Philippines Navy Commissions Two More Fast Attack Interdiction Craft - Missile Boats
Philippines Navy Commissions Two More Fast Attack Interdiction Craft - Missile Boats

Philippines Navy Commissions Two More Fast Attack Interdiction Craft – Missile Boats

The Philippine Navy (PN) formally commissioned into service two more Israeli-made Fast Attack Interdiction Crafts – Missile (FAIC-M) boats increasing the number of such ships in its fleet to four as it celebrated its 125th founding anniversary Friday. The two newly-acquired Acero-class patrol gunboats, which were constructed by Israel Shipyard Ltd and also known as the Shaldag Mark V. BRP Gener Tinangag (PG-903) and BRP Domingo Deluana (PG-905), were christened last May 8 at the Naval Shipbuilding Facility Wharf, at Fort San Felipe, Cavite City. The ships were delivered to the country last April 11. The commissioning ceremonies took place at the Commodore Divino Pier at PN headquarters in Naval Station Jose Andrada, Roxas Boulevard, Manila.

“President and Commander in Chief Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. witnessed the activity, which formally activated the two new capable boats as the third and fourth components of the Acero-class patrol gunboats of the (Philippine) Fleet’s Littoral Combat Force. These vessels will soon see action once deployed to vital choke points, major sea lines of communication, and littoral domains of the country. These 32-meter long gunboats will provide added muscle to the Navy’s capability to secure the seas with their quick intercept ability, remote stabilized weapons, and short-range missiles. the activation of two FAIC also known as the fast-attack interdiction craft-missile (FAIC)-Ms is a step closer to the completion of the nine-boat contract,” Navy spokesperson Capt. Benjo Negranza said in a statement.

2 fast attack interdiction craft – missile (FAIC-M) boats commissioned by President Marcos during Philippine Navy’s 125th Founding Anniversary. (Photo by Philippine Navy)

The namesake of these essels are both members of the Philippine Marine Corps and awardees of the Medal of Valor like the first two FAIC-Ms who were commissioned into service last November. These FAIC-Ms are the BRP Nestor Acero (PG-901) and BRP Lolinato To-Ong. 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 five will be armed with typhoon-mounted 30mm main cannons and .50 caliber heavy machine guns. The acquisition of these FAIC-Ms is among the 2019 projects approved by former President Rodrigo Duterte under the Horizon 2 List of the AFP Modernization Program. The notice of award for the FAIC-M project, worth around PHP10 billion, was issued on January 5, 2021.

Nine units of Shaldag Mk V were ordered in a contract signed on February 9, 2021 under the Navy’s Fast Attack Interdictor Craft-Missile (FAIC-M) Acquisition Project. FAIC-M/SHALDAG MK5 vessels with a fully-integrated RAFAEL naval combat suite manufactured by Israel Shipyards Ltd. RAFAEL’s naval combat suite, which is valued at hundreds of millions of dollars, includes a Combat Management System (CMS), Typhoon and Mini-Typhoon Remote Operating Weapon Systems, Naval Spike Missiles, SeaCom Internal and external Communication System and BNET Tactical Data Link, as well as training, support and maintenance services. The first two vessels have delivered in September 2022 and commissioned on November 2022. Known locally as the Nestor Acero-class Fast Attack Interdiction Crafts.