• DND to acquire P1-B night fighting system

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    THE Department of National Defense (DND) is buying war materiel amounting to P1.116 billion, which, officials said, will enhance the Philippine Army’s night fighting capability.

    In an invitation to bid, the DND said that through the capability upgrade program 2013-2017, it intends to use the P1.1 billion approved budget for the purchase.

    The bids are for 4,464 sets of brand-new “Night Fighting System.”

    The department did not specifically mention what kind of night fighting equipment they intend to buy.

    But Col. Benjamin Hao, Army spokesman, said he believes the items include night vision goggles, infrared aiming devices, night vision monoculars and gadgets that are being mounted on soldiers’ helmets.

    These gadgets, he added, will greatly improve the night fighting capability of the Army.

    “When you say system, it’s a complete package,” Hao pointed out.

    According to the Army spokesman, some Army units, among others the elite Scout Rangers, Special Forces and Light Reaction units already have some night fighting equipment but these are wanting.

    “Part of our vision is to become a world-class Army. So hopefully, we expect to have these [equipment]by 2016,” he said.

    Recently entangled in the allegedly anomalous acquisition of defective UH-1D helicopters, one of which recently crashed in Sarangani province, the DND said the process this time would be conducted through open competitive bidding procedures using a non-discretionary “pass/fail” criterion as specified in the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act.

    Assistant Secretary Ernesto Boac, chairman of the DND’s Bids and Awards Committee, said the goods being offered must be used by the Armed Forces of the country of origin or by the Armed Forces of at least two countries.

    He added that the goods offered must also be from suppliers who are themselves the manufacturers.

    “Delivery of goods is required within a period of 180 calendar days. Bidders should have completed within five years from the date of submission and receipt of bids, a contract similar to the project,” Boac said.

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