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Friday, July 10, 2020

Philippine Navy Commissions The First Guided Missile Frigate BRP Jose Rizal

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Philippine Navy Commissions The First Guided Missile Frigate BRP Jose Rizal

Philippine Navy Commissions its First Ever Missile Frigate BRP Jose Rizal

The Philippine Navy today commissioned its first ever guided missile frigate, BRP Jose Rizal (FF-150), during a ceremony held at Alava Wharf, Subic Bay, Zambales.

The event was attended remotely via video (due to the pandemic) by Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte as guest of honor and the Philippine Navy’s flag-officer-in-command Vice Admiral Giovanni Carlo Bacordo.

The commissioning ceremony should have taken place on June 19, date of the birthday of the ship’s namesake Dr. Jose Rizal. However, when the ship arrived in Subic on June 15, the crew of 65 had to quarantine for two weeks after one of its crew member tested positive for COVID-19. Following the quarantine, the frigate went through the final inspection before final acceptance.

The Philippine Navy announced earlier this week that BRP Jose Rizal will be participating in this year’s RIMPAC exercise along-side the U.S. Navy and 10 other nations.

About Jose Rizal

The Jose Rizal frigate was launched on May 23, 2019 by Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) in Ulsan, South Korea. She started sea trial near in South Korean waters in November last year and was delivered May 18.

For the record, the contract for the construction of two light frigates was signed between the Philippines and HHI in October 2016. The contract was signed following the victory of HHI in an international tender. The contract value was determined to be 15.744571584 billion Philippine pesos (about $ 311 million). This price point is for the ship only (weapons systems not included).

According to the shipyard, the frigates for the Philippines are based on an HHI design, which is a smaller version of the Incheon frigates (FFX-I) being built for the South Korean fleet. The Philippine frigates have a standard displacement of about 2,600 tons and a length of 107 meters. The diesel main power plant under the CODAD scheme should provide a full speed of 25 knots, a cruising range of 4500 nautical miles at a speed of 15 knots. Read more at Naval News

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

India asked the Philippines to Join in Patrolling At South China Sea with USA, Britain, France, Australia

Makisig Bayani
India asked the Philippines to Join in Patrolling At South China Sea
The Indian Navy is rapidly developing a diverse submarine capability combining both nuclear and conventional powered submarines like Kalvari (Source Indian Navy)

India is interested in navigation in the South China Sea region: Philippines

NEW DELHI: Eyeing to balance China's increasing aggression in the South China Sea (SCS) region, the Philippine Defense Minister has announced that India has expressed its intent to carry out navigation activities in the South China Sea.

Addressing an online forum last week, Defense Minister Delfin Lorenzana said navigation in the South China Sea is open to all countries. "We do not prevent other countries from passing through or doing things there in the South China Sea. The British do passes through the South China Sea. The French, all other countries. We do not invite them to come," he said, adding India can also be present in the area.

Lorenzana further alleged that China's naval exercises in the South China Sea are a cause for a concern.

China is upping the ante in the SCS region and its ties with the Philippines may now run into rough weather. The moves are being made simultaneously with Beijing’s belligerence along LAC and despite ASEAN strong emphasis on UNCLOS in SCS.

Last Friday the Philippine Foreign Minister warned China of “the severest response” if ongoing Chinese military exercises in the disputed South China Sea spill over into Philippine territory.

The announcement by the Philippine Defense Minister comes amid telephonic conversation between PM Narendra Modi and Philippine president following which India decided to expand its strategic partnership with Philippines in South China Sea region. Last year navies from India, USA, Philippines and Japan conducted joint sail in the South China Sea region to demonstrate presence of like-minded parties in the SCS region.

Modi’s recent conversation with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is significant as it opens up the possibility of wider Indo-Pacific partnership between Delhi and Manila in the backdrop of China’s tough posturing along the LAC and South China Sea region.

On that occasion both leaders had shared satisfaction in its bilateral relationship, including defense cooperation, with Modi noting how India sees the Philippines as a “vital partner” in the Indo-Pacific region. The Philippines also expressed similar sentiments, ET has learnt. The Philippine President in fact wanted India to play a bigger role in the Indo-Pacific region.

As part of growing defense partnership Philippine Navy Chief Giovanni Carlo J. Bacordo recently praised the Indian Navy for helping out one of its navy ship after a fire broke out in the engine room which injured two Philippines navy personnel.

Fire had broken in Philippines' ship BRP Ramon Alcaraz on May 7. India not only repaired the ship free of cost at the Navy Shipyard in Kochi but took care of the both the personnel in Indian hospitals.

The mainstay of bilateral defense cooperation continues to be capacity building and training, exchange visits of delegations and naval and coast guard ship visits. India has also extended Line of Credit to the Philippines in the defense sector. Read more at: India Times

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

DBM Approved Funding for ₱2.4 Billion Spyder Surface-to-Air Missile System from Israel

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DBM Approved Funding for ₱2.4 Billion Spyder Surface-to-Air Missile System from Israel
Surface-to-Air Missile system test fired in the US. Image: The Drive

Philippines confirms GBAD funding

The Philippine government’s Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has approved funding for the procurement of a ground-based air defence (GBAD) system for the Philippine Air Force (PAF), according to recently released budgetary documentation.

