MANILA -- If everything goes as planned, the Philippine Navy (PN) will be mounting its first-ever missile system on three brand-new multi-purpose attack craft (MPAC) this Christmas season.
This was confirmed Monday by PN flag-officer-in-command, Vice Admiral Ronald Joseph Mercado, when asked on the delivery and mounting of the Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd's Spike ER (extended range) missile systems on its three MPACs.
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 delivery and fitting out date is within December, the PN chief added.
The three MPACs, with hull number BA-488, BA-489, and BA-490, were activated last May 22.
These MPACs are the Mark III models and considerably more advanced that the six Mark I and IIs currently in the Navy inventory that was constructed by Subic Bay-based Propmech Corporation.
Contract for the three ships are worth PHP270 million which 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. (PNA)