Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Why the Philippine Navy Dropped the Maestrale-class?


Many were surprised by the sudden move by the Philippine Department of National Defense (DND) and Philippine Navy (PN) to discontinue negotiations with the Italian government for the possible purchase of two Maestrale-class frigates. The ship’s presence and size will immediately make it the PN’s largest surface combatant, while the technological aspects, although not the most modern in the market, is still miles ahead from what the PN has, and what its organization can handle.


ITS Maestrale, lead ship of the Maestrale-class frigates of the Marina Militare

Let us look at what the Maestrale-class has to offer:

At around 123 meters long and a displacement of well over 3,000 tons, the ship is bigger than the PN’s largest surface combatant the Gregorio del Pilar-class. It is powered by two diesel engines and two LM2500 gas turbine engine in a CODOG configuration for rapid movements (good for hunting and evading submarines). Although the PN has at least 2 years experience with a CODOG-configured ship, the presence of the LM2500 gas turbine is a technological leap on its own. The General Electric LM2500  is one of the world’s most widely used marine gas turbine engine, powering most allied warships and is much modern than the PN-used Pratt & Whitney FT4A-6 gas turbines on the Gregorio del Pilar-class. This powerplant propels the Maestrale-class to a maximum of 33 knots, or at least 3 knots faster than the most modern US Arleigh Burke destroyers and most large surface combatants in the region.

The ship has a wide array of sensors, which include the RAN-10S air & surface search radar, a separate SPS-702 surface search radar and SPS-703 navigation surveillance radar, 3 fire control radars for the guns and missiles, a hull mounted and towed array sonar on Raytheon ASW suit, jammers and signal interceptors for ESM & ECM, a Nixie towed torpedo decoy and SCLAR missile decoys, and a Prairie Mask air bubbler sound suppression system. 
A typical Furuno radar antenna, similar to most radar antennas in PN ships
Compared to the Gregorio del Pilar’s AN/SPS-73 and Furuno FAR-series short range surface search and navigation surveillance radar s and a single Mk.92 gun fire control radar, it’s like comparing durian to apples.


Weapons-wise, the Maestrale-class are armed with four Otomat Teseo anti-ship cruise missiles, an octuple Albatross launcher for 8 Selenia Aspide medium range anti-aircraft missile plus 16 reloads, two twin 40mm guns with DARDO close-in weapons system, a 127mm Otobreda main gun, 2 triple lightweight anti-submarine torpedo tubes for 6 torpedoes, a helideck and fixed hangar for 2 medium ASW helicopters. 

Again, comparing to the Gregorio del Pilar-class which has no missiles, no torpedoes, a 76mm Compact main gun, a 25mm Mk.38 Mod.0 gun and two 20mm Mk.16 guns, a helideck and a telescopic hangar not even enough for a medium sized helicopter. Hands down the Maestrale-class wins.

The ships are offered to the Philippine Navy for almost Php 6 billion each, including refurbishing works “zero timing” (whatever that specifically meant, haven’t heard zero timing a ship in my lifetime) of the ship’s hull and superstructure, gas turbine and diesel engines, and all other items; replacement of worn out and outdated systems; training of crewmen & provision of support teams from Italy (which are said to be joining the ship to the its trip home, and will be staying in the Philippines for several months), and full-load ammunition.

Beside all these, the Italians are willing to spice up the deal by providing freebies in the form of other Italian Navy ships for decommissioning, like the Artigliere-class frigate, Minerva-class corvettes, and Lerici-class minehunters. Italian media confirms this possibility quoting senior Italian officials without saying a specific country for a possible program but looks likely they were talking about the Philippines or a South American country, probably Peru.

So why drop the chance?

The DND said their studies found out that the cheap purchase cost plus maintaining and operating the older ships are much expensive in the long run that buying newer ships plus maintaining and operating them in the long run. That makes sense, but I think even primary schoolchildren knows that too. But just basing it on that reason does not add up. MaxDefense believes that the reason is deep rooted, although there are several other possibilities that we can think of:

1. The problem is not the Maestrale ships themselves, but two other ships far from Italy. I'm talking about the BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PF-16) in South Carolina and BRP Gregorio del Pilar (PF-15) in the Philippines. In our previous blog about the Ramon Alcaraz, MaxDefense believes that the Philippine Navy encountered structural, electrical and mechanical problems in both ships either wear & tear, obsolescence or damage, which may have or will affect their operational capability and readiness, as well as keep the ships to port too often. PF-15 may have only encountered the problems after commissioning, while PF-16 may have found such problems while still on port in Charleston, South Carolina. This might be the basis of DND's statements on costs maintaining & operating older ships.


