Israel Launches Missile-Capable Crafts for the Philippines
Israel Shipyards, a former state-owned company in Israel, has launched two Shaldag V for the Philippines. The Shaldag Mark V is a class of fast patrol craft developed for the Israeli Navy, and will now see service in the Philippine Navy. Nine units of Shaldag Mk V were ordered in a contract signed on February 9, 2021 under the Navy's Fast Attack Interdictor Craft-Missile (FAIC-M) Acquisition Project
The fast ships are designed for security tasks involving high intercept speeds. It has a solid reputation in seakeeping and maneuverability in all sea states. It performs well in rough seas and difficult weather. The Shaldag class craft was originally intended for protecting against and neutralizing terrorist threats.
"After several months of Transfer of Technology progress, the Israel Shipyards team alongside Philippine Navy members have been working together, designing and constructing the vessels," Israel Shipyards wrote on its LinkedIn page.
According to Janes, a global open-source site for defense intelligence, the Philippine Navy chose Israel Shipyards to provide missile-capable fast attack interdiction craft to expand its littoral combat force—hinting the attack boats will be used in the West Philippine Sea, a major flashpoint in the Asia Pacific region.
Back in February 2021, the Philippine Department of National Defense revealed it was eyeing the purchase of four Shaldag Mark V, but Israel Shipyards offered an additional one unit for free.
The Philippine and Israeli governments negotiated a deal that is worth P6.2 billion, which is a relatively affordable price for such brand-new equipment.
Four of the vessels will be made at the Cavite shipyard using Israel’s technology. They will be ready for commissioning in 2022, and will replace the navy's aging fleet of Tomas Batillo-class patrol ships.