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Radio Communications Equipment Acquisitions @ Horizon 1 of the Philippine Army

 
The Philippine Army has several acquisition projects for communications radios, in vehicle mounted, manpack, and handheld configurations, as part of the Horizon 1 phase of the Revised AFP Modernization Program covering the years 2013 to 2017.

In this resource page, we divided the program into two: one is for the acquisitions projects under then Horizon 1 phase priority projects, while the second is for the acquisitions made under the 2nd List of Horizon 1 phase, which were from re-aligned funding that was made available at the later part of the Horizon 1 phase.

The Harris (now L3Harris) Falcon III multi-channel manpack radio. Photo credits to Army Recognition.

Overview:

Horizon 1 Phase:

As the Philippine Army started to improve its standard tactical radio communication systems and continue the gains it made up until 2013, it has included two new projects under the Horizon 1 Phase Priority Projects covering years 2013 to 2017.

These are the Radio, High Frequency (HF) 50W Vehicle-Mounted Acquisition Project, and the Radio, 2-5W Handheld Acquisition Project, both of which were classified as C4ISR projects.

The former are to meet requirements for a new vehicle-mounted combat net tactical radio, to be installed on the Philippine Army's command and armored vehicles, with 60 units planned under a budget of Php144,000,000.00. Meanwhile, the latter would be used for different tactical combat units, mostly with special operations, infantry and mechanized infantry units, with 1,446 units planned under a budget of Php430,800,000.00.

Both projects would make use of the existing agreements with the US government, and are to be procured under the US Foreign Military Sales (US FMS) program, with Harris Corporation (now L3Harris Technologies) being the prime contractor.


The Harris Falcon III RF-7800V-V51X (top) and the RF-7800V-HH (above) were ordered by the Philippine Army and were delivered in 2017. Photo credits to L3Harris Technologies.

Based on documents from the Department of National Defense published in 2015, both projects were expected to be delivered to the Philippine Army by June 2015. But both projects were delayed as the implementation of the project including release of payment for the initial payment were only made in early 2016. Also, despite the payment made, the amount was deemed incomplete due to exchange rate fluctuations amounting to US$38,000.00, which was partially settled by taking the amount from FMS balances.|

Deliveries of the Harris RF-7800V Falcon III vehicle-mounted and RF-7800-HH Falcon III handheld radios were made by Harris Corporation in 2017, which were then distributed by the Philippine Army to different units.

The vehicle-mounted radios were installed on the upgraded M113A2 armored personnel carriers and armored mortar carriers of the Mechanized Infantry Division (now Armor Division) in 2017. 

Based on reports, only 1,376 units of handheld radios were delivered, or 80 units less than planned. It remains to be seen if this agreed during the final contract negotiations, or if the quantity changed after the contract was signed.

The RF-7800V-V51X vehicle-mounted radios can be integrated with the RF-7800I intercom system which is used as a communications system within the vehicle. Photo credits to PH Defense News / VJ Defense.


2nd List of Horizon 1 Phase:

In addition to the above acquisitions, the Philippine Army embarked again on acquiring more communications radios, this time under the 2nd List of Horizon 1 phase, which uses the funds originally intended for the cancelled Shore Based Missile System (SBMS) Acquisition Project.

The projects were then called the 5W VHF Handheld Radio Acquisition Project, and the 20W HF/VHF Manpack Radios Acquisition Project, and was submitted by the Philippine Army to the Armed Forces of the Philippines for implementation in 2016.

The Harris RF-7800V-MP Falcon III manpack radio. Photo credits to L3Harris Technologies.

In the original proposal, the Philippine Army requested for funding for 3,689 units of 5W VHF Handheld Radios, and 150 units of 20W HF/VHF Manpack radios. But this was changed later on after balancing the SBMS's original budget that was re-aligned to fund multiple projects.

A Letter of Request was submitted by the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Department of National Defense to the Joint US Military Advisory Group - Philippines (JUSMAG Philippines) on 12 May 2017 requesting for the sale of 3,185 units of 5W VHF Handheld Radios, and 150 units of 20W HF/VHF Manpack Radios.

The request was later on approved by the US government, with a Letter of Acceptance given to the DND/AFP in late 2017. A contract between the DND and Harris Corporation was signed on the 1st quarter of 2018

Both the RF-7800V-MP manpack and the RF-7800V-HH Falcon III handheld radios were delivered to the AFP in July 2019, although it was not confirmed if full delivery was made back then. MaxDefense Philippines sources in the AFP later confirmed that all were delivered as of 4th quarter 2019.

Boxes show Harris handheld radios delivered on July 2019 by a US Air Force C-17A Globemaster III aircraft. Photo credits to the US Embassy in the Philippines.