The BRP Ramon Alcaraz is still in Charleston, North Carolina since May 2012. What could have the PN  found?
2. Another possible reason might be the Maestrales themselves. The ships may be too expensive for their age and the DND wanted some pricing or deal adjustment. Php 6 billion for each ship seems cheap compared to other similar types in the used warship market. But with the limited budget of the DND , it needs to push more for its money. MaxDefense sources indicate that the DND wanted a better package than what the Italians are offering for the same price, especially regarding the air defense suite and replacement of older systems like fire control systems, although no exact details were made available.


Is the Albatross-Aspide anti-aircraft missile system still effective for the PN's requirements?
3. Might there be a better offer made by somebody else? MaxDefense sources said that South Korea's Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) made a very juicy offer when the Maestrale deal was still ongoing. HHI reportedly offered a derivative of the Incheon-class frigate at around Php 9 billion each (incidentally this is the new budget of the PN for a new frigate). Perhaps the DND and PN were enticed to go for new instead of old by adjusting their budget. MaxDefense sources indicate that the additional Php 6 billion allocated for both ships will be taken from other naval projects as well as an additional budget coming from the Office of the President's emergency - discretionary funds or Malampaya Special Account (Fund 151). 



Was the Incheon-class (above) the reason for the change of heart?

4. Then there is the issue regarding training. MaxDefense sources indicate that the ship's technological aspect is too much for the PN to handle, and a comprehensive and continuous training program is being requested by DND & PN with the Italians. The Italians offered a compromised training & support package which has a shorter duration than what the PN requested,  but it seems the DND/PN request was so extensive to the point of temporarily stationing Italian specialists in the Philippines for a year or more. For the Italians to agree require a higher sum, which is not in DND's budget, thus declining the entire deal altogether. So far this is the most logical and clearest reason we found so far, although we're still digging for details until now even if this issue has been closed.


The Maestrale-class' RAN-30X radar (above) is said to be too advanced for  the PN's radar operators, thus requiring more training

5. A political reason is also present. There are MaxDefense sources pointing out that the PN is concerned on the inconsistent political continuity of the Philippines' political system, and although the current Aquino administration is supportive of the armed forces' cause to modernize, the next administration may not. Since the Maestrale purchase is just to bridge the a short to medium term capability gaps, a non-supportive government after Aquino may stall the PN to just the Maestrales. Thus it would be best to make use of the opportunity to get what they really need now just in case the future does not look bright for them.

Coming back to the first reason regarding higher operating and maintenance cost of older ships, the PN may have considered that increase of operating and maintenance budget may not happen should a non-supportive administration takes over in 2016. Having newer ships will lessen the dependency on such budgets, thus keeping the savings on other requirements of the navy.


Philippine President Benigno Simeon "Noynoy" Aquino III (right) with his Korean ex-girlfriend Grace Lee.
Will the next president be as supportive to the armed forces as Aquino? Who knows.

In any way, MaxDefense believes that the DND should not close its doors in getting excess defense articles for the sole reason of saving from more expensive operating & maintenance costs. It has  to consider that used items can still be effective depending on the condition of the item, the cost of the deal, and according to the capacity of the Philippine government to purchase & provide budget. EDA's can also act as force multipliers and quick relievers since they can be made available immediately, and the initial costs will always be lower. It is still the fastest way to get hulls in the water to fulfill the capability gaps especially in the face of territorial disputes in the South China Sea.


