MANILA—Construction of the country’s first ever MPACs, with missile armament provisions, is now undergoing at the Propmech Corporation shipyard in Subic Bay, Zambales.
MPAC is short for multi-purpose assault craft, a small, manueverable and highly fast naval vessels.
This was confirmed by Defense public affairs office chief Arsenio Andolong in an interview with the Philippine News Agency on Tuesday.
“They are now being constructed at the Propmech Corporation facility in Subic Bay but we don’t yet the timelines for the sea trials,” he added.
Andolong said the missile armaments and other weapons of the MPACs will be fitted at a later time.
The Philippine Navy (PN) earlier said that these MPACs will be delivered by the third quarter of this year.
These MPACs are the so-called Mark IIIs and far more advanced and capable that the earlier ordered Mark Is and IIs currently in service.
The PN is operating around six gun-armed MPACs as of this posting.
They will be armed with the Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd’s Spike ER (extended range) in anti-ship mode.
It is capable of penetrating 1,000 mm (39 inches) of rolled homogeneous armor and has a maximum range of five miles.
The PN’s missile-armed MPACs, of which three are in the pipeline, has a budget of PHP270 million.
The money will be sourced from the Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Act Trust Fund of 2000.
The contract includes mission essential equipment.
Mission essential equipment includes day/night electronic navigation systems, communication suites, safety-of-life-at-sea, propulsion system and seamanship and ship-handling gears.