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Fast Attack Interdiction Craft - Missile (FAIC-M) Acquisition Project of the Philippine Navy

To replace ageing assets of the Littoral Combat Force (LCF) with assets that can protect restricted  sea lanes of communications (SLOC) within the Philippine archipelago, the Philippine Navy has embarked on the acquisition of Fast Attack Interdiction Crafts (FAIC) which are fast moving, light and small, and are armed with surface-to-surface missiles with up to 25 kilometer range.

The project, now known as the Fast Attack Interdiction Craft - Missile Capable (FAIC-M) Acquisition Project, is a special project that was not included in the Horizon 2 phase Priority Projects, but was approved for implementation after an urgent requirement.

They are said to be replace the Tomas Batilo-class PKM fast attack crafts, some of which were already retired and the rest on track for retirement in a couple of years.

The PN represented the FAIC-M project with the Shaldag Mk. V fast attack craft from Israel Shipyards. Photo taken from PN Institutional Video for 2019.

Project Summary:

Fast Attack Interdiction Craft - Missile Capable Acquisition Project

Note: Edited as of 19 June 2019:

* End User: Philippine Navy (Littoral Combat Force)

* Quantity: 8 units

* Modernization Phase: 2nd List of Horizon 2 phase of RAFPMP

* Project ABC: Php10,000,000,000.00

* Acquisition Mode: Government-to-Government (G2G) deal with the Israeli Ministry of Defense - SIBAT

* Source of Funding: TBA

* SARO Release: TBA

* Winning Proponent:
     - Platform: no final confirmation but most likely Israel Shipyards
     - Weapon Systems: Rafael Advance Systems Ltd.

* Product for Delivery: 

    - 8 units Fast Attack & Interdiction Craft (platform)
    - 8 units Rafael Typhoon 30mm MGS
    - 16 units Rafael Mini Typhoon 12.7mm RCWS

    - 4 units Rafael Typhoon MLS-NLOS missile launchers
    - Unspecified number of Spike NLOS missile rounds

    - Integrated Logistics Support Package
    - Assistance in rehabilitating Cavite Naval Yard
    - Technology Transfer (license to produce or owning design rights)

* Contract Price: TBA

* First post by MaxDefense: 16 August 2016

* Searching Hashtag: #PNFAICMAcquisition #PNShaldagVAcquisition

* Status: Pre-procurement phase ongoing

The Project - Fast Attack Interdiction Craft:

Based on the approved plan, the Philippine Navy will procure eight (8) Fast Attack Interdiction Craft (FAIC) based on the technical requirements they submitted to the president. The budget will be Php10 billion (around US$193 million).

MaxDefense was informed by sources to not post the technical specifications, but based on what we have already seen, it appears that it was designed to suite the proposal made by Israel Shipyards Ltd to the Philippine Navy based on the company's Shaldag V fast patrol boat.

For those who remember, MaxDefense made a previous blog entry on Israel Shipyard's offer based on the Shaldag V as early as August 2016. The offer was made after a Request for Information (RFI) was released by the Philippine Navy to several shipbuilders.

For more on the Shaldag Mk. V, you may refer to an old blog entry, which can be accessed below:

"Israel Shipyard's Shaldag Mk. V Fast Patrol Boat Offered to the Philippine Navy" - first posted 16 August 2016

The Shaldag Mk. V from Israel Shipyards. Credits to original source of the photo.

Weapon Systems:

Also discussed will be the weapon systems installed on these boats - which would be acquired from a different company but would be installed once the boats are delivered.

The Philippine Navy has already selected the supplier, which would be Rafael Advance Systems Ltd (Rafael), which will supply systems mostly already familiar with the PN.

Among them are Rafael's Mini Typhoon 12.7mm  navalized Remote Controlled Weapon Stations (RCWS), the Typhoon 30mm navalized machine gun system, and the Typhoon MLS-NLOS capable of firing up to eight (8) rounds of Spike NLOS surface-to-surface missile.

The Rafael Typhoon MGS (top), and the Mini Typoon RCWS (above). The Typhoon MGS can be fitted with up to 30mm naval gun. All eight FAIC-Ms will have a Typhoon MGS armed with a 30mm gun, and two Mini Typhoon 12.7mm RCWS. Photos taken from Wikipedia (top) and Royal Australian Navy (above).

Each of the eight FAIC-Ms will be armed with one (1) Typhoon 30mm MGS and two (2) Mini Typhoon 12.7mm RCWS. But only four (4)! will be equipped with the Typhoon MLS-NLOS although the four other boats will be "Fitted for But Not With" (FFBNW) with the missile system.