Turkey, Mexico, Pakistan, Egypt, Bahrain all bought EDA Oliver Hazard Perry -class frigates. Malaysia, Thailand & Taiwan are also considering them too. Why not the Philippines?
Even more progressive countries still make do with EDA's even if they can afford brand new. Countries like Chile, Mexico, Turkey, Greece, Portugal & Belgium bought used frigates like ex-USN Oliver Hazard Perry-class, ex-RN Type 22 Broadsword-class and ex-Dutch Karel Doorman-class, Jacob van Heemskerck-class & Kortenaer-class frigates. Singapore bought several old ex-Swedish Sjoormen-class and Västergötland-class submarines as their first subs. So it is not entirely impossible for the PN to have used ships in its arsenal if they can still be found cost-effective.


Singapore's Archer-class submarines are former Swedish Navy Vastergotland-class, they are old but are found to be cost-effective.
(photo courtesy of Singapore Ministry of Defence)
Besides the Italians, previous announcements of EDAs on offer are the following: Spain's Descubierta-class corvettes, France's Georges Leygues-class frigates and D'Estienne d'Orves-class corvettes, American Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates, German Type 122 Bremen-class frigates, and South Korean Ulsan-class frigates and Pohang-class corvettes.

With the impending purchase of new frigates, it would be expected that the availability of combat-capable frigates will be pushed back for several years as these new assets will not be available up until around 2016-2017 (if a contract can be signed within 2013). The PN will have to do with its current assets, or will adjust to achieve its requirements in the short-term.

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MaxDefense' suggestion is for the PN to acquire the Maestrale-class frigates as a short-medium term capability gap bridge, without upgrading major systems for now. At less around US$ 35 million each (ship only, no ammunition) plus support/training package, it is still worth the buy. Use Fund 151 and maximize the chance of getting cheap ships while it can. At the same time, acquisition of new frigates must continue to address medium-long term capability requirements. Besides the Maestrale-class. there are also other frigates & corvettes in the used defense articles market worth looking at, as well as support ships like mine countermeasures vessels, amphibious assault ships and replenishment vessels - all these types are needed by the PN someway or another.

53 comments:

  1. What about leasing them or used some barter trade style. It will be less costly or perhaps no cost at all for the navy.

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    Replies
    1. reportedly the Italians are open to a something similar to your proposal, and more. But they prefer cash...they need it more than ever.

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    2. Why didnt the Phil. Navy consider the Pohang or Ulsan class ships being retired by the South Koreans?

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    3. Because the Koreans are not yet retiring their Pohangs and Ulsans before. But some of the Pohangs may soon be available, and the PN is familiar with Korea's plans on them.

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  2. The reason i think is because of no much money for commission so they drop to the fact that Maestrale class is very detterent in terms of commbat capability and imagine for many more years to wait for the new one while the Maestrale Ship can already fill the Gap with in the few months only.

    Politics bureaucracy is the main reason to this. not that maintenance they been convey by the new one so for another couple of years they still can enjoy much more money from tax people out there before the ship can be fully paid while Maestrale Class with in few Month they must pay full cash thats what the dis advantage.

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    Replies
    1. that is something I do not want to talk about, as this is a social-political problem...but who knows?

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    2. Politics...and now they are acquiring 3rd cutter..hayz!

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  3. I think its actually a very sad mix of all of the above... However, what nobody seems to understand (or want to address) is that the Philippine Navy does not have the appropriate Sailor ratings, pipelines to generate those ratings, technical expertise to maintain or sustain modern warships, a coherent budgeting process, logistics support system, base infrastructure... you get the point?

    A brand new modern frigate would be operable for maybe a year or two when the lack of maintenance and infrastructure/supply support would cause it to become a pier queen... I mean where would the homeport be for these ships? Kinda need someplace to park them and care for them... Also all the major weapon and sensor systems would probably never be fully operational... How could they be? What ASW or EW Sailors are there? Can NETC or Fleet training make them? Will Korea or any of these countries train them? They wont do it for free and training packages generally train 1 set of crew... If you know anything about military training and manning issues you know that you must have a sustained training effort over years... Train the trainer concepts are a load of poop. It might work to plug a hole... but not much else.

    Also I personally doubt that the Philippine Navy has enough dedicated budget to pull this New Frigate procurement off... The Mistrale deal's ammo loadout alone was enough to send planners running from the room.

