Independent foreign policy seems to be the underline factor for this development.It really looks like we are expanding our military hardware for purposes of diversity and so as not to over rely on western made armaments.
Last August it was reported by Russian news agency TAAS, the Philippines has expressed its desire to acquire Russian made fast attack vessels manufactured by Kalashnikov Concern. *
|Kalashnikov's BK-16 high speed landing boat|
TAAS reports that : “The Armed Forces of South Africa are considering the purchase of 12 boats of both modifications while the Philippines and Argentina want to buy 10 such vessels,” Kalashnikov spokeswoman Sofia Ivanov said.
The Kalashnikov fast craft has two modifications which are transport/landing and assault.
According to Navy Recognition website, BK-16 has an operational range of 400 km, a maximum speed of 42 kt, a crew of two servicemen and a passenger capacity of 19 soldiers, while BK-10 has a maximum speed of 40 kt and a passenger capacity of 10 soldiers.
It added that both can be equipped with 7.62 mm machinegun, 12.7 mm heavy machinegun or 30 mm/40 mm automatic grenade launchers.
The Philippine Navy is currently operating 9 Multi-Purpose Attack Craft (MPAC) with very similar specifications with the mentioned Russian fast-attack crafts.
MPAC Mark IIIs, the newest 3 MPACs of Philippine Navy, are set to be fitted with Israeli missile system.
Mark IIIs will be armed with the Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd’s Spike ER (extended range) in anti-ship mode.
It is capable of penetrating 1,000 mm (39 inches) of rolled homogeneous armor and has a maximum range of five miles.
Rafael is also providing Mini-Typhoon Remote Controlled Weapon Station for MPAC Mark III. Mini-Typhoon has a variant which incorporates a machine gun and surface-to-surface missiles. *
Filipino shipbuilder Propmech Corporation and Taiwanese builder Lung Teh Shipbuilding Co. joint venture is building the MPACS, while Israel’s Rafael Advance Defense Sytems Ltd’d will provide the weapons system.
Report from Update.ph