The Philippine Fleet (PF) received two more fast attack interdiction craft (FAIC) platforms, also known as the Acero-class gunboats from Israel.
The PF is the naval warfare branch of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and a part of the Philippine Navy.
The gunboats were delivered Saturday through the cargo ship Kogra Royal and are now at the Commodore East Posadas Wharf in Cavite City for enhancement, maintenance, and training, PF spokesperson Lt. Giovanni Badidle said in a statement.
The platforms will be commissioned as PG-906 and PG-907 under the Acero-class patrol vessels of the Fleet’s Littoral Combat Force.
The delivery is part of the FAIC Acquisition Project of the Revised AFP Modernization Program Horizon 2 contracted with Israel Shipyards, which includes a total of nine platforms, and the transfer of technology to bolster the Philippine Navy’s shipbuilding
With the delivery and pending commissioning of PG-906 and PG-907, the Philippine Navy now has six Acero-class gunboats.
The first two Acero-class gunboats–BRP Nestor Acero (PG-901) and BRP Lolinato To-Ong (PG-902)–were delivered in September 2022 and commissioned in November of the same year.
The third and fourth FAICs, BRP Gener Tinangag (PG-903) and BRP Domingo Deluana (PG-905) were delivered in April and commissioned the following month.
“It (deliveries) marks another milestone in the Fleet’s resolve of reinforcing the country’s littoral/coastal defense with modern fast patrol combat vessels that have proven to be highly reliable in addressing current and emerging threats, and transnational crimes,” Badidles said.
The remaining three Acero-class gunboats are expected to be constructed and delivered within the next two years.
Four of the FAICs will be armed with non-line-of-sight missiles with pinpoint accuracy and a range of 25 kilometers while the other five
will be armed with typhoon-mounted 30mm main cannons and .50 caliber heavy machine guns.
The acquisition of the FAICs is among the 2019 projects approved by former president Rodrigo Duterte under the Horizon 2 List of the AFP Modernization Program.
The notice of award for the FAIC-M project, worth around P10 billion, was issued on Jan. 5, 2021.