The Philippine Air Force (PAF) inducted its first SPYDER-MR (Surface-to-air PYthon and DERby Medium Range ) ground-based air defence systems (GBADS) along with a C295W tactical transport aircraft at a ceremony at Basa Air Base on 8 November. In Philippine service, it is called the SPYDER Philippine Air Defense System (SPADS). The Philippine Air Force 960th Air and Missile Defense Group based at Basa operates the new SPYDER air defence systems. It is subordinated to the Philippine Air Force’s Air Defense Command. It will be employed to enhance the coastal air defences of the country with particular emphasis to defend air bases and the BrahMos anti-ship missile batteries to be deployed in 2023.
Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. was awarded the Ground-Based Air Defense System (GBADS) Acquisition Project. Three batteries of the SPYDER-ER air defense system were purchased in a deal said to be worth over $141 million, with first deliveries to be received in 2021. 3 batteries were delivered to the PAF in Sept.2021. The SPADS Simulator-Training Center is the Armed Forces of the Philippines) first missile training center, which will serve as a training ground for future missile operators to prepare them for real-world challenges, as well as to increase personnel knowledge, skills, and develop the right attitude for air and missile defense. The facility is located at the Basa Air Base in Floridablanca, Pampanga.
The SPYDER (“Surface-to-air Python and Derby”) is an Israeli short and medium range mobile air defence system developed by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems with assistance from Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). The SPYDER is a low-level, quick-reaction surface-to-air missile system capable of engaging aircraft, helicopters, unmanned air vehicles, drones, and precision-guided munitions. It provides air defence for fixed assets and for point and area defence for mobile forces in combat areas. The system is fitted atop a Tatra truck, a Mercedes-Benz Actros truck, a MAN TGS truck, Scania P-series truck, Dongfeng truck, or a TELAR. The SPYDER launcher is designed to fire Python-5 and Derby surface-to-air missiles which share full commonality with the air-to-air missiles.
The Philippines joins Singapore and Vietnam fielding the Spyder in the Indo-Pacific region. In 2008, the Ministry of Defence ordered two SPYDER-SR batteries along with 75 Python-5 SAMs and 75 Derby SAMs. They were all delivered during 2011 and 2012. Some SPYDER-SRs were operated by the 165 Squadron in 2011, it is also reported that more SPYDER-SRs are on order. The RSAF SPYDER is mounted on MAN RMMV TG-MIL trucks. The SPYDER system achieved full operational capacity on 4 July 2018. In 2015, Vietnam chose the SPYDER missile system as its new medium-range air defense missile system. First deliveries were highlighted in July 2016. Vietnamese systems are mounted on RMMV HX range trucks. Five systems including 375 Python missiles and 375 Derby missiles were reportedly acquired.