Philippines to acquire more small missile-armed assault boats

One of the Philippine Navy's MPAC Mk.3 missile-armed assault boats. Photo c/o Wikipedia.

The Philippine Navy (PN) chief announced that the service intends to purchase more Multi-Purpose Attack Craft (MPAC) armed with short-range surface-to-surface missiles.

The PN Flag Officer in Command (FOIC) Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad mentioned in an interview that they are planing to purchase 30 more units of the 16.5-meter assault boats armed with the Rafael Spike-ER short range surface-to-surface missiles to protect the country from aggression. 

The Philippine Navy already operate nine of the MPACs, three of which are armed with the missiles. The other six boats does not have missiles, but are configured more for assault with a bow ramp to allow quick ingress and egress of troops.

The MPAC was designed and built by Taiwanese shipbuilder Lung Teh Shipbuilding with partnership with Filipino company Propmech Corporation. The boats were primarily designed for assault, coastal interdiction and patrol, and other secondary naval missions.

The latest variant of the MPAC is 16.5 meters long, is powered by water jets, can reach speeds of up to 45 knots, and has a maximum range of around 350 nautical miles at 30 knots. The Rafael Spike-ER is an infrared-homing guided with an option for wired-guidance for non line of sight use, and has a maximum range of around 8 kilometers.

The Philippine Navy ordered another three units of MPAC from Lung Teh-Propmech joint venture, which are expected to be delivered by 2020 or earlier and would be called the MPAC Mk.4. This design would inherit much of the previous Mk. 3 design with some minor improvements.

[1] Philippine Daily Inquirer
[2] Jane's Navy International

[3] MaxDefense Philippines
Philippines to acquire more small missile-armed assault boats Philippines to acquire more small missile-armed assault boats Reviewed by Asia Pacific Defense Journal on March 09, 2019 Rating: 5

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