The Philippines Navy (PN) is reportedly set to receive three additional multi-purpose attack craft (MPACs).
Speaking to the Philippine News Agency (PNA), PN spokesperson captain Jonathan Zata stated that the MPACs will be fitted with Rafael Advanced Defense’s Spike extended range (ER) surface-to-surface missile system.
The craft will also feature remotely controlled .50 calibre machine guns and are designed to travel at a speed of up to 45k.
Before accepting delivery of the vessels, the Department of National Defense (DND) Technical Inspection and Acceptance Committee will perform a series of tests and evaluation.
Zata was quoted by PNA as saying: “The three MPACs being constructed are still with the builder and will still undergo the systems integration phase in one of the facilities in Subic. Based from the approved contract, the delivery date is on August 2019.
“The PN Technical Working Group is working closely with the DND to ensure the completion of the project.”
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Following delivery of the MPACs in August, the navy will have a total of six vessels armed with the Israeli-made weapon.
Earlier, PN flag-officer-in-command vice-admiral Robert Empedrad told the news agency that three more Spike-ER armed MPACs would become operational this year.
Empedrad said: “We have another three building, and they are expected to be delivered this year. They will also be armed with the Spike-ER missiles.”
The MPACs will be designated as Mark IV by PN. Construction of the vessels began in November last year.
These three Mark IV vessels are being built by Propmech. The PN’s three Mark III MPACs were activated in May 2017.
In November last year, the navy performed a test firing of the Spike-ER surface-to-surface missile system delivered by Rafael in April 2018.