Philippine Navy successfully fires C-Star ASCM

BRP Jose Rizal (FF-150) frigate
BRP Jose Rizal (FF-150) Frigate.

The Philippine Navy announced on 8 May that its Jose Rizal-class missile frigate, BRP Jose Rizal (FF-150), had successfully hit a surface target with its C-Star sea-skimming surface-to-surface anti-ship cruise missile (ASCM) during the maritime strike phase of the US-Philippines Balikatan exercise.

The navy stated that the frigate launched the C-Star missile – made by South Korea defence prime LIG Nex1 – at the decommissioned naval tanker BRP Lake Caliraya at a distance of 20 nautical miles. The tanker was also the target for the Rafael Spike N-LOS (non-line of sight) missile launched by the fast attack interdiction craft BRP Lawrence Narag (PG-907) as well as air-launched precision munitions from the Philippine Air Force.

The SSM-700K C-Star ASCM is understood to carry a 250 kg warhead and is designed to offer performance on par with, if not exceeding, advanced versions of the US-made Harpoon anti-ship missile.

LIG Nex1 has also supplied torpedoes launched by the frigate’s two triple 324 mm torpedo launchers and complement the embarked anti-submarine warfare (ASW)-optimised Leonardo AW159 Lynx Wildcat helicopter. Both ship- and helicopter-launched torpedoes are reportedly the company’s K745 Blue Shark lightweight torpedoes.

The navy’s two Jose Rizal-class frigates are also armed with the MBDA Mistral 3 surface-to-air missile (SAM). The Mistral 3 is an infrared-homing system with a range of at least 7 km, with the manufacturer claiming a 97% proven success rate and higher reliability than comparable low-level air defence missiles.

Built by Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) in South Korea, the 107 m-long frigates are based on the company’s HDF-3000 platform design, which exceeding itself is a smaller version of the Incheon (FFX-I)-class frigate in service with the Republic of Korea Navy (RoKN). Both vessels were ordered by Manila under a US315 million contract in 2016, with an additional US$39 million earmarked for weapon systems and munitions.

The navy commissioned lead frigate, José Rizal, in July 2020, while the second, Antonio Luna, entered service in March 2021.

by Jr Ng