8 firms interested to join bidding for 21 Hueys
Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - September 6, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Eight firms have expressed interest to join the bidding for the purchase of 21 refurbished UH-1 helicopters for P1.26 billion.

The companies that have brought bid documents for the project were Radom Aviation Systems Ltd., Serpenair Group Inc./Bell Helicopter, St. Aerospace Engineering Pte Ltd., Stone of David Tactical Equipment Company, Overseas Aircraft Support Inc., Aerospace Engineering Group, Philjets Aero Services/Vector Aerospace, and Rice Aircraft Services Inc.

It remains uncertain though if these companies will join the bidding to be held today in Camp Aguinaldo. There have been several instances in the past when a company that purchased bid documents did not submit an offer.

Today’s bidding marks the third time the defense department will bid out the contract for the project, which was meant to boost the capabilities of the Air Force.

The first and second bidding, which were participated in by some of the firms that brought the bid documents, failed.

The first bidding was held last December and was participated in by Defense System/Radom Israel and Rice Aircraft Services, Inc. Both companies, however, failed to meet some requirements.

The second bidding was held last February and only one bidder – US-based Rice Aircraft Services – was declared eligible to submit an offer. Defense officials, however, said Rice had failed to meet some requirements during the post-qualification phase.

Last May, Defense Undersecretary Fernando Manalo told The STAR that the purchase of the 21 helicopters would be done through negotiated procurement. The law permits agencies to resort to a negotiated procurement after two failed biddings.

Defense officials, however, decided to hold a third bidding after the project reportedly drew interests from several aircraft providers.

The 21 UH-1 or Huey helicopters were originally intended to support poll-related duties last May. The procurement has been delayed due to the failed biddings.

Officials said the acquisition of the 21 combat utility helicopters would boost the government’s drive against terrorism and insurgency. The air assets are expected to provide much-needed air mobility to troops involved in internal security operations.

The Air Force made the request for additional Huey helicopters in 2011.

There are about 16 mission-capable Hueys in the Air Force inventory, 51 units short of the ideal number of operational combat utility helicopters.

AEROSPACE ENGINEERING GROUP AIR FORCE BELL HELICOPTER BIDDING CAMP AGUINALDO DEFENSE SYSTEM DEFENSE UNDERSECRETARY FERNANDO MANALO HUEY LAST MAY OVERSEAS AIRCRAFT SUPPORT INC PHILJETS AERO SERVICES
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