Aside from Achidatex Nazareth Elite, other participants of the bidding were Serbian company UM-Merkata DOO, MKU Private Limited of India, and Korean conglomerate Kolon Global Corp.
The Approved Budget for the Contract (ABC) for this project is Php 1,763,200,00.00, and the amount submitted by the joint venture was at around Php 1.4 billion. 44,080 body armors were required by the DND, and the Invitation to Bid was issued on February 2013. Delivery was stated by the DND to be 365 days from the opening of Letter of Credit. So far, a formal contract signing between the DND and the joint venture has not yet been made, but it is expected that the initial batch of protection vests will be delivered to the AFP by around 3rd quarter of 2015.
Each Force Protection Equipment (as named by the DND and AFP) is said to weigh between 5.8-6.8 kilograms each, with consideration to the standard body structure of a typical Filipino soldier.
|Achidatex has several bullet proof vest designs in its product line, including the AC-331D design seen above.|
This is actually the second attempt by the DND to bid out the requirement. The first attempt was done last 2012 and the lowest bid was made by UM-Merkata DOO, although they failed the post qualification inspections and according to MaxDefense sources, the PA and PMC also slightly revised the specifications that were used in the latest bidding.
For this specific tender, Korean company Kolon Global Corporation was originally declared the lowest bidder, whose submitted bid amount was at only around Php 894,000,000.00. But they failed the post-bid qualifications after the DND found that the vests offered by Kolon was non-compliant, specifically the ballistic protection plate was shorter than required by the Technical Specifications. Kolon believes their product was compliant as their plate was curved and the DND inspection team measured using a straight line method from end to end of the plate, and no following the length of the arc, thus the measurement was by somewhere between 1 to 2 centimeters. There were concerns from Kolon Global that the DND BAC was favoring certain companies for the project.
|Philippine Army troopers during the Zamboanga City siege of 2013. No helmets, no bullet proof vest. This increases the number of injuries and casualties during firefights.|
Achidatex Nazareth Elite is a company under the DFNS Group, which specializes in protective equipment and services. Achidatex specializes in personal, vehicle, and building protection systems, and produces their own armoring systems although the entire DFNS Group may provide all the necessary ancillary items included in the product.
It is not yet confirmed though on what is the actual participation of the local shipbuilder Colorado Shipyard Corp. with regards to this project. Aside from their affiliate company Philippine Rigid Construction Corp., MaxDefense has not yet confirmed if they have started expanding their business into other businesses aside from shipyard and construction.
Although this project is already late and should have been given one of the top priorities of the AFP Modernization Program, its award to Achidatex represents and important step towards modernizing the basic infantry of the PA and PMC together with the acquisition of new combat boots (which is still pending after the failure of the new locally made Kubar combat boots), more Kevlar helmets, tactical vests and communications equipment, new assault rifles, and heavier infantry weapons.
With this blog entry released, just a few hours later another blogger copied almost the exact content found here. To the blog owner of Project Philippine blogs and moderators of the Modernize the Philippines Facebook page, whom I believe read our entries, have some originality on your work and not just rearrange the paragraphs taken from other sources.
Project Philippines' blog entry on the same topic can be found here:
MaxDefense readers, you decide.