The Philippine Navy’s multipurpose attack vessels are being equipped with Israeli-made missiles, which will likely be inducted in the next three months, the navy chief said Thursday.
The surface-to-surface missiles, called Spike ER,which have a range of 8 kilometers (5 miles), are being installed in three multipurpose attack vessels which were acquired earlier and will be ready for deployment in two to three months, Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad was quoted as saying by AP after a maritime security forum in Manila.
However, he declined to comment the number of missiles acquired.
Empedrad told that the navy also plans to acquire torpedoes, submarines and other major defense equipment under a modernization program to bolster the security of an archipelago with one of the world’s longest coastlines and to combat piracy and other cross-border crimes.
The possible hotspots where the missile-armed vessels could be deployed include western Palawan province and the Zamboanga Peninsula in the country’s south, he said.
Palawan island faces the South China Sea, where the Philippines has been disputing ownership of a chain of islands, reefs and atolls with China, Vietnam and three other governments.