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Force Protection Equipment (Body Armor and Helmet) Acquisition Project of the Philippine Navy (Marines)


To augment existing inventory of of force protection equipment while also replacing damaged and old units, as well as to keep up with the growing number of manpower and new units, the Philippine Navy on behalf of the Philippine Marine Corps is acquiring additional body armor vests and helmets under the Force Protection Equipment (Body Armor and Helmet) Acquisition Project.

This is a Horizon 2 phase Priority Project under the Revised AFP Modernization Program, and was among those given In-Principle Approval by Pres. Rodrigo Duterte on June 2018.


Philippine Marines during training exercise. The service is in need of new body armor and helmets. Photo credits to DVIDs Hub.
Overview:

The Force Protection Equipment (Body Armor and Helmet) is used in all Territorial Defense, Security, and Stability Operations of the Philippine Marine Corps. There are three identified general physical operational environment in the utilization of the body armor and helmet:

1. Internal Security Operations in Rural Areas: the continuous ISO against terrorist groups concentrated in the country's hinterlands will still be the major operational environment for the Marines.

2. Amphibious Environement: the core competency of the Marines in being amphibious will be another operating environment. These may be seaward coming from land, towards the land coming from the sea, or just in the littoral enviroment.

3. Urban Terrain: Military Operations in Urban Terrian (MOUT) are another aspect being honed by the Marines. The presence of infrastructure and man-made obstacles is another operational environment that could not be disregards.

The FPE should be scalable to allow easy configuration to all the different operational requirements from light configuration to full-body armor configuration.



Project Summary:

Force Protection Equipment (Body Armor & Helmet) Acquisition Project


Note: Edited as of 25 November 2019.


* End User: Philippine Navy (Philippine Marine Corps)

* Quantity: 7,491 units o f Body Armor (Lot 1), 9,528 units of Helmets (Lot 2)


* Modernization Phase: Horizon 2 Phase of RAFPMP


* Project ABC:
 

     Lot 1: Php441,893,560.00
     Lot 2: Php240,734,000.00
     TOTAL : Php682,627,560.00 


Acquisition Mode: Public Bidding

* Source of Funding: GAA Funded


* SARO Release: SARO-BMB-D-20-0000703 dated 11 February 2020 worth Php507,312,686.00 representing 100% of total contract amount 


* Winning Proponent: Marom Dolphin (Israel)


Product for Delivery: TBA


* Contract Price: 
Php507,312,686.00

* Residual: Php175,314,874.00


* First post by MaxDefense: 
June 2019 (see MD's AFP Modernization Program List)


* MaxDefense Searching Hashtag: #PNFPEAcquisition #PMCFPEAcquisition


* Status: Invitation to Bid released on 21 October 2019, with Submission and Opening of Bids scheduled on 12 November 2019. Israel's Marom Dolphin was declared the lowest qualified bidder, passed PQI last December 2019. SARO released on 13 February 2020 covering 100% of total contract price, NOA in favor of Marom Dolphin expected to be released soon.




Lot 1 calls for body armor, and Lot 2 for helmets. Credits to original sources of photos, for reference only.

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U P D A T E S:
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22 October 2019:

The Department of National Defense (DND) has released the bid documents for the Force Protection Equipment Acquisition Project of the Philippine Navy on behalf of the Philippine Marine Corps.

Two separate lots were made with Lot 1 covering the Body Armor, and Lot 2 for the Helmets.

Changes were made compared to the original plans. Previously the Philippine Navy was planning to acquire the same number of body armor and helmets at 8,860 pairs. Now the body armor was reduced to 7,491 units, while increasing the number of helmets to 9,528 units.

So far there are 23 groups that requested for bid documents, although we do not expect all of them to submit a bid.

Pre-bid Conference is scheduled on 29 October 2019 which is expected to clear out queries and clarifications. We expect the queries and replies by the DND  Bids and Awards Committee and Philippine Navy's Technical Working Group for the project coming out via a Supplementary Bid Bulletin before the SOBE date.


Philippine Marines during training. The service needs new sets of body armor and helmets.
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29 October 2019:

Earlier today, the Pre-Bid Conference was held for the project, and it was noted that there at least 12 proponents present in the meeting.

Among those noted present were Source Vagabond from Israeli, MKU Ltd. of India, Mars Armor of Bulgaria, among others.

These are the same companies that have been involved in many Body Armor and Helmet biddings within the AFP major branch services and the Philippine National Police.

According to an industry source, it appears that the technical specifications for the project has a lot of flaws, and many of the companies made their queries which is expected to be replied by the DND-BAC and Philippine Navy TWG in the next few days.


One of the proponents, Source Vagabond, previously displayed their body armor and helmet in ADAS 2016, as seen above. Photo exclusively shared to MaxDefense by one of our source.

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10 November 2019:
Pre-Bidding updates have been made available by the Department of National Defense regarding this project.

Deliveries of the 1st tranche is now moved to 180 days from issuance of Notice to Proceed (NTP), up from 120 days. 2nd tranche was also moved to 240 days from NTP issuance, up from 180 days.


Requirements including winning previous similar contracts was adjusted, and more clarifications were made on documentation requirements.

The technical specs of the body armor and helmets were also amended, with the specs now more specific especially on the inclusions based on the maximum allowed weight, and inclusions based on the scalability.


Queries from Source Vagabond Systems Ltd., International Diamond ETH Inc., Marom Dolphin Ltd., and MKU Ltd. were also answered.

MaxDefense won't be very specific on the changes as it involves a lot of items. Instead, we refer our readers to the link from the DND's Supplemental Bid Bulletin.


More can be found on the link to the Supplemental Bid Bulletin HERE

Also, the bid submission date was moved from 12 November 2019 to 14 November 2019..

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25 November 2019:

MaxDefense received confirmation that the DND Bids and Awards Committee has declared Israeli protection equipment manufacturer Marom Dolphin as the lowest qualified bidder for the Force Protection Equipment (Body Armor and Helmet) Acquisition Project.

But apparently there is an issue affecting the project. According to our sources, the DND-BAC chairman has been pressing on Maron Dolphin to immediate conduct the Post Qualification Inspection (PQI) earlier than usual.

This is the same DND-BAC Chairman that MaxDefense mentioned in a post last time as pushing its weight against DND leadership decision on the Philippine Army's Light Tank acquisition project.

Sources mentioned that this DND-BAC Chairman who is also a DND Assistant Secretary is in favor of one of the losing bidders, and pressuring Marom Dolphin to conduct the PQI earlier than planned is a way to put the Israeli company into a possible disqualification, resulting to the favored company to be next in line for PQI inspection and winning the tender.

Let's see if Marom Dolhpin can survive this pressure from the DND-BAC, considering the project is also in a hurry of being implemented and awarded as the year is ending and the risks of having the project funds returned back to the national coffers if unused remains high.



Marom Dolhpin's line of vest and plate carriers, which applies to the Body Armor component of the FPE Project. Photo taken from Marom Dolphin's website.
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18 February 2020:
The SARO for the project amounting to Php517,312,686.00, or 100% of the total contract price was released by the Department of Budget Management (DBM) last 13 February 2020, which means that the Notice of Award (NOA) for the project is expected to be released soon.

MaxDefense received information that Israel's Marom Dolphin is expected to receive the NOA as they have been the lowest bidder for the project, and has passed the Post Qualification Inspection (PQI) conducted last December 2019.

It is still unknown what exact helmet and body armor design would Marom Dolphin supply although it is expected to be similar to those they already supplied to the AFP in the past.


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First edit and release: 22 October 2019
Copyright MaxDefense Philippines / Philippine Defense Resource


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