Following the successful test-firing of the Rafael Advanced Defense Ltd. Spike-ER (extended range) surface-to-surface missiles off Lamao Point, Limay, Bataan last Aug. 9, these weapons are now formally accepted in Philippine Navy (PN) service.
This was disclosed by Navy spokesperson, Commodore Jonathan Zata, Monday when asked if the missiles are now officially accepted by the PN.
“Yes it is. The SAT (Sea Acceptance Trials) made sure that it passed the stringent parameters set up under the agreed contract between the DND (Department of National Defense) and the proponent,” he added.
The Spike-ER was fired from one of the PN’s three Spike-ER armed multi-purpose assault craft (MPACs) and successfully hit a floating target six kilometers away.
The MPACs were constructed by the Subic-based Propmech Corporation and activated on May 22, 2017.
Also, Zata said another test-firing is schedule with President Rodrigo R. Duterte and members of the media to witness the exercise.
“There is still (another) live demo this time with PPRD. We are still finalizing the schedule so that the media can also witness the same,” he added. Earlier, Zata said the Aug. 9 exercise demonstrated the PN’s capability to engage ships or “surface targets” in naval parlance.
“This provides the Navy a significant capability against surface targets. This is also a milestone as your Navy prepares to acquire more sophisticated and powerful missile and weapons system,” he earlier said.
The PN MPAC Acquisition Project entered into a contract with Rafael, through SIBAT of Israel Ministry of Defense, for the supply and integration of the above-mentioned weapons systems to three Mark III MPACs.
On April 15, 2017, DND Secretary Delfin Lorenzana approved the Notice to Proceed.
The Spike-ER system, which arrived in the country last April, is the PN’s first missile weapon capable of penetrating 1,000 mm (39 inches) of rolled homogeneous armor and having a range of eight kilometers. PNA