Three of the Philippine Navy’s (PN) brand-new multi-purpose attack craft (MPAC) with hull number BA-488, BA-489, and BA-490, that was activated last May 22 will be equipped with its first-ever Israeli made missile system this Christmas season.
In a media interview with PN flag-officer-in-command, Vice Admiral Ronald Joseph Mercado, he said that the deliveries of the Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Spike-ER (extended range) missile systems are on its way and it will be installed on its three MPACs on December.
The weapons are on anti-ship mode or can engage surface vessel targets. It is capable of penetrating 1,000 mm (39 inches) of rolled homogeneous armor and has a maximum range of five miles.
“A pre-delivery inspection is already scheduled. Then an Air Force plane (from the Philippines) will go Israel to transport the missiles to the Philippines, all expenses paid by the proponent,” Mercado said. Tentative fitting out date is within December, the PN chief added.
The three ships with a contract price worth PHP270 million was sourced from the Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Act Trust Fund of 2000.
The contract includes mission essential equipment which includes day/night electronic navigation systems, communication suites, safety-of-life-at-sea, propulsion system and seamanship and ship-handling gears.
These MPACs that was constructed by Subic Bay-based Propmech Corporation are the Mark III models and considerably more advanced than the six Mark I and IIs currently in the Navy inventory.