The Philippine Navy (PN) has officially christened its first two of the nine fast-attack interdictor craft-missiles (FAIC-Ms) vessels.

The Philippines News agency (PNA) confirmed in a report that the two vessels were christened during a ceremony at PN headquarters in Manila on 6 September.

The FAIC-M boats were named as BRP Nestor Acero (PG-901) and BRP Lolinato To-Ong (PG-902).

PG-901 and PG-902 have been named after two Philippine Marine Corps personnel, private 1st class Nestor Acero and 1st lieutenant Lolinato To-Ong, who also received Medal of Valour for their bravery.

Both ships have been sponsored by Soledad Bacarro.

PN spokesperson commander Benjo Negranza was quoted by PNA as saying: “This acquisition aims to strengthen country’s naval capability in terms of enhancing littoral defence and maritime interdiction operations as it will complement previously acquired 12 multi-purpose attack craft (MPAC) of PN.”

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By GlobalData

Built by Israel Shipyards, the 32m-long FAIC-M ships are armed with remote stabilised weapons, short-range missiles and has rapid intercept capabilities.

The PN is procuring the eight FAIC-M vessels as part of a $175.45m (PHP10bn) project, which was approved in 2019 under the Horizon II list of the revised AFP modernisation programme.

Launched in June last year, the two vessels have recently completed sea trials in Israel to validate the functionalities of its systems.

Negranza added: “These ships could be deployed to patrol and protect our littorals from any possible threats.”

Delivery of the next three FAIC-M vessels is expected to take place from this year.

Meanwhile, construction on remaining four ships is underway at the PN shipyard in Naval Station Pascual Ledesma in Cavite City, Philippines.