According to information published by the Philippine News Agency on February 2021, the Philippine Navy (PN)’s Fast Attack Interdiction Craft-Missile (FAIC-M) is expected to be out by mid-February. The FAIC-M project (also known as the Shaldag Mark 5) was already issued a Notice of Award (NOA) by the Department of National Defense (DND) last January 4. The NOA was signed by DND Secretary Delfin Lorenzana as head of the procuring entity. The project, which consists of two lots, is worth around PHP10 billion. Lot 1 consists of acquisition of the naval platforms and upgrade of the Cavite Naval Shipyard while Lot 2 is focused on the acquisition of the weapons system of these FAIC-Ms which include remotely-controlled gun and missile systems.
The FAIC-Ms, the Philippine Navy chief was referring to, is expected to replace the force of patrol killer medium (PKM) or medium-sized patrol craft, with deliveries expected to start in 2022. Four of the FAIC-Ms will be armed with non-line-of-sight (NLOS) missiles with pinpoint accuracy and a range of 25 kilometers while the other four will be armed with machine guns and light automatic cannons. With the FAIC-Ms, the PN shall have the capability to defend the key sea lines of communications (SLOCs), such as Mindoro, Balabac, Sibutu, and Basilan Straits against conventional threats. While operating in restricted waters, the FAIC-Ms can interdict surface threats and launch NLOS missiles safely using the surrounding littoral areas as maneuver space and cover.
The Shaldag-class is a small fast class of patrol boats developed by Israel Shipyards Limited (ISL) for the Israeli Navy and launched in 1989, it has since seen service with several other navies. The SHALDAG-class is available in three versions, namely SHALDAG MK II, SHALDAG MK III/IV, and SHALDAG MK V. It has an overall length of 25.30 m. The SHALDAG is most valued for security tasks where high intercept speeds and easy maneuverability are required. In addition, the vessel is equipped with highly advanced weapons systems, produced by world-recognized Israeli designers. The Shaldag-class fast patrol boat can be armed with a 25mm automatic gun mounted at the front deck, as well as 12.7mm or 7.62mm machine guns. For the Philippine Navy, the patrol boat will also be armed with Spike non-light-of-sight (NLOS) missiles that have a range of 25 km.
The Naval SPIKE-NLOS is an ultra long-range version of the weapon (Israeli designation: Tamuz, תמוז), with a claimed maximum range of 25 kilometres (16 miles) ‒ with pinpoint accuracy, providing sea-to-shore fire support or sea-to-sea targeting, on a wide range of naval platforms. The SPIKE-NLOS missile is integrated into the naval Typhoon MLS NLOS system. Allowing maximum operational flexibility, the Naval SPIKE NLOS capabilities include real-time tactical intelligence gathering, in-flight target switching and mission abort, and can be integrated with the ship’s own C2 systems. SPIKE-NLOS is a significantly larger missile than other Spike variants, with an overall weight of around 70 kg (154 lb 5 oz). The Spike NLOS uses a fiber optic link similar to other Spike versions, but only out to 8 km, after which it employs a radio data link for command guidance.