Navy: ₱270 Million Efforts now underway to upgrade Philippines MPAC force

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Efforts to upgrade the Navy's small craft force are now underway as the Department of National Defense (DND) has allocated ₱270 million to acquire three MPACs (multi-purpose assault craft) capable of mounting and firing missiles.

DND undersecretary Fernando Manalo said the sum includes "mission essential equipment and an initial logistic support packages." The money will be sourced from the AFP Modernization Act Trust Fund of 2000. He added that interested bidders should also equipped these MPACs with provisions for advanced weapons system (remote weapon systems and missile launch system). Mission essential equipment includes day/night electronic navigation systems, communication suites, safety-of-life-at-sea, propulsion system and seamanship and ship-handling gears.

Winning bidders must be able to deliver the MPACs within 540 working days of the opening of the letter of credit. Interested parties must have experience on a similar project within the last 10 years. Bidders must be the suppliers themselves, Manalo added. The PN currently operates a force of six MPACs. Three of the PN's MPACs are sourced from Taiwan while the remaining three were ordered from Filipino shipbuilder Propmech Corporation, which is based in Subic Bay, Zambales.

These ships are 16.5 meters long, 4.76 meters wide and has a draft of one meter and a top speed of 45 knots. Each one cost around ₱90 million. It has a range 300 nautical miles.

The hull is made of high-quality aluminum and is crewed by one officer and four enlisted personnel. It is capable of carrying 16 fully-equipped troopers or two tons of cargo. The MPAC is capable of operating in territorial waters up to "Sea State 3" (slight waves) without any system degradation. It is armed with one .50 caliber and two 7.62mm machine guns. (PNA) - See more at: Zamboanga Times

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