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Anglo-Italian firm lone bidder for P3.4-B Air Force project

MANILA, Philippines - An Anglo-Italian firm was the lone bidder for the P3.4-billion project involving the purchase of eight Air Force attack helicopters.

AugustaWestland, a company owned by Italy’s Finmeccanica, was the only one that joined the bidding for the helicopter acquisition project held last Wednesday.

Three other firms bought bid documents for the project but did not participate in the bidding.

The companies that bought bid documents but did not submit offers were Boeing, Eurocopter and MD Helicopters Inc. 

Defense Undersecretary Fernando Manalo told The STAR the bid submitted by AugustaWestland would be subject to discussions by the bids and awards committee.

“While only one company joined the bidding, it doesn’t mean that we will accept the offer outright. It has to undergo the processes,” he said.

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AugustaWestland had supplied the Armed Forces with various air assets. PZL-widnik, an AugustaWestland company, recently completed the delivery of eight Air Force combat utility helicopters worth P2.8 billion.

The government is also acquiring a total of five AW 109 Power helicopters from AugustaWestland for P1.3 billion. 

Three of the five helicopters may be delivered to the Navy in December.

Manalo said they would determine whether AugustaWestland’s offer satisfies certain technical and financial requirements.

The defense department will open AugustaWestland’s bid documents this week to determine whether it had complied with the requirements. 

The bid documents indicate, among other things, the bid price, which is supposed to be within the approved budget of P3.4 billion.

If AugustaWestland satisfies all the requirements set by the bids and awards committee, it will be declared the single calculated responsive bidder.

The company will then undergo the post-qualification phase, where security officials will determine if the bid is responsive to the needs of the Air Force. 

A bidder can only be declared a winner once it is issued a notice of award by the government.

The helicopters must be delivered within 540 calendar days from the opening of the letter of credit, a document that assures the winning bidder that the government will honor its obligations.

A defense department bid bulletin said the attack helicopters should have full night operation capability with complete weapons system and integrated logistics support package.

The helicopters must be capable of performing close air support during day and night and able to navigate safely in bad weather.


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