Philippines Received Surface-to-air Missiles For Its Frigates

MANILA (GDC) – The Philippine Navy (PN) on Sunday said the Mistral 3 surface-to-air-missiles (SAMs) of the country’s two guided-missile frigates were finally delivered at the Subic Bay International Airport in Bataan last Oct. 8.

In a statement, Navy spokesperson Commander Benjo Negranza said the surface-to-air missiles of the two Jose Rizal-class (JRC) frigates of the PN will provide the BRP Jose Rizal (FF-150) and BRP Antonio Luna (FF-151) anti-air capabilities or the ability to shoot down aerial threats.

Procurement and delivery of the Mistral 3 SAMs is part of the PN Frigate Acquisition Project Lot 2B which was awarded to MBDA Missile Systems based in France.

“Surface-to-air missiles are among the primary weapons of FF-150 and FF-151 that bolsters the PN’s anti-air warfare capability. The arrival of these missiles will greatly capacitate our JRC frigates in the conduct of their maritime operations,” Negranza said.

Meanwhile, PN Frigate Acquisition Lot 2A or for the JRC’s surface-to-surface missiles is scheduled for deliveries in March 2022.

South Korean defense manufacturer LIG Nex 1 is the company that would deliver C-Star missiles which is considered the main surface-to-surface weapon of the JRCs.

The C-Star is described as a “sea-skimming surface-to-surface anti-ship cruise missile”.

The BRP Jose Rizal and BRP Antonio Luna are modern warships capable of surface, sub-surface, air, and electronic warfare using state-of-the-art electronic sensors, long-range missiles, acoustic guided torpedoes, and an embarked anti-submarine helicopter.

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The BRP Jose Rizal was delivered to the Philippines in May 2020 and commissioned July of the same year while the BRP Antonio Luna was commissioned March 19, 2021.

The contract for the two ships was placed at PHP16 billion with another PHP2 billion for weapon systems and munitions.

The Asia Pacific Defense Journal said in a report that the Philippine Navy acquired the missiles for 10.69 million euros (equivalent to some P625.95 million) through a negotiated deal with French missiles firm MBDA.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) also welcomed the arrival of the new missiles.

“The procurement of missile systems is cost-effective and a reliable addition to a layered defense system, capable of denying enemy intrusion and deterring future attacks by external threats,” said AFP spokesperson Col. Ramon Zagala.

The Mistral surface-to-air missiles are expected to be fired from the two Navy frigates’ Simbad-RC twin mount remote firing system, which can be used against low-level aircraft or anti-ship missiles.

The procurement of the Mistral surface-to-air missiles is part of the Philippine Navy’s Frigate Acquisition Project, which seeks to modernize the country’s naval force to boost its maritime defense and development, the Navy said.

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