Category Archives: Anti-Ship Missiles

The Spike ER and NLOS Missiles of the Philippine Navy

A full scale mock up of a Spike NLOS missile. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
A full scale mock up of a Spike NLOS missile. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The Israeli company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd revealed to the press recently that they will provide the Spike ER missiles for the Philippine Navy (PN) and the Spike NLOS missiles for our Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Helicopters.[1] The Spike ER will likely be used on our Multi-Purpose Attack Craft (MPAC) Mark Three (Mk3) while the Spike NLOS will be used on our AW159 Wildcat Helicopters.

Both Spike missile versions were bought as part of the packages for the MPAC and AW159, with the MPAC project awarded in February 2016[2] while the AW159 acquisition was awarded in March 2016.[3] These acquisitions are significant because for the Spike ER, it will be the very first missile system ever to officially enter service with our PN ships. The Spike NLOS on the other hand will be the first ever guided missile to enter service for use with the PN’s helicopters.
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Anti-Ship Missiles and Their Weapons Platforms for the Philippine Armed Forces

‘ASM Weapons Platforms’
If you look at a map of the Philippines below, one you will notice is that is is surrounded by large bodies of water on all sides: The Luzon Strait in the North, the South China Sea in the West, the Philippine Sea in the East and the Celebes and Sulu Seas in the South.
philippine_map

This means that any invasion against it will have to involve ships, LOTS of ships. Aircrafts have speed, but they can’t match the amount of payload that ships can carry. Hence, it is only right that our external defense strategy should involve defense against ships.

In World War 1, defeating ships involved using other ships with large cannons in Battleship vs. Battleship showdowns. In World War 2, it involved planes to strafe/bomb/torpedo other ships. In this day and age, it involves using Anti-Ship Missiles or ASMs.
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Light Anti-Ship Missiles for the Philippine Navy

The Philippines’ Department of Defense (DoD) last year announced that it is looking at the possibility of acquiring Anti-Ship weapons to beef up the country’s Maritime Surveillance Capability[1]. I think it is about time as I feel that Anti Ship Missiles (ASMs) are needed for our warships in order to improve their capability of going up against enemy ships, especially at this time when China has been BLATANTLY showing aggressive acts in terms of acquiring our territorial waters.

‘Which Ships?’
The Philippine Navy (PN) currently have a total of around 14 Corvettes and Frigates. Of these, only 5 are truly modern (3 Peacock class Corvettes and 2 Hamilton class Frigates), while the rest are World War 2 relics. The PN does have 38 Patrol Craft vessels, all of whom are fairly modern, with the oldest class manufactured in the 1970s.[2]
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