10 Februari 2014

MPACs to be Transformed Into 'Harassment Force'

10 Februari 2014


Combat boat with cannon and missile (image : Militaryphotos)

MANILA  — The Philippine Navy (PN) is planning to transform its MPAC (multi-purpose attack craft) squadron into a force capable of harassing foreign ships that may intrude in the country's territorial waters.

The Navy presently operates six MPACs, three of which were obtained from Taiwan and the other three from Filipino shipbuilder Propmech Corporation which is based in Subic Bay, Zambales.

Navy officials said the MPACs are suited for these mission as they could go in, attack or harass the offending vessel and evade quickly.

To create this capability, more heavier weapons and longer range sensors and surveillance will be installed on these 45-knot small craft.

PN MPACs are 16.5 meters long, 4.76 meters wide and has a draft of one meter and a top speed of 45 knots.

Each one costs around P90 million. It has a range 300 nautical miles. The hull is made of high-quality aluminum and is crewed by one officer and four enlisted personnel.

It is capable of carrying 16 fully-equipped troopers or two tons of cargo.

The MPAC is also capable of operating in territorial waters up to "Sea State 3" (slight waves) without any system degradation and is armed with one .50 caliber and two 7.62mm machine guns. 

(Batita)

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