    The hard fact is that a Navy is not born in the span of years, but decades.... It will take a long time to generate the sailors and create the infrastructure to operate a minimally credible Navy here. Sad, but true: The Philippines squandered the 50+ years after WWII that the US handled defense of the Philippines... They did not develop a stand alone force prior to kicking out the US, and with the wolf at the West Philippine Sea door, we see the consequences: lost territory. Japan and Korea made optimum use of the US defense shield... Without constitutional support, Japan has a VERY capable "Navy." Its not too late for the Philippine Navy to build, but the priorities are all fouled up. Concentrate on actually supporting the existing fleet!!! Things like recruitment, training pipelines, personnel management, supply management, budgeting, and serious infrastructure development! Invest in the foundations instead of expensive new platforms destined to waste away from lack of expertise and infrastructure. Just my opinion! But what do I know?!

    I would suggest that discussions here on new frigates should be dialed back to the extremely non-sexy or fun items to blog about (listed above), because without them all this is just wishful texting... Submarines?! Really??

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    1. the submarine part of this blog is not about submarine acquisition itself, rather an example of cost-effectiveness of used defense articles. Singapore was successful in the integration of old Swedish submarines to their armed forces and are reportedly in better condition than the brand new Scorpene-class subs of the Royal Malaysian Navy.

      back to frigates.

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    2. Couldn't agree with you more that human resources, technical and support facilities are equally important as the weapons platform. But what do we do now that the wolf is at the door? Shouldn't we at least get the weapons to defend ourselves? If we can't operate these weapons then hire foreign mercenaries who can. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

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    3. Yes why not!!!!

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    4. To the comment: "The hard fact is that a Navy is not born in the span of years, but decades.... It will take a long time to generate the sailors and create the infrastructure to operate a minimally credible Navy here. Sad, but true: The Philippines squandered the 50+ years after WWII that the US handled defense of the Philippines... They did not develop a stand alone force prior to kicking out the US, and with the wolf at the West Philippine Sea door, we see the consequences: lost territory."
      and adding: "Its not too late for the Philippine Navy to build, but the priorities are all fouled up. Concentrate on actually supporting the existing fleet!!! Things like recruitment, training pipelines, personnel management, supply management, budgeting, and serious infrastructure development! Invest in the foundations instead of expensive new platforms destined to waste away from lack of expertise and infrastructure." Opinion respected.
      Mine is "Useless to cry over spilled milk." whichever direction our Navy would adopt would still take time....TIME, right now that's the most precious word uttered by every single patriotic Filipino. A saying "Rise to the occasion!". You don't have to be Einstein to be able to adapt,considering that there would be technical support experts available, you don't have to know everything right away to function, the best among the crop is how they are chosen..our Navymen that would man our new ships. Right now aside from del Pilar, I believe Humabon is the largest among our current ships, I doubt it if any of our ships can be upgraded to stay a longer period of time at sea for voyage, without compromising the space that would require modern firepower...I mean MODERN as in missiles, advanced radars and counter measures. Security for a growing economy, surely somehow funds for support on the Defense side would continue, I would never under estimate a fighting heart. Submarines? Why not. Just my opinion! But what do I know?!

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    5. "Technical Support would be available." That means they could be on active service or even retired personels. Surely these ex-sailors would be more than happy to revive their old positions with compensation. Something to ponder. But then again, its just my opinion! But what do I know?!

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    6. Although it is true that Navies don't happen overnight, but threats are clearly here at present. In other words, we have to respond and have a Navy overnight. Under normal circumstances, yes, we can afford comprehensive technical training and technical/logistical supports that would take decades perhaps, but that's under normal circumstance. Today, at this present time, our country needs it now and not 10-20 years later but now.

      With the US Navy's plan of putting up equipment in Subic for USN ships services, if it is approved, I think we can make a deal in servicing our ships with them as well if we are not equip to handle Maestrelis or other modern ships that we will acquire very soon. Perhaps we can even train some of our sailors in that support area as well with the planned USN facility in Subic. What do you guys think?

