17 April 2017
MPAC Mark III during sea trial (photo : MaxDefense)
More assets in the pipeline for PHL Navy: AFP chief
The construction of the country's first two MPACs, with missile armament provisions, is ongoing at the Propmech Corp. shipyard in Subic Bay, Zambales.
MPAC is short for multi-purpose assault craft, a small, maneuverable and highly fast naval vessel.
This was confirmed by Defense public affairs office chief, Arsenio Andolong, in an interview with the Philippine News Agency (PNA) last April 11.
"They are now being constructed at the Propmech Corp. facility in Subic Bay but we do not yet have the timeline for the sea trials," he said.
Andolong added that the missile armaments and other weapons of the MPACs will be fitted at a later time.
The Navy earlier said that these MPACs will be delivered by the third quarter of this year.
These MPACs, the so-called Mark IIIs, are far more advanced and capable than the Mark Is and IIs currently in service.
The PN is operating 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, which 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, three of which are in the pipeline, have a budget of PHP270 million.
The money will be sourced from the AFP Modernization Act Trust Fund of 2000.
The contract covers mission essential equipment, which includes day/night electronic navigation systems, communication suites, safety-of-life-at-sea, propulsion system, and seamanship and ship-handling gears.