News: DND gets 2 offers in open bidding for UH-1 choppers

Thu for Fri / Jan 31 for Feb 01, 2013
ritten by: Dennis D. Estopace, Reporter
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OFFERS of an American and an Israeli firm for the purchase of 21 UH-1 helicopters were accepted by the Department of National Defense on Thursday.

The two firms –Israel-based Radom Aviation Systems Ltd. and United States-based Rice Aircraft Services Inc. – submitted bids for the contract worth P1.264 billion (US$31.62 million at US$1=PhP40).

Of seven companies that purchased non-refundable bid documents from the DND, only Radom and Rice submitted offers.

The other firms that did not join the bidding were: Aerospace Engineering Group.; Overseas Aircraft Support Inc.; Serpenair Group Inc. / Bell helicopter; ST Aerospace Engineering PTE. Ltd.; and, Stone of David Tactical Equipment Co.

The opening of bids scheduled 2:00 p.m. Thursday was postponed “for the best interest of the department,” according to Defense Undersecretary Fernando Manalo.

Manalo declined to comment further when pressed by reporters.

But, don’t worry, we will have the helicopters ready for the elections, he added.

A DND document said that the delivery of 13 units of UH-1 and eight units of upgraded UH-1 is required on or before March 31, 2013. The acquisition also requires an integrated logistics support as included in the bid.

DND Secretary Voltaire Gazmin told reporters on Wednesday that the bidding is just the sta
rt of a series of purchases in line with the modernization program of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

It was signaled by the signing of President Aquino of the new modernization act last month, Gazmin said.

“Pumaspas na yung proseso so January up to siguro June or July, puro kontrata na lahat itong [aasikasuhin natin]. Tuloy-tuloy na ito gaya nung helicopter natin.”

Patrick M. Velez, DND Assistant Secretary for Acquisition, Installations and Logistics, said also on Wednesday that the defense department is studying whether to apply a government-to-government negotiation or public bidding on the procurement of AFP assets.

"The default, really, is public bidding. We can go on a G-to-G in certain instances where the equipment is not available."

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