The Philippine Navy (PN) announced that it had test-fired its newly acquired “Bullfighter” chaff anti-missile decoys in Zambales waters last March 24. These defensive weaponry were fitted aboard the BRP Jose Rizal (FF-150) and BRP Antonio Luna (FF-151). The BRP Jose Rizal and its sister ship BRP Antonio Luna are modern warships capable of surface, sub-surface, air and electronic warfare using state-of-the-art electronic sensors, long-range missiles, acoustic guided torpedoes and embarked anti-submarine helicopters.
The Bullfighter is a 130-mm super-rapid-blooming offboard countermeasure (SRBOC) and is part of Rheinmetall’s Multi-Ammunition Softkill System (MASS). It deploys a spectrally adapted obscurant agent that produces a ship-like signature in all radio frequencies. The deployment according to the “bullfighter principle” pro-vides effectiveness against imaging IR seekers (IIR) with reduced fields of view and against RF seekers with reducedrange gates. Bullfighter is in service with the German, Polish, Malaysian,Portuguese and Spanish Navy.
“The Bullfighter is a new generation of 130mm decoys for super rapid blooming offboard chaff (SRBOC) and other 130mm launcher systems to protect naval vessels up to the size of frigates against anti-ship missiles. the chaff were tested and fired by the Offshore Patrol Force aboard the two missile frigates. The payload of the chaff is effective against missiles with modern and sophisticated seekers and electronic protection measure(s),” Philippine Navy spokesperson Captain Benjo Negranza said in a statement.
Observers said chaff works by distracting radar guided missiles from their targets by spreading or dispensing a small cloud of aluminum, metalized glass fiber or plastic which appears as a cluster of targets in radar screens. The acquisition of the chaff countermeasure capability is part of the Philippine Navy’s 2nd Horizon modernization program to capacitate the country’s warships to defend against modern naval warfare threats. The contract for the two ships was placed at PHP16 billion with another PHP2 billion for weapon systems and munitions.