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Israel Is Supplying Missile-Capable Crafts to the Philippines

The ships will be part of the navy's littoral combat force.
IMAGE ISRAEL SHIPYARDS
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Israel Shipyards, a former state-owned company, will supply naval assets to the Philippine Navy, the company announced on May 12. The company won a tender to supply the Philippines with Shaldag Mark V—a class of fast patrol craft developed for the Israeli Navy. 

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. 

More: Israeli Company Will Supply Sabrah Light Tanks to Philippine Army

According to Janes, a global open-source 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. 

In February, 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 for the 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. 

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Mario Alvaro Limos
Features Editor, Esquire Philippines
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