PH Navy now capable of handling modern missile systems

By Priam Nepomuceno

November 21, 2018, 9:34 am

<p><strong>SPIKE-ER MISSILE TEST. </strong>A sample of the Israeli-made Spike-ER missile arming the Philippine Navy's multi-purpose attack craft (MPAC). <em>(Photo by Priam F. Nepomuceno)</em></p>

SPIKE-ER MISSILE TEST. A sample of the Israeli-made Spike-ER missile arming the Philippine Navy's multi-purpose attack craft (MPAC). (Photo by Priam F. Nepomuceno)

MANILA -- The Philippine Navy's (PN) capability demonstration for its newly-installed Rafael Advanced Defense Ltd. Spike-ER (extended range) surface-to-surface missile system off Lamao Point, Limay, Bataan on Wednesday will show that it is more than capable of handling and using the modern weapon.

This was what Navy spokesperson, Commander Jonathan Zata, said in an interview with reporters Tuesday.

"Now that we own the missile system, we are showing to the Secretary of National Defense (Delfin Lorenzana) that number one, the equipment was brought for our modernization and number two, your Navy is more than capable of handling this new weapon system," he added when asked on the significance of the event.

Aside from firing two Spike-ER rounds, Zata said a PN attack helicopter, the brand-new AugustaWestland AW-109, will be firing its rockets along with the automatic machine gun system also arming the Navy's three missile-equipped multi-purpose attack craft (MPAC).

"We are going to demonstrate the newest capability of the PN, kasi (because) apart from the Spike-ER, yung (our) 2.75-inch rockets na naka-arm dun sa (which is armed with the) AW-109 as well yung (the) automatic machine gun system na naka-mount dun sa (which is mounted on our) MPAC will also be demonstrated, so it's a way for us of showing that number we have these capabilities," he added.

With these, the PN spokesperson said that they are now finalizing doctrines, tactics, techniques and procedures in properly employing the weapon platforms.

Zata earlier bared that two missiles, coming from two different MPACs, will be fired at two targets while the AW-109 attack helicopter will be firing its rockets.

The MPACs will also be firing their machine guns, he added.

Zata noted that Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana will witness the capability demonstration.

The first test-firing of the Spike-ER missile took place last Aug. 9 in the same location.

The weapon was fired from one of the PN's three Spike-ER armed MPACs.

The MPACs were constructed by the Subic-based Propmech Corporation and activated on May 22, 2017.

The PN MPAC Acquisition Project entered into a contract with Rafael, through SIBAT of Israel Ministry of Defense, for the supply and integration of the weapons systems to three Mark III MPACs. On April 15, 2017, Lorenzana approved the Notice to Proceed.

The Spike-ER system, which arrived in the country last April, is the PN's first missile weapon capable of penetrating 1,000-mm (39 inches) of rolled homogeneous armor and has a range of eight kilometers. (PNA)