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Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Philippine Navy Finally Receives Spike-ER Missiles and Launchers and RCWS for MPAC Mk.III Boats

Finally, after several delays on the delivery, this week the Philippine Navy has finally received its shipment of Spike-ER short range surface-to-surface missiles, Typhoon MLS-ER missile launchers, and Mini Typhoon 12.7mm Remote Control Weapon Systems from Israeli defense company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems.

This would be an important milestone for the Philippine Navy as it marks its entrance to the missile age, with the Spike-ER being its first surface-to-surface missile system.

A Typhoon MLS-ER firing a Spike-ER missile.
Photo taken from Rafael's website.

The missiles, launchers and RCWS will all be equipped on the Multi-Purpose Attack Craft (MPAC) Mk.III, 3 units of which were activated last May 2017 and assigned with the Littoral Combat Force.

Each MPAC will get a Mini Typhoon armed with a Browning M2 50-caliber machine gun, and a Typhoon MLS-ER launcher. Each missile launching system can carry 4 ready-to-fire Spike-ER missile launchers and missiles, although the MPAC could carry more rounds due to availability of an ammunition storage.

Some photos during the delivery inspection of the missiles, launchers and RCWS to the Philippine Navy. Faces on photos intentionally blurred/blacked-out to protect identity of inspection team.
Photos shared by source to MaxDefense.

It would be remembered that the Philippine Navy had delivery issues with these products from Rafael, despite the contract making Rafael responsible for delivery from Israel to the Philippines.

The Philippine Navy even asked General Headquarters AFP for approval of their request to use C-130 heavy tactical transport aircraft from the Philippine Air Force (PAF) to pick-up the missiles and launchers from Israel, although these requests were denied several times due to the limited availability of the PAF C-130s in line with events in the country that require their lifting capability.

Due to these availability issues, the PN and Rafael decided to push through with the delivery through commercial shipping.

Project Recap:

The Multi-Purpose Attack Craft Mk. III acquisition project was part of the Revised AFP Modernization Program's HORIZON 1 phase covering 2013-2017, and was divided into 2 lots:  Lot 1 was for the acquisition of 3 MPAC Mk. III boats with a budget of  Php270 million, while Lot 2 was for the acquisition of the MPAC Weapons System with a budget of Php594.320 million.

The MPAC Mk. III during their delivery and acceptance with the Philippine Navy last May 2017. Currently they are not yet armed with the Typhoon systems, and currently they are temporarily armed with manually operated machine guns. That would change with the delivery of the RCWS and missile launchers.
Photo courtesy of a MaxDefense community member, exclusive to MaxDefense.

Lot 1 underwent public bidding, which was won by Propmech Corporation-Lung Teh Shipbuilding Co. Ltd. Joint Venture under a Php268,880,000.00 contract while Lot 2 was a Government-to-Government procurement between the Philippines and Israel. 

An inert version of the Rafael Typhoon MLS-ER missile launcher as shown by officers of the Philippine Navy to Pres. Duterte aboard BRP Davao del Sur last June 2017.
Credits to owner of photo.

The Rafael Spike-ER missile is eletro-optically guided multipurpose missile with a minimum and maximum effective firing range of 400 meters and up to 8.000 meters, respectively. It can also be operated as a fire-and-forget missile to allow the safe escape of the launching platform. The missile has a penetration capability of up to 1,000mm of rolled homogeneous armor, good enough against small surface targets to destroy small boats and armored vehicles, or damage small ships.

The Spike-ER multipurpose missile.
Credits to owner of photo.

The Rafael Typhoon MLS-ER is an remote controlled weapon system, lightweight and stabilized launching platform that could be installed to small boats including the PN's MPAC platforms It includes an Electro-Optical Director and fire control system, and could be used in day and night operations.

The Rafael Mini Typhoon, a variant of the Typhoon family of naval stabilized remote controlled weapon system, is used on a variety of naval platforms including small boats like the MPAC. It is made to support smaller caliber weapons including the 50-caliber 12.7mm machine guns used by the Philippine Navy. It can be operated as a stand-alone system with a remote firing system inside the boat, or as part of a combat management system. It also allows manual operation as required by the end-user, and is capable of day and night operation.

The Rafael Mini Typhoon RCWS during remote operation.
Credits to owner of photo.

Another Horizon 1 project is finally completed, as the Philippine Navy is still struggling to complete its acquisitions under this phase. The Philippine Navy, as of MaxDefense's last count, still has more than ten (10) Horizon 1 projects in different stages of acquisition, despite 2018 already part of the Horizon 2 phase.

MaxDefense will continue to update its readers once the launchers are installed on the MPAC Mk. III boats, which would probably take some time considering the boats are currently assigned away from the PN's main naval base in Cavite.


  1. Does the navy plan to deploy it in the south of mindanao to monitor and enforce our border with other states and stop extremist entering the country? Or does the navy plan to deploy it elsewhere

  2. excellent news! but i wish the govt would procure similar to Roussen Class (Super Vita) FACM which really pack a big punch against enemy surface warships

  3. Hi sir, may i ask if there's a possibility that our del pilar class frigates can be armed with the likes of these missile system? thank you!

  4. Another one small step for the Philippines to be on the missile age..... Still a very long way to go. I dont have facebook Sir Max I want to say Happy Birth Day

  5. Is there any update on horizon 2 procurement?

  6. Why on earth they install an anti tank missile on a ship ??? Duhhh

    1. Its a multi purpose missile, its logical to assume that it is also a "1st step" for the PN as they are just now stepping out of their WWII warship shadow. This type of missile will also be able to reach out and destroy the Muslim terrs/kidnappers speed boats that the PN has never really been able to touch. And also since you ignorantly called it as just a "anti tank missile" it is also capable of providing direct support fire that our WWII ships has done in Mindanao since the 70's. Lastly its installed in a, quite simply, an armored speedboat, what do you expect, install an Exocet SSM on the MPAC?

  7. Great news!, hope we could reverse engineer this missile and build thousands of them, not to depend on outside sources and have them place not only in ships but land bases, like in Palawan, Zambales, and Batanes island

    1. I'm not sure we want thousands of short-range missiles in our inventory. Normally, you'd want something more long-range and with bigger warheads. And what about those guidance systems for missiles? Do we have the capability for creating that? Needs more research, I would think.

  8. Sir max this should be coupled with Cyber Defense/ Electronic warfare capabililty para di cya mai-fire to a wrong target. May kasamang bang CYBER Projects sa H2 ng navy?

  9. can we armed the mpac with gutling gun instead of 50 cal. ?


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