PHL Navy to conduct comprehensive test of attack craft missile, machine gun systems

nce weather conditions have improved, the Philippine Navy (PN) will conduct a comprehensive test of the Spike-ER surface-to-surface missile and machine gun systems equipped on three of its newly-activated multi-purpose assault craft (MPACs), Department of National Defense (DND) spokesperson Arsenio Andolong said.

“The test will showcase, test, and affirm the missile-capability of the newly-equipped Boat Attack (BA) Mark III vessels and to inform the general populace and other stakeholders of the PN’s new assets and capabilities,” he added.

The Navy was supposed to test fire its Spike-ER missiles and other MPAC weaponry off Corregidor last July 17, 18, 24 and 26 but inclement weather conditions caused the postponement and rescheduling of the exercise to August.

Aside from the missile-armed boats, the PN will also deploy its AgustaWestland AW-109 attack helicopters which are armed with 2.75-inch rockets and .50 caliber machineguns to showcase the inter-operability of its air and surface assets.

Tentatively, the weapons test will be started by the AW-109 attack helicopters firing its machineguns at designated targets, followed by MPACs firing its guns, followed by another run, using the Spike-ER missiles.

Andolong said that Naval Task Force-Jerusalem was formed to supervise and monitor the above-mentioned exercise. The Spike-ER equipped MPACs are the Navy’s Batch 3 MPACs which was constructed by the Subic-based Propmech Corporation and activated on May 22, 2017.

The Spike-ER system, which arrived in the country last April, is the PN’s first missile weapon capable penetrating 1,000 mm (39 inches) of rolled homogeneous armor and having a range of eight kilometers. PNA