In a ‘Special Allotment Release Order’ (SARO), the DBM said the PAF’s GBAD project has been allocated PHP2.39 billion (USD48.4 million). It said the funds were approved and released under a SARO issued to the Department of National Defense (DND) in mid-June.

According to the DBM, the SARO provides approval for procurement agencies such as the DND to sign contracts with vendors.
Philipines' Spyder Surface-to-Air Missile System from Israel
The Philippines has approved funding of nearly USD50 million to procure a ground-based air defence system. The country is expected to seek to acquire the Spyder platform produced by Israeli firm Rafael. (Janes/Patrick Allen. Image: MDAA

In January this year Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the PAF intended to meet its GBAD requirement through the procurement from Israel of the Spyder self-propelled surface-to-air missile (SAM) system made by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems.

The procurement has been prioritised by the Philippines for several years to boost the PAF’s air defence capability, although the DND has not yet confirmed how many Spyder systems it wants to acquire.

The procurement is included under the second phase of the Revised Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Modernization Program (RAFPMP). - Read more at JANES

Author: Jon Grevatt  of JANES 

Surface to-Air-Python and Derby (SPYDER)

Quick Facts

Variants                 : SPYDER-SR / SPYDER-MR
Role and Mobility         : Short/Medium Range Surface to Air Missile System; Road-Mobile
Interceptors and Range: Python 5 Missiles and Derby Missiles; 15+ km
Sensors                 : SPYDER-SR: -Elta EL/M 2106 ATAR 3D Surveillance Radar
                : SPYDER-MR: -IAI/Elta MF_STAR Surveillance Radar
                : Upper Tier CCUs up to 100 km away
Targets         : Aircraft, Helicopters, UAVs, Drones, and Precision-Guided Munitions
Status/Exports : Operational; India, Vietnam, and Singapore and soon in the Philippines
Designer/Producer : Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Israel


The Surface to Air Python and Derby, also known as SPYDER, is an Israeli indigenous short-range air defense system. It is capable of multi-target simultaneous engagement and single, multiple, and ripple firing. It is also capable of operating in both day and night and has all-weather capability.

The standard SPYDER unit consists of a mobile command and control unit (CCU), and four mobile firing units. The launchers and CCU are connected by a datalink, which combines information from the surveillance radar with upper tier CCUs within a 100 km range. The interceptors are launched from a slant, which allows the interceptors to lock on to targets both before launch and after launch.

The SPYDER systems can fire two types of missiles as interceptors, the Python 5 missile and the Derby missile, both of which were originally air-to-air missiles repurposed for the SPYDER.

There are two variants of the system, the SPYDER-SR and the SPYDER-MR:

SPYDER-SR: The original short-range system, and has a range of 15+ km. The system is capable of holding four interceptors.

SPYDER-MR: A medium-range variant with a range of 35+ km. Other changes from the SPYDER-SR are an increased magazine size to hold eight interceptors, and a new surveillance radar, the IAI/Elta MF-STAR.

Strategic Implications

The SPYDER air defense system is valuable for its quick reaction speed and its many capabilities. In full-readiness state, the system can launch its missiles in less than five seconds from target confirmation.[v]It can launch both of its interceptors, the short-range Python 5 and the medium range Derby, in fire-and-forget or fire-and-update modes. These make the SPYDER a valuable asset for short range air defense.


* July 6, 2020: the Philippines' Department of Budget and Management approved the funding for the purchase of Spyder Surface-to-air Missile system

* July 4, 2018:Singapore announced its SPYDER systems had achieved full operational capability.

* May 11, 2017:India conducted three rounds of test firing of its SPYDER systems.

* 2015:Vietnam purchased SPYDER systems from Israel.

* 2012:Peru purchased the SPYDER as part of a new air defense plan.

* 2008:India awarded Rafael a contract for 18 SPYDER systems.

* 2005:Three SPYDER-SR systems were displayed at the Paris Air Show 2005.

Core Organizations

  • Philippine ArmyHukbong Katihan ng Pilipinas
  • Philippine NavyHukbong Dagat ng Pilipinas
  • Philippine AirforceHukbong Himpapawid ng Pilipinas
  • DNDKagawaran ng Tanggulang Pambansa
  • AFPSandatahang Lakas ng Pilipinas
  • AFRRESCOMPangasiwaan ng Panlaang Kawal ng Hukbong Sandatahang Lakas ng Pilipinas
  • Affiliated Organizations

  • ARESCOMPangasiwaan ng Panlaáng Kawal ng Hukbóng Katihan
  • NAVRESCOMPangasiwaan ng Panlaang Kawal ng Hukbong Pandagat) (PPKHP)
  • AIR RESCOMPangasiwaan ng Panlaang Kawal ng Hukbong Panghimpapawid
  • CAFGUCivilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit
  • PNPPambansang Pulisya ng Pilipinas
  • Coast GuardTanod Baybayin ng Pilipinas