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  4. will lease be possible, as the maes lifes span will be up to 2017 according to informations tghen atleast by then those proposed new frigates will already be available?? just optimistic

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  5. Philippines has a lot of talents of professional bankers, doctors, technologists, engineers from various engineering, science and technology industries locally and abroad worldwide. They are all around the world providing technical and professional services to their host employers and countries in sustaining progressive development and strong economy. The Philippine government and armed forces / military must utilize our own talents to help build capability and capacity not only of PA, PN, PAF but the whole Phil. Armed Forces on infrastructures and resources needed. Decades have gone but still Philippines did not learn how to prioritize strategically to build better defense and security plan since early years of 1970 & 80 in long-term for the whole country. Still it not late for Philippines to focus and take opportunity of the improving economy to give more attention and resources to build and strengthen country's defense and security. Putting D&S in top priority will bring Philippines in short-term in a better position in the AP region while moving forward to long-term plan for stronger and better D&S in the reqion. Philippines should not depend to other country such as Japan, S. Korea and US for defense. When the bullying neighboring country attack any of the islands of the Philippines or the Philippines as a whole it is only the Philippines itself will be the first to response to deter the enemy. And Philippines must always be ready to any intrusion or occupation of any islet or island or illegal crossing of territory within Philippines.

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  6. hi Max, i know its already water under the bridge since Indonesia is already getting them but werent the Nakhoda Ragams seriously considered by our government? these would have gone around the maintenance issues since they are practically brand new (or slightly used). Regarding the obsolesence of the weapons system, Indonesia is reportedly negotiating to replace them.
    I believe when the PN was scouting around for ships in late(?) 2011 this class was still quite available and so maybe you'd know the issues which turned off the evaluation team from these ships. thanks

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  7. i think we should focus on missile defense systems rather than surface fleet which cannot match the Chinese if we could bolster our missile capability we can tip the odds against the enemy and i think its more practical than obtaining second hand ships and weapons..

    -Movement Against Imperialist China

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  8. "“They (Chinese fishermen) have activities there… they are fishing inside our (territory),” Gazmin said when asked about the presence of Chinese vessels in the reef."

    "Last week, a Chinese ship chased a utility boat of Kalayaan Island town with 147 civilians that included the group of town mayor Eugenio Bito-onon."

    http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2013/05/22/944871/china-sends-ships-another-phl-shoal

    "OUR BELOVED OFFICIALS ARE INDEED RIGHT FOR NOT CHOOSING THE MAESTRALES..WE MIGHT END UP SPENDING MORE!!!"

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  9. I really cant understand how can our government still practice maximum restraint, faced with whats developing all over our territory, shouldnt these be a signal to be alarmed and to take action? Isnt this a time they need meet up and plan for immediate and have decisive actions? Scout for available firepowers, that need not have to take long for aquisitions? Missile batteries that we can place to strategic locations that would support our existing ships, if our beloved defense officials would still insist of having brand new frigates. China never relinquished its grip on Tibet, why would they give up the territories theyre trying to occupy, if they will have control of it? What happened to the emergency powers our beloved President posses? Isnt he the one who said Philippines is for the Filipinos? Then why the hell our poor citizens cant even fish within our waters?!!!

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  10. “We have deliberately chosen not to respond to provocative statements or actions, given that we have already chosen the path of a peaceful resolution and of exhausting diplomatic means to do so,”
    -Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte

    In case the government hasnt noticed, China "DON'T" even respect UN's jurisdiction.

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  11. What we need is presence of our ships that are also equipped with water cannons; ships that have at least have 30 days of endurance to stay at sea (at least 80m to increase livability for the crew and provisions) and physically guard our territory.

    http://www.fassmer.de/fileadmin/user_upload/Downloads/Shipbuilding/salesblaetter/SB_43B_OVP_80_Offshore_Patrol_Vessel_Web.pdf is a good example. Argentina or Chile bought five of these for USD 120 million.

    Physical presence in our territories is the key. Even though that "presence" are lightly armed ships.

    Good

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  12. "A defense-industry source quipped: “A small 5 percent commission” translates to nearly a billion pesos, with the price up from P12 to P18 billion, doesn’t it? In contrast, the aborted deal with the Italians would have been totally a government-to-government sale, in which commission from the transaction would have been well nigh impossible."

    http://www.pinoyofwcommunity.com/2013/05/whats-reason-behind-presisdent-aquino.html#.Uad4f9JmiSo

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  13. Why not give the pork barrel of these horrornable tongressmen and tongresswomen to the AFP to modernize their military assets? Also, we should start R and D for the military and built our own proudly Philippine military assets - ships, aircraft, and armaments -- just support from the government is all the AFP wants

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  14. puro drawing tong gobyerno natin.....drawing..hoy President Pnoy, Gazmin at Del Rosario tumahimik na lang kayo..puro kayo drawing at papogi.... mga walang kwenta....