Project Summaries:

Radio, HF 50W Vehicle-Mounted Acquisition Project

Note: edit as of 04 January 2021


* End User: Philippine Army (Mechanized Infantry Division, now Armor Division)

Quantity: 60 units


* Modernization Phase: Horizon 1 Phase of RAFPMP


* Project ABC: Php144,000,000.00


Acquisition Mode: Negotiated Procurement under US Foreign Military Sales (FMS) Program


* Source of Funding: GAA Funds through AFP Modernization Program Trust Fund


* SARO Release: TBA


* Winning Proponent: Harris Corporation

Product for Delivery: Harris RF-7800V-V51X HF Vehicle-Mounted Radio, with RF-7800I Intercom System.


* Contract Price: No exact figures, but estimated to be >Php144,000,000.00.


* First post by MaxDefense: TBA

* MaxDefense Searching Hashtag: #PARadioHF50WVehicleMountedAcquisition


Status: Originally scheduled for delivery in 2015, but was delayed due to funding issues. Cost exceeded budget due to exchange rate fluctuations between Philippine pesos and US dollar. Delivered in 2017.

x x x x x x x x x x 

Radio, 2-5W Handheld Acquisition Project

Note: edit as of 04 January 2021


* End User: Philippine Army (multiple units)

Quantity: 1,446 units, reduced to 1,376 units


* Modernization Phase: Horizon 1 Phase of RAFPMP


* Project ABC: Php430,800,000.00


Acquisition Mode: Negotiated Procurement under US Foreign Military Sales (FMS) Program


* Source of Funding: GAA Funds through AFP Modernization Program Trust Fund


* SARO Release: TBA


* Winning Proponent: Harris Corporation

Product for Delivery: Harris RF-7800V-HH Handheld Radio with accessories


* Contract Price: No exact figures, but estimated to be >Php430,800,000.00.


* First post by MaxDefense: TBA

* MaxDefense Searching Hashtag: #PARadio5WHandheldAcquisition


Status: Negotiated directly with Harris Corporation through US FMS Program. Cost exceeded budget due to exchange rate fluctuations between Philippine pesos and US dollar. Completely delivered as of 4th quarter 2019.

x x x x x x x x x x 

20W HF/VHF Manpack Radios Acquisition Project

Note: edit as of 04 January 2021


* End User: Philippine Army (multiple units)

Quantity: 150 units


* Modernization Phase: 2nd List of Horizon 1 Phase of RAFPMP


* Project ABC: Php223,536,382.50


Acquisition Mode: Negotiated Procurement under US Foreign Military Sales (FMS) Program


* Source of Funding: GAA Funds through AFP Modernization Program Trust Fund


* SARO Release: TBA


* Winning Proponent: Harris Corporation

Product for Delivery: Harris RF-7800V-MP Manpack Radio with accessories


* Contract Price:  >Php223,536,382.50


* First post by MaxDefense: TBA

* MaxDefense Searching Hashtag/s: #PA20WManpackRadiosAcquisition


Status: Originally scheduled for delivery in 2015, but was delayed due to funding issues. Cost exceeded budget due to exchange rate fluctuations between Philippine pesos and US dollar. Delivered in 2017.

x x x x x x x x x x 

5W VHF Handheld Radios Acquisition Project

Note: edit as of 04 January 2021


* End User: Philippine Army (multiple units)

Quantity: 3,185 units


* Modernization Phase: 2nd List of Horizon 1 Phase of RAFPMP


* Project ABC: Php678,060,383.00


Acquisition Mode: Negotiated Procurement under US Foreign Military Sales (FMS) Program


* Source of Funding: GAA Funds through AFP Modernization Program Trust Fund


* SARO Release: TBA


* Winning Proponent: Harris Corporation

Product for Delivery: Harris RF-7800V-HH Handheld Radio with accessories


* Contract Price:  >Php678,060,383.00


* First post by MaxDefense: TBA

* MaxDefense Searching Hashtag/s: #PA5WHandheldRadiosAcquisition


Status: Originally scheduled for delivery in 2015, but was delayed due to funding issues. Cost exceeded budget due to exchange rate fluctuations between Philippine pesos and US dollar. Delivered in 2017.

===============

With all Harris RF-7800V Falcon III vehicle mounted, manpack and handheld radios already delivered to the Philippine Army, MaxDefense and Philippine Defense Resource officially consider the Radio HF 50W Vehicle Mounted, Radio, 2-5W Handheld, 20W HF/VHF Manpack Radios, and 5W VHF Handheld Radios Acquisition Projects of the Philippine Army as COMPLETED.

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x x x x x x x x x x x 
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First edit and release: 04 January 2021
Copyright MaxDefense Philippines / Philippine Defense Resource

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