The Rafael Spike NLOS MLS will be equipped to only four of the eight FAIC-Ms. This is probably due to budget constraints. Photo taken from Think Defence's website.

The Spike Non Line of Sight (NLOS) is an enhanced version and the largest and longest-ranged variant of the Rafael Spike missile family, with a 25 kilometer maximum effective range and a larger warhead than the standard Spike-ER used by the PN's MPAC Mk.3 and soon to arrive Mk.4. It is guided via a radio data link for command guidance, although it has fibre optic link up to 8 kilometers.

The Spike missile family, with the Spike NLOS (top most) being the largest and longest-ranged of the group, will be used as the missile component of the Fast Attack Interdiction Craft - Missile capable (FAIC-M).
Photo taken by MaxDefense community member Juliet XZRay during ADAS 2018.

While still unconfirmed, MaxDefense believes that the Philippine Navy may also use the Rafael Toplite Electro-Optical System (EOS), which will be installed to complement the Typhoon 30mm MGS as standard equipment. It is usual for Rafael to package it with the rest of their naval weapon system offerings especially those involving the Typhoon MGS.

The Rafael Toplight EOS is also used in patrol boats and naval ships for targeting and weapon support. Photo taken from Rafael's website.

Other Deal Inclusions:

What was not mentioned on reports is that the purchase of Shaldag Mk. V from Israel Shipyards included a Technology Transfer or License Build clause wherein the Philippine Navy shall be allowed by Israel Shipyards to license-build the Shaldag Mk. V on its own, or share the design to the PN.

To further support this, the requirement also calls for the construction of two (2) four (4) of the eight fast attack & interdiction crafts in the Philippines. Yes, local production 25% 50% of the boats. But take note, this only involves the platforms/boats itself, not the weapon systems which would still be imported from Rafael in Israel.

And to make this happen, Israel Shipyards will also help the Philippine Navy to rehabilitate the Cavite Naval Yard (CNY), which will be the one to build the two locally-made FAIC-Ms.

The Philippine Navy's Cavite Naval Yard may not be huge enough to build larger ships, but it would start from at least being able to build smaller patrol boats or fast attack crafts like the Shaldag Mk. V. This would be beneficial to the PN in the long run to support the Self-Reliance Defense Posture (SRDP) program that the entire Armed Forces of the Philippines is trying to have, but also allow the Philippine Navy to assist other government agencies.

MaxDefene reported last year in our social media posts that the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) is among those interested in acquiring the Shaldag family of fast patrol boats. This was later confirmed by British defense media outlet Jane's when they reported that at the background of IMDEX Asia 2019 defense exhibition in Singapore, PCG has made known its interest in the Shaldag Mk.III, which is smaller than the Mk. V.

A local production capability for Shaldag family of fast boats could allow the PCG to specify the requirement for most if not all of its orders be constructed locally, which could give the CNY a good run for the money.

U P D A T E S:

28 August 2019:

Philippine Navy FOIC Vice Adm. Robert Empedrad mentioned in media interviews that four of the eight Fast Attack Interdiction Craft with Missiles (FAIC-M) that the Philippine Navy plans to acquire will be built in the country, specifically at the PN's naval shipyard in Cavite.

This is in contrast to our earlier reports that only 2 will be built locally, which came from PN's own internal reports. This means the DND and PN may have secured a better deal with Istaeli Shipyards, which the PN is still not naming despite the obvious signs and MaxDefense's own report from sources.

No changes in other plans. It will still have Spike NLOS (although only 4 boats will be initially armed with it while the 4 other boats will be fitted for but not with the missile system..

The PN FAIC-M would be based on the Shaldag V fast patrol boat from Israel. Photo from PN's video.

16 November 2019:
Philippine Navy Flag Officer in Command (FOIC) Vice Adm. Robert Empedrad mentioned that among the projects they are pushing forward to reach contract signing, the Fast Attack Interdiction Craft - Missile Capable (FAIC-M) would most likely reach contract signing before year end.

This is because he believe the government particularly the Department of Budget Management (DBM) has already found the needed initial amount. This is possibly because this is the cheapest of the four major combat ship acquisition at Php10 billion, compared to the Corvette project at Php28 billion, Offshore Patrol Vessel project at Php30 billion, and Submarine project which may exceed Php50 billion.

The Shaldag V fast attack craft. Photo taken from Israel Shipyards website.

First post and edit: 19 June 2019
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