Philippine Navy Modernization: Acquiring Acero-class Gunboats for Maritime Security

Philippine Navy Modernization: Acquiring Acero-class Gunboats for Maritime Security
In a significant move to bolster its maritime capabilities, the Philippine Navy (PN) has recently incorporated two state-of-the-art fast attack interdiction craft (FAIC) platforms into its fleet. These Acero-class gunboats, a testament to the successful collaboration with Israel, are a crucial element of the ongoing modernization efforts under the Revised AFP Modernization Program Horizon 2.

1. Strengthening Maritime Power
The acquisition of these advanced gunboats, designated as PG-906 and PG-907 within the Acero-class patrol vessels, marks a pivotal moment in the PN's pursuit of naval modernization. These platforms, now part of the Fleet’s Littoral Combat Force, symbolize a significant reinforcement to the Philippine Navy's strength, bringing the total count of Acero-class gunboats to six.

2. Strategic Delivery and Commissioning
Delivered via the Kogra Royal cargo ship, these gunboats reached the Commodore East Posadas Wharf in Cavite City, where they are set to undergo essential enhancements, maintenance, and training. Designated as PG-906 and PG-907 within the Acero-class patrol vessels of the Fleet’s Littoral Combat Force, these platforms symbolize a substantial reinforcement to the PN’s naval strength.

3. From Vision to Reality: PN’s Modernization Journey
The genesis of this procurement can be traced back to the PN’s foresighted requirement articulated in 2019 for a new class of coastal patrol interdiction craft. These missile-capable vessels, modeled after Israel’s Shaldag V patrol boat, were designed to replace the retired Tomas Batilo-class fast attack crafts. The proposal from Israel Shipyards Ltd., chosen through a Government-to-Government (G2G) deal formalized in February 2021, stood out for its prowess as an interdiction craft.
Philippine Navy Modernization: Acquiring Acero-class Gunboats for Maritime Security
4. Robust Features of Acero-class Gunboats
The Acero-class gunboats boast a formidable armament, including a bow-mounted Mk.44 Bushmaster II autocannon on a Rafael Typhoon Mk 30-C remote-controlled weapon station. Further enhancing their offensive capabilities are two M2HB Browning 12.7 mm/50-cal. heavy machine guns on Rafael Mini Typhoon remote-controlled weapon stations. Select vessels will integrate a Rafael Typhoon MLS-NLOS missile launcher for Spike-NLOS surface-to-surface missiles.

5. Commitment to Self-Reliance: Naval Shipbuilding Center
The Naval Shipbuilding Center, revitalized under Israel Shipyard’s contract, stands as a testament to the PN’s commitment to self-reliance in naval asset production. Tasked with constructing the remaining Acero-class FAICs, this facility ensures readiness for future requisitions and strengthens the Philippines' position in naval defense.

6. Fortifying Maritime Security
The acquisition of these advanced gunboats underscores the PN’s commitment to fortifying its maritime security. With each addition, the navy takes substantial strides towards safeguarding Philippine waters and asserting its prowess in the region. Rear Admiral Toribio Acaci's plans to acquire an additional 15 Acero-class/Shaldag Mk. V patrol gunboats emphasize the strategic importance of these assets in the PN's modernization journey.
The Philippine Navy's modernization efforts, particularly the acquisition of Acero-class gunboats, represent a strategic investment in maritime security. These vessels, equipped with cutting-edge technology and weaponry, showcase the PN's commitment to staying at the forefront of naval defense in the region.

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post