15 Maret 2016
Saab EOS-500 electro-optical fire control director (photo : Saab)
The Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System (PhilGEPS) recently released a copy of the Notice of Award for the Jacinto-class Patrol Vessel (JCPV) upgrade Phase 3B project. with the project awarded to a joint venture between Filipino company Propmech Corporation, and Swedish defence company SAAB A.B.
To summarize, the JCPV Phase 3B involves the upgrade and rehabilitation of the Oto Melara 76mm Compact naval gun, and upgrade of Electro-Optical Fire Control System and Sensors for a single Jacinto-class patrol vessel.
The Joint Venture
Propmech Corporation has been involved with several Philippine Navy projects for many years now, being the prime contractor for the Multi-Purpose Attack Craft Mks I, II and III; the Tagbanua-class Landing Craft Utility; and several refurbishing or upgrade projects of existing ships of the Philippine Navy including the Tomas Batilo-class patrol gunboats.
SAAB A.B is a new entrant to the AFP Modernization Program, although they have been offering a lot of their products to the Armed Forces of the Philippines for decades now. As a group, they manufacture and supply radars, surveillance subsystems, underwater systems, and fighter aircraft.
Being the winner of the JCPV Phase 3B project, it is still unclear how the 2 companies will divide the work, but based on previous experience we can have some guestimate on what they might possibly do.
Project's Scope of Works
Saab will definitely provide the subsystems and technical know-how for the upgrade of the fire control system and sensors.
Currently, SAAB has in products in its line-up that may suit the needs of the project, specifically the EOS-500 electro-optical director, which is ideal for the Oto Melara 76mm Compact and the MSI Seahawk 25mm naval gun systems. Currently the Jacinto-class patrol vessel utilizes a single Radamec 1500 series EO/IR FCS on top of the bridge, and is used to direct both the 76mm and 25mm guns towards a single target.
SAAB's products are among the best in the industry, and its use in the Philippine Navy would indeed be a leap forward to improve the ship's capability.
It is expected that SAAB won't be using its more capable, heavier, and costlier CEROS 200 fire control radar, which is only effective if the ship will also have semi-active surface-to-air missile systems which is not possible on the JCPV due to size and weight considerations. Combined with the 9LV Gun Control Module, the EOS 500 would be suitable enough for use on the automated gun systems of the ship against surface and aerial targets.
As a joint venture, Propmech-SAAB would probably get a sub-contractor supply the navigation radar system, and for the rehabilitation and upgrade of the Oto Melara 76mm Compact naval gun, which are currently not a trade speciality of both companies. Saab does not have a navigation radar in its product line, and it is unlikely that they will use their more expensive 3D surveillance radar systems like the Sea Giraffe family for this project.
There are no further information yet on what ship will be undertaking the JCPV Phase 3B based on information from DND or PhilGEPS.