LEADER: Ms. Mildred M. Fidel
Insurgency and terrorism are the pressing problems that the country faces at present. In trying to overcome this problem the government revitalizes the DND’s SRDP (Department of National Defense’ Self-Reliant Defense Posture) Program a.k.a Self-Reliant Defense Capability Program. The main thrust is to be self-sufficient in basic military requirements by manufacturing our weapons, small arms and ammunitions, tactical communications equipment, basic land vehicles and small sea crafts, among others.
The threats posed by Islamic extremists and communist rebels prompted President Duterte to increase the DND budget to 140 billion pesos to enhance the AFP and PNP’s capability in 2018. Of the amount, P25 billion will be allocated to finance the SRDP Program to fund the purchase of weapons and armaments, among others. He has promised to provide everything the military needs to fight terrorism and insurgency as well as illegal drugs. Accordingly, the government could not achieve its development targets without paying attention to the country’s internal security and public order.
The DND Government Arsenal, mandated by law to manufacture our military requirements on weapons and armaments, has modernization program which is being implemented in four phases.
Phase I focuses on the upgrading of the Arsenal’s antiquated production capabilities, particularly supply of equipment and technology to upgrade existing lines to establish a dedicated line for the manufacture of 5.56mm M193 and SS-109 ammunition. The circular of requirements has been approved. Its implementation is estimated to cost more than half a billion pesos.
Phase 2 aims to provide the Philippines its first local source of military nitrocellulose, the raw material for producing propellant powder.
Phase 3 seeks to establish a capability for in-country production of brass and commercial bronze for ammunition-case manufacture, with incidental capacity to produce coin blanks for the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and other industrial/commercial users.
And, Phase 4 aims to establish an in-country capability for the production of various types of propellant powder for small and medium-caliber ammunition.
FPRDI’s R & D support will focus on Phases 2 and 4 of the DND Arsenal’s modernization plan. FPRDI will develop technologies on propellants and bullet-proof vests using local materials. It will generate appropriate technologies and technical information, products and services to fully utilize our natural resources as source of the country’s defense needs.
The program’s R and D on bullet-proof vests will utilize bamboo and abaca to convert these sustainable and eco-efficient resources as affordable alternatives to imported ballistic vests. On propellants, the project will develop military grade cellulose nitrate powders from abaca pulp and tri-nitro-resorcinol from locally-available sources of phenolic compounds. Finding local substitutes to imported gums and resins as important ingredients of propellants will also be covered in the program.
The significant R & D outputs of the program will be pursued to the piloting of the production process to assess the technical and financial viability, as well as, the environmental and social aspects of the technologies. This component will involve design and fabrication of process equipment and facilities that would meet the targeted outputs in pilot-scale operation, including the commissioning and installation of the said equipment and their accessories.
The success of FPRDI’s program, however, will only be realized when implemented in partnership with DND Government Arsenal.
Develop and transfer technologies on producing military grades propellants and bullet-proof vest from local sources.
- Produce dissolving pulp with high alpha cellulose from abaca.
- Determine the production conditions that are feasible in producing high alpha cellulose from abaca dissolving pulp.
- Develop bullet-proof vests from abaca nano-cellulose and bamboo.
- Design, evaluate and fabricate prototype bullet-proof vests.
- Determine cost of production.