Naval Warfare

Philippine Navy Commissions 2 More Israeli-made Acero-class Fast Missile Boats

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Philippine Navy Commissions 2 More Israeli-made Acero-class Fast Missile Boats

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Philippine Navy Commissions 2 More Israeli-made Acero-class Fast Missile Boats
Philippine Navy Commissions 2 More Israeli-made Acero-class Fast Missile Boats

The Philippine Navy (PN) has formally commissioned two more Acero-class patrol gunboats equipped with the Spike NLOS (non-line of sight) missile systems. The Acero-class is a ship class of nine patrol gunboats currently or incoming service with the Philippine Navy. The commissioning rites for the new vessels, named BRP Herminigildo Yurong (PG-906) and BRP Laurence Narag (PG-907), were held at the Naval Station Jose Andrada, Roxas Boulevard, Manila on Tuesday, PN spokesperson Commander John Percie Alcos said in a news release Wednesday. The PN received the two gunboats from Israel Shipyards Ltd. on Nov. 18, 2023. The vessels were named after two Medal of Valor awardees, the late Marine Staff Sgt. Herminigildo Yurong and Marine Cpl. Laurence Narag, who perished in the line of duty during the Philippine government’s campaign against Moro rebels in Mindanao in 2000.

“These crafts are indispensable assets for archipelagic defense, tailored to address unique challenges inherent to the Philippine maritime landscape. As force multipliers, these craft enable rapid deployment and force projection, strengthen our deterrence, and uphold maritime security across Philippine waters. The PN takes pride in aligning itself with the national leadership’s commitment to a defense posture that resonates with the unique characteristics and needs of our geographic configuration. Despite an enduring journey, the PN remains committed to improving our physical capabilities and, more importantly, our collective consciousness to be at the forefront of our comprehensive archipelagic defense,” PN chief Vice Admiral Toribio Adaci Jr. said during the commissioning rites.

The Philippine Navy fast attack craft BRP Herminigildo Yurong fires a Spike anti-ship missile during Exercise Balikatan, May 8, 2024.  (Photo by Armed Forces of the Philippines)
The Philippine Navy fast missile boat BRP Herminigildo Yurong fires a Spike anti-ship missile during Exercise Balikatan, May 8, 2024. (Photo by Armed Forces of the Philippines)

In 2019, the Philippine Navy raised a requirement to procure a new class of coastal patrol interdiction craft (CPIC) that would be missile-capable and are based on Israel’s Shaldag V patrol boat design, to replace the Tomas Batilo-class fast attack crafts that have been retired in service. The acquisition of these missile-capable craft, also called the Acero-class patrol gunboats, would greatly accelerate the ongoing modernization efforts of the Navy. The PN now has six Acero-class gunboats in service. The first two Acero-class gunboats, the BRP Nestor Acero (PG-901) and BRP Lolinato To-Ong (PG-902), were delivered in September 2022 and commissioned two months later. The third and fourth FAICs, the BRP Gener Tinangag (PG-903) and BRP Domingo Deluana (PG-905), were delivered in April 2023 and commissioned the following month.

The ship class is designed to carry one bow-mounted Mk.44 Bushmaster II autocannon mounted on Rafael Typhoon Mk 30-C remote-controlled weapon station, and two M2HB Browning 12.7 mm/50-cal. heavy machine guns mounted on Rafael Mini Typhoon remote-controlled weapon stations. At least four of the ships will be installed with a Rafael Typhoon MLS-NLOS missile launcher for Spike-NLOS surface-to-surface missiles. All other boats are fitted for, but not with the system, and can be installed separately at any time. A 5.2-meter rigid inflatable boat (RHIB) is stowed in the aft for those without the missile system, and is deployed using a 1,000-kilogram crane.[1]Four of the ships will be armed with NLOS missiles with pinpoint accuracy and a range of 25 km. while the other five will be armed with Typhoon-mounted 30mm main cannons and .50 caliber heavy machine guns.

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