BUHAWI. The Filipino-made automated gun mount developed under the Building a Universal Mount for Heavy Barrel Automated Weapon Integration (BUHAWI) project is now being eyed for commercialization. Developing this cost PHP14 million, compared to imported technologies that cost around PHP24 million, Department of Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato de la Peña said. (Image grabbed from DOST MIRDC's Facebook page)

MANILA -- Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Fortunato de la Peña said on Friday they are looking to commercialize the Building a Universal Mount for Heavy Barrel Automated Weapon Integration (BUHAWI).

"(BUHAWI's) research and development (R&D) and prototype development were already finished. Training will be done until October. When it gets commercialized, initial adopters will be the DND (Department of National Defense)," de la Peña told the Philippine News Agency.

BUHAWI is a collaboration project among the DOST, the Philippine Navy, and the Robotics Society of the Philippines.

De la Peña said the automated gun mount can later be exported since it is less expensive than the imported ones.

Imported technologies cost around PHP24 million, while BUHAWI's development only cost PHP14 million, de la Peña said.

Mass producing it would further reduce the cost to PHP12 million.

In the pilot commercialization, the DOST chief said the agency aims to establish manufacturing standard processes for BUHAWI to gear up for its licensing to adopters, and for its mass production.

Mass producing the BUHAWI would result in reduced importation requirements since the country can fabricate parts and components locally.

"Another advantage of utilizing the (Filipino-made) BUHAWI is the opportunity to hone the expertise of both manufacturers and end-users. As a nation that owns the technology, we can drive technology transfer initiatives to best benefit Filipinos," de la Peña said.

He acknowledged that other countries are more experienced in designing remote-controlled weapon stations, and the Philippines has been dependent on the defense technologies developed abroad.

"Pursuing a self-reliant defense posture means that we need to build the capability to produce our own. BUHAWI is a proof that we have that capability. From a wider perspective, BUHAWI is a proof that partnership is crucial to sustaining our remarkable journey toward being self-reliant in the area of local defense," de la Peña said.

He noted that BUHAWI’s operation sequence – surveillance, target detection, identification, and recognition, with tracking and engagement – is a result of rigid R&D.

"Its high hit probability, along with the integration of a technology camera system, and optimization of industry 4.0 technologies such as artificial intelligence, automation, and additive manufacturing, are results of the collaboration of individuals from different fields of expertise," he said.

BUHAWI, de la Peña said, is a testament to the DOST's support to the DND's Self-Reliant Defense Posture (SRDP) program. (PNA)