- The Philippine Navy has conducted a successful acceptance firing of the Spike ER missile
- Weapon significantly improves the service’s anti-surface warfare capabilities
Representatives from Rafael Defense Systems and the Philippine Navy (PN) have concluded sea acceptance test of the Spike Extended Range (ER) surface-to-surface missile systems from on board the service’s multipurpose attack craft (MPAC).
The test was conducted on 9 August off the peninsula of Bataan, and involved the firing of a single round at a moored seaborne target located about 6 km away, said the PN’s office of public affairs. With the test, the service is now officially equipped with its first-ever anti-surface missile capabilities.
The PN operates a fleet of nine 19-tonne MPACs, which resemble the Swedish Combat Boat 90 design, as part of the service’s Littoral Combat Force Unit. The 16.5 m vessels are each powered by two Caterpillar C32 engines, propelled by Hamilton waterjets, and can attain a top speed of 45 kt.
The latest three vessels in the class, which have been referred to as the MPAC Mk III boats by PN officials, are equipped with Rafael’s Typhoon MLS ER launchers, and Mini Typhoon 12.7 mm remote-controlled weapon systems.
The Typhoon MLS ER launcher incorporates an electro-optical director and fire-control system, and can be operated in either fire-and-forget, fire, observe, and update, or fire-and-steer modes, the last of which allows for missile launches without a pre-locked target.
The system has an effective range of 8 km, and up to four Spike ER missiles can be accommodated on the launcher turret. Besides surface target prosecutions, the Typhoon MLS ER can also be utilised as day-and-night surveillance sensors for routine maritime patrol operations.
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