Things are really looking up for the Armed Forces of the Philippines, it was announced late last month that the Philippine Navy will be arming its two brand new AugustaWestland AW159 “Wildcats” anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopters with the Israeli-made Spike NLOS (non-line-of-sight) missiles.
The Spike NLOS (non-line-of-sight) missile “is a perfect solution for naval helicopters,” with a range of 30 kilometers and a “dedicated warhead which can neutralize any target.”
It was originally designed to destroy tanks.
The missile, capable of penetrating 39 inches of armor, can be operated in either direct attack mode or by mid-course navigation based on target coordinates only. These modes enable defeat of long-range hidden targets with pinpoint precision.
Philippine Navy spokesperson Capt. Lincuna said that it will be using the Spike NLOS as an anti-ship weapon due to its claimed range of 30 kilometers.
“The missile has a built-in camera that allows it to be operated day or night,” the PN spokesperson.
Lincuna said the missiles will complement the AW-159s’ detection and tracking equipment.
“The helicopters will be a full package, from detection, tracking, up to prosecution,” he said.
The Department of National Defense signed a contract with AugustaWestland, now Leonardo, to buy two AW-159 ASW helicopters for PHP5.362 billion, March 2016.
It will be deployed aboard the two frigates the Philippines has ordered from South Korea worth PHP16 billion.
Part of Philippine Navy’s Horizon 1
The Philippine Navy’s successful acquisition of the AugustaWestland AW-159 (now Leonardo) was from the Department of National Defense’s (DND)- the Anti-Submarine Helicopter Acquisition Project (ASHAP)- part of the Philippine Navy’s Horizon 1 under the Revised Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Modernization Program (RAFPMP).
The Philippine Navy, envisioned the two (2) ASW helicopters will be working together with the brand new acquisition of Frigates which last year was awarded to South Korea.The two (2) helicopters primary mission is to, conduct anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface warfare (ASuW), and maritime patrol, while secondary missions are Search and Rescue (SAR), and passenger & cargo transport. The project also involves the acquisition of an initial batch of air-launched munitions for the helicopters, as well as an Integrated Logistics Support (ILS) package(http://maxdefense.blogspot.my/2016/04/confirmed-philippine-navy-acquires.html)