Two more fast attack craft interdiction (FAIC) vessels were delivered to the Philippine Navy (PN) by Israel Shipyards Ltd. last Saturday, November 18, bringing the number of such vessels in the country’s inventory to six.
“Two more FAIC platforms for PN were delivered to the country from Israel on November 18 aboard the general cargo ship Koga Royal,” Philippine Fleet (PF) spokesperson Lt. Giovanni Badidles said in a statement Sunday.
He added that these two newly-delivered FAICs are now at the Commodore East Posadas Wharf in Cavite City where it will be subjected to “begin the mandatory enhancement, maintenance, and training prior to commissioning them as PG-906 and PG-907” under the Acero-class patrol vessels of the PF’s Littoral Combat Force.
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.
While the third and fourth FAICs, BRP Gener Tinangag (PG-903) and BRP Domingo Deluana (PG-905) were delivered this April and commissioned last May.
“Their delivery is part of the FAIC Acquisition Project of the Revised AFP Modernization Program Horizon 2 contracted with Israel Shipyards, which include a total of nine platforms, and the transfer of technology to bolster the PN’s shipbuilding capability,” Badidles said.
He added the arrival of these FAICs are aimed at 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.
Another three more FAICs are expected to be constructed and delivered within the next two years.
The Acero-class gunboats are also known as the Israel Shipyard Ltd. Shaldag Mark V of which four are now in active service with the PN.
Four of the FAICs will be armed with non-line-of-sight (NLOS) 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.
These ships have a displacement of 95 tons, a maximum speed of 40 knots, and a range of 1,000 nautical miles.
The acquisition of these 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 January 5, 2021. These are expected to replace PN’s medium-sized patrol craft fleet.