Shaldag-class patrol boat with Spike surface to surface missiles
Shaldag-class patrol boat with Spike surface to surface missiles

Israeli Defense Attaché Inspects Future Shipbuilding Site of Philippine Navy’s FAIC-M

The Philippine Navy’s Naval Sea Systems Command (NSSC) has reported that Israel’s Defense Attaché to the Philippines Raz Shabtay visited the site intended for the construction of the Fast Attack Interdiction Craft Missile (FAIC-M) at the Naval Shipbuilding Center on September 1. The acquisition of eight units of Fast Attack Interdiction Craft-Missile (FAIC-M) is among the 2019 President-approved projects under the Horizon 2 List of the Revised AFP Modernization Program. Duly awarded to Israel Shipyards Ltd. and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems of Israel under a Government-to-Government procurement scheme, the project is divided into two lots.

Earlier this year, a kickoff meeting was held in connection with the construction of the first two ships in Israel. The FAIC-M Acquisition Project covers the in-country construction of two ships, along with the training of seventeen (17) NSSC personnel, and the upgrade of the Naval Shipbuilding Center equipment and facility necessary to establish local production capability. Lot 1 covers the delivery of nine platforms, four of which will be missile-capable, and the upgrading of the Naval Shipyard (NSY) for the establishment of a local production line as part of the Transfer of Technology (ToT). On the other hand, Lot 2 includes the integration of weapons and combat systems.

Mr. Raz Shabtay, Israel’s Defense Attaché to the Philippines, and his party paid a visit to the Naval Shipbuilding Center last September 1 to see the site where the Fast Attack Interdiction Craft Missile (FAIC-M) will be built.(Photo credits by Philippine Naval Sea Systems Command )

The Philippine Navy is eyeing to acquire eight Israeli Shipyard Ltd “Shaldag”-class patrol boats to replace the PKMs it is using for maritime interdiction operations. The ‘Shaldag’ patrol boats will be built in Israel while the remaining four will be constructed in the PN Cavite Naval Yard in Sangley Point, Cavite City. With the FAIC-M, the Philippine Navy shall have the capability to defend the key sea lines of communications, such as Mindoro, Balabac, Sibutu and Basilan Straits against conventional threats. 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 patrol boat (Hebrew: Kingfisher) is a small but fast class of patrol boats developed for the Israeli Navy and launched in 1989, it has since seen service with several other navies. Designed for security tasks where high intercept speeds are required, such as interdiction of terrorism and illegal smuggling. The vessels are armed with a Typhoon Weapon Station, mounting a Bushmaster M242 and electro-optics systems. They are equipped with foredeck and aftdeck rings for Oerlikon 20 mm cannon and a single gun mount. The boat is able to accommodate most advanced new weapon systems, such as the SPIKE-NLOS missile (integrated into the naval Typhoon MLS NLOS system).