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DND postpones bidding for major ticket items

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of National Defense (DND) has rescheduled the opening of bids for its programmed acquisition of major ticket items for the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Defense Undersecretary Natalio Ecarma III, chairman of the DND Bids and Awards Committee, informed prospective bidders who signified their intentions to provide the Philippine Navy with two anti-submarine helicopters that the submission and opening of bids for the P5.4-billion project has been moved to June 24 at 10 a.m.

The two anti-submarine helicopters would include munitions, mission essentials and instrument landing system.

Once purchased, the two armed anti-submarine helicopters are expected to be deployed on board the BRP Gregorio del Pilar and BRP Ramon Alcaraz.

The Philippine Navy has received delivery of three anti-submarine helicopters that were earlier procured from defense contractor Augusta Westland.

On the other hand, Fernando Manalo, chairman of the DND Special Bids and Awards Committee-1, also announced the first stage bid submission and opening for two long-range patrol aircraft scheduled last June 13 has been moved to July 9, also at 10 a.m.

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The government, under the revised Armed Forces modernization program, has allotted P5.976 million for the purchase of long range patrol aircraft to boost the Philippine Air Force’s patrol capabilities.

At present, the PAF is mainly relying on old Fokkers, Nomads and Islanders for air patrol.

No explanation was given on why the biddings for the major ticket items were postponed.

In a related development, a letter of credit is expected to be opened anytime this month for a squadron of F/A-50 Fighting Eagle that the government is acquiring from South Korea to the tune of P18 billion.

Two F/A-50 fighter trainer jets are expected to be delivered 18 months after the opening of the L/C, with the next two planes to be delivered within a year after the first delivery.

The other eight planes that will complete the 12 units of jet fighters to be supplied by the South Korean-based defense manufacturer will be arriving in the country on a staggered basis within a period of eight months.

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