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  15. I so agree that PHYSICAL PRESENCE (no matter how meager) could have really served as our best deterrent for such incursions (well, we know now there's actual occupation and cordoning off [e.g.panatag shoal] of our OWN TERRITORY!!!) by that bullying neighbor or dragon. We abandoned the area. For what reason? Because of the typhoon? (Yeah right!). The typhoon's been long gone now, so where are our ships? It really pains me that we gave them "free pass" literally to do what they are doing now. For I know very well once these structures are fully erected and functional, we could never get the area back.

    Prior to this OCCUPATION (and we as a "sovereign country" are not even manifesting any outrage or physical opposition to it), when we had our lowly coast guard ships in the area, the "tension" got world media attention and so somehow the bullying neighbor's activities were restrained. I really thought we were winning in a sense by actually involving the media and bringing the world's attention to our situation. We may not have the military assets to physically engage them but I know we can always use our smarts. The problem here now is, we are letting them do their thing and all we do is file these "unlimited" diplomatic protests. For crying out loud, our own fisherfolks go hungry and poor because they cannot fish in that rich fishing area.

    Yes, we are poor and incapable of actually defending ourselves (and our government has other concerns to attend to like social problems. we know) but please, please give Filipinos some sort of national pride. At least give sense and meaning to the last lines of our national anthem, "AMING LIGAYA NANG PAG MAY MANG-AAPI, ANG MAMATAY NG DAHIL SAYO!"

    There can be no bully to anyone who doesn't allow himself/herself to be bullied! If we need to sacrifice a navy ship or a soldier's life to drive a point across to this bully then so be it because as Article 2 Sections 3 and 4 of our Constitution state, "...The Armed Forces of the Philippines is the protector of the people and the State. Its goal is to secure the sovereignty of the State and the integrity of the national territory. Section 4. The prime duty of the Government is to serve and protect the people..."

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    1. Oooops wait up.....recent development...sec.gazmin needs to "explain thoroughly" to the chinese ambassador that the activity being undertaken by our armed forces at the ayungin area is not intended for any structural estab lishment but just a simple resupply for our men stationed at the area. WHILE THEIR SHIPS RECENTLY CAME AND PROVIDED PROTECTION FOR THEIR FISHERFOLKS..AND EVEN REMAINED STATIONED AFTER THE FISHERMEN HARVESTED THE RESOURCES FROM THE AREA. "WE WILL FIGHT TO THE LAST SOLDIER!" HOW? YOU CANT EVEN PROVIDE OUR MEN THE MUCH NEEDED SUPPORT ASAP!!!! CAUSE IT WOULD BE CHEAPER?!!!!!
      REMINDING YOU, FREEDOM DONT COME CHEAP!!!!!!!!!!

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  16. Which is why I have often said, if you want a viable Military, Go to RUSSIA. Russia can sell you a good Frigate, Corvette and SSK submarines. They can provide training on the cheap and tailor it.

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    Replies
    1. MY HEART BLEEDS FOR OUR MEN IN UNIFORM NIKKI...SURELY INDEED.

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  17. Let us go for Maestrale as an immediate solution for our naval defense. The Chinese are obviously becoming more aggressive each day. Why wait for the brand new when dependable old hardware are available and can be acquired much faster.

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  18. We all agree that the need for frigates is NOW not later. (We won't have much use for them really when all the disputed reefs/shoals/atolls have already been occupied by this bully 2 to 3 years from now.) Much as I appreciate having the Hamilton class frigates in our navy (giving our navy personnel ships to board on), compared to the Maestrale class, THEY ARE BIG EXPENSIVE SHIPS WITHOUT A PUNCH. Having stripped of their Close In Weapons System (CIWS) and having no Surface-to-Air Missiles (SAMs), Anti-Submarine Missile (ASM) System, no Harpoon (Anti-Ship Missiles) or torpedoes, AND NO AIR SUPPORT, these new purchases will only be big sitting ducks, defenseless and easy targets.

