Saturday, April 3, 2021

Frigate Lot 3A - Torpedoes Acquisition Project of the Philippine Navy

With the Philippine Navy procuring new frigates from South Korea's Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), it has now embarked on acquiring the needed ammunition and countermeasures for the ships.

The Philippine Navy has started the Frigate Acquisition Project Lot 3 - Torpedoes and Countermeasures Acquisition Projects, with an earmarked budget of Php1.7 billion.

This resource page would focus on Frigate Lot 3A - Torpedoes Acquisition Project, which is one of the sub-projects of the Lot 3 project.

A torpedo launched from a US Navy destroyer. Photo credits to US Navy.

Project Summary:

Frigate Lot 3A - Torpedo Acquisition Project:

Note: Edited as of 11 April 2021.

* End User: Philippine Navy (Offshore Combat Force)

Quantity: classified


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


* Project ABC:
 Php900,000,000.00


Acquisition Mode: Government-to-Government deal with South Korean Ministry of National Defense.

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


* SARO Release/s: 
SARO-BMB-D-21-0001004 dated 23 March 2021, released 06 April 2021.


* Winning Proponent: LIGNex1 (South Korea) (not yet awarded)


Product for Delivery: TBA


* Contract Price: Php722,262,089.00


* First post by MaxDefense: 31 December 2020


* MaxDefense Searching Hashtag: #PNFrigateLot3ATorpedoAcquisition 


* Status: Project is being undertaken through G2G with South Korean MND. Product of interest is K745 Blue Shark lightweight torpedo from LIGNex1. Funding released on April 2021. No contract has been signed although it is expected to be done before mid 2021.

Overview:

The Jose Rizal-class frigates are equipped with two triple trainable 324mm lightweight anti-submarine torpedo tubes from UK's SEA. , as well as two C-Guard DL-6T chaff dispensers from Denmark's Terma A/S.

The SEA triple torpedo tubes as found on Jose Rizal-class frigates. Photo credits to original source.

The torpedo tubes are meant as the offensive weapon of the frigate against submarines, with three ready to fire tubes located on each side of the frigate. Western frigate designs usually use the lightweight 324mm torpedoes for surface ships, which work as part of the ship's anti-submarine warfare suite.

Among common examples of torpedoes that can be used in this tube caliber are the Franco-Italian EuroTorp MU90 Impact, the American Mark 54 from Raytheon, the Italian WASS A244S, the British Stingray from BAE Systems, and the Korean K745 Blue Shark from LIGNex1.

Most of these torpedoes have a typical range of less than 15 kilometers, and are guided to their targets with a combination of active and passive acoustic homing systems.

The torpedo tubes found on the BRP Jose Rizal.

With a total of Php1,700,000,000.00 as its Approved Budget for Contracting (ABC), the Frigate Lot 3 Acquisition Project was divided into 3 sub-lots: the Lot 3A for Torpedoes with a budget of Php900 million, Lot 3B for Chaffs with a budget of Php350 million, and Lot 3C for Acoustic Decoys with a budget of Php450 million.

Lot 3A for Torpedoes will be acquired through Negotiated Procurement, which MaxDefense believes is with the South Korean Ministry of National Defense (ROK MND). This means that the procurement would be for the K745 Blue Shark torpedoes from LIGNex1, which is the only Korean-made lightweight torpedo model.

The K745 Blue Shark torpedo. Photo credits to LIGNex1 website.



This could be a practical approach for the Philippine Navy, which already has the K745 Blue Shark torpedoes in its inventory, but are actually air-launched variants that arms its AgustaWestland AW159 Wildcat ASW helicopters. These helicopters are to be deployed on the same frigates, which means commonality between the ship and its complementing helicopter's munitions.

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11 April 2021:

The fund for the Frigate Lot 3A - Torpedoes Acquisition Project has been released by the Department of Budget and Management on 06 April 2021, with a total amount of Php722,262,089.00. This is more than Php133 million less than the budget allocated by the Philippine Navy, which means that this is the expected contract cost as offered by the selected proponent.

With the budget out, its only a matter of time for the Department of National Defense (DND) to release the Notice of Award, most likely going to South Korea's LIGNex1, or though the South Korea Trade Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA).

Both frigates appear to not have any other torpedoes as of yet, despite the Philippine Navy reportedly receiving a few US-made Mark 46 torpedoes from South Korea to arm its sole Pohang-class corvette, the BRP Conrado Yap (PS-39).

SARO for Frigate Lot 3A - Torpedoes Acquisition Project, in full amount, released on 06 April 2021. Grabbed from DBM's latest SARO list.

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First edit and release: 03 April 2021
Copyright MaxDefense Philippines / Philippine Defense Resource


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