P R E S S R E L E A S E
Office for Public Affairs – Department of National Defense
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Date Released: 26 Nov 2012 Releasing Officer:
Reference No.: 1-3 2012 MARINA M. AGUSTIN
Deputy Chief of Office
Planned acquisition of 21 helicopters aimed to boost PAF capability for 2013
The planned acquisition of 21 refurbished UH-1 Helicopters for the Philippine Air Force (PAF) is aimed to boost the PAF’s air lift capability for the coming 2013 elections and various military operations.
This was revealed by Undersecretary for Finance, Munitions, Installations and Materiel Fernando I. Manalo at the Defense Department today, November 26, 2012.
USec Manalo said that the PAF requested additional helicopters because they are anticipating an increase in air mobility requirements due to election-related flights in various parts of the country. This is in addition to the military operations and missions related to National Development initiatives of the national government.
He further added that the project was already in the pipeline as early as 2011, when then PAF Commanding General, Lt Gen Oscar Rabena, requested Pres. Benigno S. Aquino III for additional UH-1H helicopters. The said helicopters are also urgently required during calamity and disaster operations.
An Acquisition Decision Memorandum (ADM) was issued in March 2012 for the acquisition of 21 refurbished UH-1H Helicopters under negotiated procurement pursuant to Section 53.2 (Emergency Cases) of the implementing rules and regulations of RA 9184, s-2003.
“With the present national security condition, the acquisition of additional combat utility helicopters to augment the existing UH-1H “Huey” fleet is imperative. The PAF’s primary helicopter is the Huey, which falls under the light lift category. Having been the workhorse of AFP tactical operations for many years, the Huey fleet has succumbed to natural attrition due to structural stress and aircraft accidents,” Usec Manalo said.
According to the recent report of the Defense Acquisition System (DAS) assessment team, there are only 16 fully/partial mission-capable Hueys in the PAF inventory. Currently, the PAF is 51 units short of reaching its ideal number of operational Combat Utility Helicopters (CUH).
“The acquisition of CUHs aims to address the capability shortfall on the number of utility helicopters in order for the PAF to efficiently perform their missions. Utility helicopters are deployed all over the Philippines and have proven to be the most effective platform for the internal security operations (ISO) and the Internal Peace and Security Plan (IPSP) campaign,” USec Manalo said.
The Defense Department submitted the request to the Government Policy and Procurement Board (GPPB) for authority to implement through negotiated procurement the said acquisition project last June 2012. However, in September 2012, the DND received the GPPB’s decision for the conduct of Public Bidding for the UH-1H project instead of negotiated procurement, through a resolution dated August 10, 2012.
The bid opening is set on December 4, 2012, with 6 potential bidders having already bought the bid documents, signifying their intention to participate in the bidding process.
To avoid the danger of not being able to fully-support the helicopter lift requirements of the 2013 elections, the PAF has recommended that the delivery time for the 21 UH-1H be not later that February 28, 2013.
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