02 Oktober 2016
MPAC based on Lung Teh 15M Multi-Purpose Attack Craft (photo : Lung Teh)
Propmech building missile attack craft
Propmech Corporation, a Philippines company, is helping provide three new Multi-Purpose Attack Craft (MPAC) for the Philippine Navy (PN) under a PHP269 million ($5.56 million) contract awarded on 5 February.
The company declined to share any specifications for the MPAC Mk III boats currently under construction, citing a confidentiality agreement. Nor did Propmech show pictures or scale models of the new type.
However, it is known that Rafael is supplying Spike-ER missiles with an 8km range for the class of three vessels. A 12.7mm machine gun will be integrated into a remote-controlled weapon station, plus two 7.62mm machine guns will be installed.
The three MPAC Mk IIIs are supposed to be handed over in April 2017, but Shephard understands there could be a delay till June due to difficulties in integrating weapons. The Mk III is the first of the MPAC family to carry missiles.
Propmech constructed three examples each of the MPAC Mk I and Mk II. The former is 15m long and the latter 17m. The Mk Is supplied in 2009 are powered by twin Caterpillar C18 engines giving a top speed of 40kts, while the Mk IIs dating from 2012 are propelled by twin C32 engines offering a 45kts top speed.
The Mk Is were constructed by Lung Teh in Taiwan, while the Mk IIs were built by Propmech in the Philippines. Lung Teh is also involved with the current project.
Previously Propmech built a single 51m landing craft utility for the PN, this being delivered in 2011. It also built four 10.7m LCVP landing craft at its Subic Bay shipyard.
The company has also fulfilled other significant government contracts. This includes some 700 boats for the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources. It also supplied 300 6.5m and 5.5m aluminium rescue boats to the Philippine Coast Guard.
Another Propmech project currently under way is an upgrade of one Emilio Jacinto-class corvette in partnership with Saab. (The PN has three of these ex-Peacock-class vessels acquired from the Royal Navy.) A small version of Saab’s 9LV combat management system and EOS electro-optical fire control director are being fitted under a contract awarded at the turn of the year.