More missiles in the pipeline for PH Navy
The Philippine Navy has more capable and powerful missile weaponry in the pipeline, following the successful integration of Rafael Advanced Defense Ltd.’s Spike-ER (extended range) surface-to-surface missile system into the fleet, said Navy spokesperson Commander Jonathan Zata.
“It (Spike-ER) ushered the Navy and the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) to the missile age and also prepares for the forthcoming acquisition of a more sophisticated and powerful weapons systems and capabilities,” Zata said on Sunday.
Last April, the Spike-ER system arrived in the country and it is the Philippine Navy’s first missile weapon capable of penetrating 1,000-mm (39 inches) of rolled homogeneous armor, with a range of 8 kilometers.
It was first tested in Aug. 9 off Lamao Point in Limay, Bataan and again on Nov. 21.
The weapons were installed and fired by the Philippine Navy’s three Mark III multi-purpose assault craft (MPAC) constructed by Subic-based Propmech Corp.
According to Zata, the Philippine Navy will gain more capability to operate modern naval weaponry with the arrival next year of the Pohang-class frigate donated by the Republic of Korea (ROK).
“The Pohang-class frigate from ROK will also be delivered by next year equipped with a better weapons system that the Navy can already use as it prepares for the delivery of the two purposely-built frigates starting 2020,” he said.
The Pohang-class frigate is equipped with primary and secondary gun systems, sensors and torpedoes for anti-submarine missions as well as sensors for anti-air operations, he added.
Earlier, Zata said the high-speed MPACs can also be utilized against large surface targets intruding into the country’s territorial waters.
This is the essence of the “swarming tactic” developed by the Navy for its MPAC fleet, he said.
In this tactic, large numbers of MPACs will be deployed to engage large surface threats.
“(In the said tactics) numerically superior of fast, agile and missile-equipped MPACs will engage and neutralize targets,” Zata said, adding these can be also optimized for hit-and-run raids if needed.#