    I would have rather wanted to see these Maestrales in our navy because in the event of an unavoidable conflict, we know they could inflict harm somehow (and perhaps bring a little fear factor) before they eventually get overpowered and go down. Not to mention, they would have been sold intact (w/ complete armaments) and therefore ready to be delivered immediately.

    I doubt very much, that our government would take the risk of bringing these 2 "new" purchases (defenseless as they are) at the forefront of the conflict knowing that no matter their matching size, they don't stand a chance (even get any respect) from the ships that this bully has already deployed in the disputed areas. We would only send 167 officers and men (per ship) to their sorry deaths without even effectively inflicting a little harm to the opposition. The Hamilton class frigates for me was not an effectual and strategic purchase and therefore just a waste of money. Not to mention also that they are only giving majority of our "uninformed" citizens false hopes.

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  19. The term "Zero Timing" refers to bringing the ship's condition to almost brand-new by refurbishing it. Much like bringing down an aircraft frame's flight hours back to zero hence the term "Zero Timing".

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    Replies
    1. Yes, we understand that. But unlike aircraft and land vehicles, ships do not usually undergo "zero timing".

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  20. NOW OTHER COUNTRIES SUCH AS PERU, ARE INTERESTED ON ACQUIRING THE MAESTRALES!!! THANK YOU TO OUR BELOVED DND OFFICIALS FOR A JOB WELL DONE! DONE DEAL!

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  21. AND NOW THEYRE CONSIDERING OF PURCHASING ADDITIONAL HAMILTON CUTTERS ASIDE FROM DEL PILAR AND ALCARAZ! GREAT JOB TO OUR BELOVED OFFICIALS FROM DND!!!!! DONE DEAL!!!! WTF!!!

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  22. Oops don't look now but it seems the dnd officials came to their senses and will finally purchase 2 maestrale frigates after all

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    Replies
    1. There are no plans to get the Maestrales. The news you see all around are from erroneous understanding of what DND's USec. Manalo was saying. He mistakenly used the word "Maestrale" instead of the word "frigate". The same interview already revealed that the PN would probably get a consultant to help create the specifications for the ship before a bidding will take place. So it only shows that there is no definite model or supplier yet for the frigate.

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  23. What the government needs to do now to focus it priority on domestic issues within the country. Get rid of corruption, solve the homeless issue, get its people educated. Use their own people to support their own economy. Then come talk about anything else.

    After WW2, Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore woke up. Vietnam woke up after Vietnam War. Cambodia and Laos woke up recently. Thailand has been quietly improving all these while. Brunei, with their riches, in a world of the own. The whole of SEA is doing something. What is the Philippines doing?

    Enough of Pinoy Pride. Take a humble pill and start to get the nation working. If not, another 100 years, things would still be the same.

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    Replies
    1. Things are starting to make progress now. Programs are taking shapes and some are already in the works. This administration is the "woke up" that you are talking about. How long has it been since an administration rolled up their sleeves and got to work? Not since several decades at least. I think we have come to some maturity here as a nation. Social issues will come to resolve by the people themselves. The coming of social networks and the increase availability of the internet has significantly increase the awareness of many citizens. Words gt out more quickly about wrong doings and good deeds by certain people. This is one key element in making social/internal progress.

      Right now, our focus cannot be solely internal as there are potential threats externally coming from the WP Sea. We cannot neglect that threat especially that we are already facing that threat currently already.

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  24. the country needs a missile-firing boat. people are sick and tired of hearing crap from the DOD. they need to get rid of these chinese pests lurking less than hundred miles from the country. permanent structures erected by these 'crocs' are everywhere and our military had done nothing....

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  25. To our DND officials need speedy action not press released everyday for nothing.make this matter a confidential.our territorial problem with china need a speedy solution.for me the offer of italian government is the best solution right now.

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  26. So when are we going to buy the new frigates and upskill our sailors? when the shooting starts?

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  27. everybody started with out that much knowledge of what they are about to do... they went through trial and error from the design, building and during operation of almost anything... well at least we dont have to go through these process as these maestrales are already proven to be a successful and effective design. are we really sure that the maestrales are too much to handle for ou navy? ganyan na ba talaga tayo ka bobo? the equipment is there, we only need trainig on how to use such equipments and trainors are part od the package...mahirap ba talaga?

