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The Philippine Navy has been upgrading its maritime defense capabilities with the Spike ER (extended range) missile systems, manufactured by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, will be fitted on three of the Navy’s brand-new multi-purpose assault craft (MPAC) activated last May. This has been revealed by the country’s Defense spokesperson Arsenio Andolong.
The weapons are in anti-ship mode meaning it can engage surface vessel targets and is capable of penetrating 1,000 mm (39 inches) of rolled homogeneous armor and has a maximum range of five miles.
The light weight of the Spike ER Round (only 34 kg) enables mounting on any light helicopter as well as heavier attack helicopters. The missile includes an advanced tracker and can be fired in F&F (Fire & Forget mode) providing the rotary wing platform to “shoot and scoot“ or engage multiple targets over a very short time, according to rafael.co.il.
Andolong said the weapons would be delivered to the country very early in the first quarter of the year. The missiles and launchers were reportedly supposed to be delivered by December but this did not materialize due to some transportation issues, according to update.ph.
The Philippine Navy will also receive brand-new AgustaWestland AW-159 “Wildcat” anti-submarine helicopters, which are expected to arrive the last quarter of 2018 and early 2019, Andolong added. He did not further elaborate on what weapons and surveillance systems the AW-159s would be carrying for security reasons. The helicopters will be based on the two frigates on order from Hyundai Heavy Industries.
The AW-159 (previously called the Future Lynx and Lynx Wildcat) is an improved version of the Westland Super Lynx military helicopter. It has a crew of two, has a maximum speed of 291 km/h (181 mph), a range of 777 km (483 miles), and an endurance of one and a-half hours (fours hours and 30 minutes if fitted with an auxiliary fuel tank).