The Philippines Navy conducted an open demonstration of its first surface-to-surface missile capability on 21 November, firing two Rafael Advanced Defence Systems Spike ER (extended range) effectors from a Multipurpose Assault Craft (MPAC) Mk III platform.
The Navy's three current MPAC Mk III platforms are furnished with the Typhoon Missile Launching System equipped with the Spike ER missile (Typhoon MLS-ER) combined with a 12.7 Mini Typhoon remote-controlled weapon station (RCWS) supplied by Rafael under the provisions of USD12 million contract package, including ER missiles, agreed in February 2016.
The Navy's Typhoon MLS-ER successfully engaged two separate targets in sea state level 3-4 conditions during a wider firepower demonstration, which included engagement of targets with the Mini Typhoon RCWS, off Lamao Point, Bataan. The demonstration follows qualification firings of the missile on board the same platform during the Typhoon MLS-ER sea acceptance test (SAT) in August this year. Rafael declined to comment on either firing demonstration.
The Typhoon MLS-ER is a complete naval missile system that includes - in the configuration for the Philippines Navy - four Spike-ER launchers, the 8 km-range Spike-ER electro-optically (EO)-guided missile, and a mast-mounted EO targeting and observation payload installed on a lightweight, compact stabilised turret. Supplied by Rafael earlier this year, the Typhoon MLS-ER/Mini Typhoon weapons mount was integrated on the MPAC Mk IIIs by Philippine shipbuilder Propmech Corporation; harbour acceptance tests (HAT) and SAT were finalised in the July/August timeframe. Propmech, in a joint venture with Taiwanese shipbuilder Lung Teh Shipbuilding Corporation, builds the MPAC Mk III platforms for the Philippines Navy.
The Philippines Navy currently operates a number of MPAC-class variants, including Mk I, Mk II, and Mk III; future acquisition plans include additional Mk IIIs and prospectively an improved MPAC Mk IV variant, possibly developed by another shipyard.
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