'BUHAWI': Boosting PH's promise for more jobs through exportation, commercialization of defense products

Published May 23, 2022, 5:37 PM

by Dhel Nazario

More jobs may be generated in the future given the likelihood that the country would be able to commercialize and eventually export defense products thanks to the success of Project Building a Universal Mount for Heavy-Barrel Automated Weapon Integration or BUHAWI from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

DOST Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña leads the ceremonial hand-over of a miniature replica of the Building a Universal Mount for Heavy Barrel Automated Weapon Integration (BUHAWI) to Department of National Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana during the 124th founding anniversary of the Philippine Navy. (Photo courtesy of DOST-STII / MANILA BULLETIN)

DOST Secretary Fortunato T. dela Peña said that this is on top of providing additional savings to the country.

Developed by the scientists and researchers from the DOST-Metals Industry Research and Development Center (MIRDC), BUHAWI is an automated gun mount for heavy barrel Browning 0.50 caliber machine guns. The project is a product of the design and fabrication of the gun mount, as well as the design and development of the control system and integration of the mechanical and control systems of the gun mount.

DOST recently turned over BUHAWI last May 20 to the Philippine Navy, an attached agency under the Department of National Defense (DND). DOST said that this R&D initiative would boost the firepower capabilities of the navy’s small patrol craft in defending the country’s water territories

In his speech, DND Secretary Delfin Lorenzana highlighted how BUHAWI would provide significant support to their Self-Reliant Defense Posture Program (SRDP) which aims to be self-sufficient in basic military requirements by manufacturing our own weapons, small arms and ammunition, tactical communications equipment, basic land vehicles and small sea crafts, among others.

In an informational video, the first sea trial for the BUHAWI project was held on April 04, 2022, within the vicinity of Corregidor Island that proved the project’s functionality, reliability, and doability. (Photo courtesy of DOST-STII)

De la Peña shared that project BUHAWI is aligned with one of the major priorities of the National Harmonized Research and Development Agenda which is R&D in Human Security. He added that the project to strengthen the country’s naval force is vital after the DOST conducted a foresight study through their National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) called Pagtanaw 2050, where the Philippines is considered as a marine and archipelagic nation.

“With this, we will see the crucial roles of the Philippine Navy and private sectors concerned with our marine and seas as all of them will support the drive to make the Philippines a truly developed strong marine archipelagic nation,” said de la Peña.

“This is one of the project’s we have worked on, and I am very glad hearing the positive feedback from the Philippine Navy,” said Sec. de la Peña.

Project BUHAWI is a collaborative project between the DOST through MIRDC, the DND through the Philippine Navy, and the Mechatronics and Robotics Society of the Philippines.

As the implementing agency, the DOST-MIRDC with the funding support from the DOST-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development, spearheaded the first phase of the project in 2019 that included the design and development of the BUHAWI’s mechanical element system.

The second phase was then funded by the Philippines Navy thus enabling the creation of the control system designs including the peripherals, motors, military great cameras, and other requirements.

Dela Peña disclosed that the DOST is now working with the Philippine Army on the project called COBRA or Controller Operated Battle-Ready Armament which will also utilize mechatronics, robotics, and automation technologies in its implementation.

 
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