The Philippine Navy has received the third batch of Shaldag Mk V fast attack interdiction craft built by Israel Shipyards on 18 November, the shipbuilder announced on its social media account on 22 November.
This accomplishment underscores the robust partnership between Israel and the Philippines in advancing maritime defense,” the company stated.
“We look forward to continuing collaboration with the Philippine Navy and contributing to the nation’s defense,” it added.
The company earlier announced in mid-2021 that it had signed a contract with a then-undisclosed customer, now identified to be the Philippines, to supply the Shaldag Mk V crafts along with technology transfer and instruction in the build and maintenance of the vessels, as well an upgrade of the customer’s shipyard for this purpose.
“At Israel Shipyards we work tirelessly to enable our customers to receive a comprehensive and long-term solution for their various needs in securing their maritime borders ‒ from the construction of vessels suitable for missions in the region, to knowledge transfer services that enable long-term savings for the customer,” said CEO Eitan Zucker at that time.
The first two vessels were commissioned into service with the Philippine Navy’s Littoral Combat Force as the Acero-class patrol gunboats in November 2022.
The Shaldag Mk V is an all-aluminium patrol craft with a full-load displacement of 95 tonnes and a draught of 1.25 m. The vessel is operated by a 10-person crew complement and can travel at a maximum stated speed of about 40 kt out to a range of 1,000 n miles at 12 kt. It can be armed with naval guns and missile launchers.
The company earlier signed an agreement with the Israel Ministry of Defense and the Philippine Department of Defense to address the Philippine Navy requirement for missile-capable fast attack interdiction crafts (FAIC-M), with the DND earlier issuing a notice of award (NOA) to Israel Shipyards for eight missile-capable FAIC-M platforms in early 2021.
Valued at approximately US$128 million, the NOA also included upgrade works to the Philippine Navy’s facilities, although it did not disclose the type of vessel that will be supplied by the shipyard. A separate NOA worth around US$79 million had also been issued to Rafael Advanced Defense Systems for weapon systems to arm the new vessels.
by Jr Ng