SPIKE-NLOS and Blue Shark are munitions for the major weapons system of the Philippine (PH) Navy — two anti-submarine helicopters, the Leonardo (formerly AugustaWestland) AW159s, also formerly known as Lynx Wildcat — and are here “already in-country,” according to Navy chief and Vice Admiral Giovanni Carlo Bacordo. He said deliveries of the weapons were completed in Q4 of last year.
With a complete assemblage of mission essential equipment, integrated logistics support system, and munitions, Bacordo expects pilots and aircrew of the AW159s to be fully trained and to further improve on the use of weapons to gain proficiency in handling them. The two AW159s were acquired to complement the anti-surface warfare (ASW) capabilities of the Jose Rizal-class frigates. The helicopters arrived in May 2019 and were immediately commissioned on June of the same year. Total cost for the munitions, mission essential equipment, and integrated logistics support is PhP 5.4 billion.
Spike NLOS missile. The Spike-NLOS (non-line of sight) missile is packed with capability to engage hostile vessels beyond visual range or “over the horizon” range and indirect attack capabilities. A product of Rafael in Israel, the Spike NLOS is a long-range anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) system employed by a wide range of launch platforms, including helicopters, tank destroyers, light vehicles, and even watercraft. Thirty countries have this weapon in their arsenal in multiple variants and numbers. These missiles are available in man-portable, vehicle-launched, and helicopter-launched variants.
Length ranges from 3 feet to about 5 and a half feet while mass vary according to bundle, use, and specifications. The NLOS is significantly larger than other Spike variants with an overall weight of around 70kg (154 lb and 5 oz.) It can be launched from the ground or from helicopters. It is ready to launch in 30 seconds and reloads in 15, with an effective firing range of 600 to 25,000 meters (660 to 27,340 yd). It is equipped with a solid propellant rocket engine with piezo-electic trigger and infrared homing (heat-seeking)-electro optical, passive CCD (charge-coupled device), or dual CCD/infraed seeker guidance systems. It has 10x optical sight.
BlueShark K745 Torpedo. The Blue Shark anti-submarine torpedo comes with a mass of 280 kg and length of 2.7 meters. It is equipped with operational range of 19 km at maximum speed of 45+ knots (83+ kn/h) and uses an acoustic guidance system. This weapon originates from South Korea (SoKor) is used by the Republic of Korea (SoKor’s official name) Navy and the Philippine Navy.
BRP Jose Rizal to ‘show’ PH flag off PH Rise, Fuga Island
ETA Subic Bay: September 23
The missile-frigate BRP Jose Rizal (FF-150) ship and the 125 contingent aboard will do a ‘show the flag’ mission in Benham Rise and near Fuga Island en route to Subic,” Philippine Navy (PN) public affairs office chief, Lt. Commander Maria Christina Roxas said in a message to the Philippine News Agency.
Now called the Philippine Rise, and formerly Benham Rise, is an extinct volcanic ridge located in the Philippine Sea approximately 250 km east of the northern coastline of Dinapigue, Isabela. Fuga Island, meanwhile, is located north of Luzon, part of the Babuyan archipelago, which is the second-northernmost island group of the Philippines. Read more …
Naval Task Group 80.5 lauded for RIMPAC 2020 efforts
Philippine Navy Captain Jerry Garrido, NTG 80.5 chief and concurrent commanding officer of the country’s first missile frigate, BRP Jose Rizal (FF-150), lauded all 125 members of the contingent for all their hard work in making sure that Philippine participation in the biennial naval exercise will be a success.
This, he said, greatly helped “(in) promoting the Philippine Navy’s objective of strengthening the relationship and multilateral cooperation among regional and extra-regional navies with their eager participation in this RIMPAC exercise.”
The two-week RIMPAC exercise also served as the ‘shakedown cruise’ of BRP Jose Rizal, which was officially commissioned on July 10 at Alava Wharf in Subic Bay, Zambales, departing on July 29 and arriving in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on August 15 after a fueling stop in Guam on August 2. Read more …
PH Navy says won’t fire ‘first shot’ despite provocations in WPS
“The one who fires the first shot loses public support because in so many of our engagements, we reiterated that we should resolve our issues through peaceful means,” Vice Admiral Giovanni Carlo Bacordo said in an interview.
Bacordo was referring to an incident that involved the anti-submarine corvette BRP Conrado Yap (PS-39), which was allegedly targeted by the fire-control system of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army navy corvette it encountered while patrolling off at the Kalayaan Island Group on 17 February.
“Remember the February incident where the Chinese navy pointed their fire-control system in the direction of (BRP) Conrado Yap is an example of a provoking action from one navy ship to another navy ship. Firing the first shot, would be a very unpopular move,” Bacordo said. Read more …
The AW159 mission capability. In addition to war-fighting roles, the highly adaptable AW159 is capable of performing a large variety of missions including: medical evacuation, search and rescue (SAR), special forces or troop insertion and transport of internal and underslung loads for vertical replenishment. It is an improved version of the Westland Super Lynx designed to serve in the battlefield utility, search and rescue and anti-surface warfare roles. This technologically advanced aircraft has a fully integrated and comprehensive suite of mission systems operated through a tactical processor. Its human machine interface is designed to reduce aircrew workload and increase cockpit capacity, thus, improving situational awareness and mission effectiveness.
According to Leonardo, its manufacturer since 2016, the AW159 is designed with high levels of survivability and crash-worthiness brought about by its ballistic tolerant design, self-sealing fuel tanks and armoured protection. Its short readiness times and high availability rates ensure it is prepared for operations in whatever the conditions, when others are not.
Formerly AgustaWestland, the reason for the ‘AW’ in AW159 Wildcat, it was also previously called the Future Lynx and Lynx Wildcat. It is a British military helicopter and carries two pilots with maximum passenger capacity of 6, including door gunner. It stands 15.24 meters (50 ft 0 in) long with a height of 3.73 meters (12 ft 3 in) and weighs 3,300 kg (7,275 lb). It can lift to a maximum takeoff weight of 6,000 kg (13,228 lb). While its main rotor diameter is 12.8 meters (42 ft 0 in), its main rotor area encompasses 128.7 square meters (1,385 sq ft).
The AW159 Wildcat takes maximum speed of 311 km/h (193 mph, 168 kn) with a range of 777 km (483 mi, 420 nmi), ferry range of 963 km (598 mi, 520 nmi), and endurance of 2 hours and 15 min or 4 hours and 30 min with auxiliary fuel tanks. It is equipped with armament pintle-mounted machine gun (e.g. FN MAG for army use or Browning M3M for the navy.
AW159 Wildcat primary users are the Philippine Navy, the Republic of South Korea Navy, the Army Air Corps of the United Kingdom and the Royal Navy. (/DS)
Featured Photo: The AW159’s multifaceted role: multipurpose utility, search and rescue (SAR), and an ASW machine.