Israel Is Supplying Air Defense Missiles to the Philippines
Israel’s state-owned Rafael Advanced Defense Systems is supplying SPYDER, a ground-based air defense system, to the Philippines. The Philippines selected the Israeli company to supply the much needed equipment to the Philippine Air Force, according to a report by Israel Defense.
Israel has supplied the same ground-based air defense system to Singapore. Once acquired, the Philippines will make a significant leap in its coastal defenses, particularly of the West Philippine Sea. It will be the first time the country will have ground-based air defense missiles.
Rafael is the same company that developed and manufactured Israel’s famed Iron Dome, which has a 90 percent success rate in intercepting enemy projectiles. Since its installation in 2011, the Iron Dome has downed 2,400 rockets fired from Gaza.
The acquisition project will cost the Philippines P6 billion for three batteries of Rafael’s SPYDER—a ground-based mobile air defense system that can be installed on strategic locations facing the West Philippine Sea. The air defense system is expected to be delivered within 2021.
Military Officers Training for SPYDER
In March, 10 officers from the Philippine Air Force were selected to train with Rafael. The first Missile System Officer Course started last March 1 at the Basa Air Base in Floridablanca town, Pampanga province, according to a report by the Inquirer.
According to the report, the training aims to equip the officers with “operational knowledge to produce capable missile system officers to lead in the performance of the air and missile defense system’s mission capabilities.” The training will cover comprehensive courses on strategy, nature, and use of the three batteries, radars, missiles, as well as the command and control unit.
SPYDER stands for “Surface-to-air Python and Derby.” Python and Derby refer to a family of missiles developed by Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems.
It is a quick-reaction surface-to-air missile system designed to take down enemy aircraft such as fighters, unmanned aerial vehicles, drones, and missiles.