Next year, the Philippine Army is expected to maintain around 189 tactical battalions and 81 reserve battalions. The Philippine Air Force, on the other hand, is aiming to support 140 various types of aircraft in its fleet while the Philippine Navy’s target is to maintain 124 mission-ready marine units and 59 support unit.
The Beechcraft AT-6 Texan II testing the Talon laser-guided rocket system.