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    1. We can also follow that track, of having trial and error, etc. The thing is, this is a costly way to do, and in the end we may end up spending our very limited money just on research. And we're just talking about hulls, which is not exactly the most expensive part of the warship. As for the Maestrale, there is more to it that was not discussed in the blog since the information came in after MaxDefense published the blog topic. But according to MaxDefense sources it's not the Philippine government's fault why they did not push through with a deal with the Italians.

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  28. DND & OFFICIAL humahanap pa ng mas malaking KICKBACK sa purchase.. yun ang dahilan ng paka DELAY ng frigate.
    panahon pa ng hapon hanggang ngayon swapang pa rin ang pinoy

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  29. Corrupt OFFICER's ang abala sa pag bili ng MAESTRALE FRIGATE

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  30. I Fear the next President Of the Philippines come 2016 will not support the AFP Modernization programs only President Noynoy Aquino Is the one and only President who supports the AFP...

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    1. That's why we need to be more sensitive in choosing the next president.. there is only a few senator who support AFP modernization for example loren legarda,trillanes etc. we can't rely on BINAY on this, her daughter already wan't to cancel the FA-50 purchase.. i hope PNOY to be reelect in 1 more term so we can surely modernize the AFP. i didn't trust roxas too. he always think about gaining power in politics than filipino people who need him.. that's why i'm also feared in the 2016..

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    2. What! that is true... tarantado pala itong sanator BINAY na ito, balak kanselahin ang FA-50, hinda pala alam kung gaano kahalaga ang FA-50 na yan. Hoy! hindi mo alam kng anong pamumuhay natin noong nakaran digmaan, Ito lang ang masasabi PROTECT ARE MOTHER LAND...

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  31. I thought they "LEARNED" from the previous 2 ships??? why are they planning to buy "another" cutter??? talking about the maintenance cost...LOL.

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    1. Its not about learning anymore, but about paying for operating the ships. It was thoroughly discussed previously in other MaxDefense blog entries. It would probably be due to the Hamilton-class' acceptable operating costs.

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  32. style ng mga pilipino bulok kaya walang asenso.ang unang inisip pag nasa pwesto na kung paano magnakaw at magpayaman.kahit saang ahensya ng gobyerno maliban lang sa iilan na talagang honest.kung tutuusin at hangad ay para sa bayan saglit lang yan may resulta na kaagad kaso minsan pinapatagal pa yan para magkapera pa.bakit ang n. korea na gutom na gutom nakagawa pa ng mga missiles na kahit ang america ay nagkakaproblema sa kanila.bakit ang pilipinas bibili lang ng barko inaabot ng siyam siyam.hindi pa sila nadala nuong nakaraang digmaan sa dahil wala tayong mga gamit maraming namatay na mga pilipino. di bali sa mga mayaman lalayas lang yan at balik lang pag tapos na ang gulo.dito na sa pilipinas halos ang lahat na kakailanganin upang makagawa tayo ng mga gamit para sa ating mga kawal ngunit wala.sa daming pagawaan ng barko sa pilipinas.hindi man lang tayo makagawa dito. kung tutuusin mas mahirap pa cgurong bumuo ng chemical tanker ship kay sa isang navy ship.ang sa akin lang pagod na kasi ang mga pilipino sa mga palusot na walang kwenta

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  33. President AQUINO!! hahayaan lang ba natin o panunuorin lng na maubos ang west philippine sea na inaalagan natin!! na inuubos na ng mga sinket, gumawa naman tayo ng aksyon bago maubos ang lahat, nakakainis panuurin sa mga balita tungkol dyan sa west philippine sea. paalala lng po ang mga sinket communist country yan may mga sariling batas yan. President AQUINO pakibilisbilasan lng ang pag purchase ng mga FIRE POWER natin lalo na yung mga FRIGATE at ang JET FIGHTER. Puwede naman tayong gumawa ng sariling design na frigate madami naman tayong ship yard. PORTECT ARE MOTHER LAND!!!!! TIGILAN NA YAN PANGUNGURAKOT..

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