Rafael Spike anti ship missile (photo : Lei's George)
Philippine Navy flag-officer-in-command Vice Admiral Ronald Joseph Mercado said the three MPACs are waiting to be fitted with their Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd’s Spike ER (extended range) missile systems which are in anti-ship mode.
“The delivery of the missile system is being worked out because it has to be transported by a military platform, either a military ship or plane. Nevertheless, the Navy is preparing our facility at NASCOM Cavite for the work,” Mercado said in an interview.
He added the Navy is eyeing the use of Philippine Air Force (PAF) Lockheed C-130 “Hercules” cargo plane for the delivery of weapons to the country.
The three MPACs were activated last May 22. A Spike ER is capable of penetrating 1,000 mm (39 inches) of rolled homogeneous armor and has a maximum range of five miles.
These MPACs are Mark III models and are considerably more advanced than the six Mark I and IIs currently in the Philippine Navy inventory and constructed by Subic Bay-based Propmech Corporation.
Contract for the three ships is worth PHP270 million sourced from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Modernization Act Trust Fund of 2000. The contract includes mission essential equipment. Mission essential equipment includes day/night electronic navigation systems, communication suites, safety-of-life-at-sea, propulsion system and seamanship and ship-handling gears.
The contract for the weapons system and missiles is worth PHP594,319,550.