The Philippine Navy on Friday took delivery of its first-ever Mistral 3 surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) as part of the military’s ongoing modernization program.
Delivered by French-based arms missile manufacturer MBDA, the new weapon system will be fitted to the country’s BRP Jose Rizal (FF-150) and BRP Antonio Luna (FF-151) naval warships.
According to Armed Forces of the Philippines spokesperson, Col. Ramon Zagala, the service continues to acquire new assets under the revised modernization program to bolster the country’s military capabilities and better protect its maritime territories.
The official further stated that the newly-purchased Mistral 3 missiles are “cost-effective” and can efficiently deny or deter enemy intrusion and attacks.
The deal costs 600 million Philippine pesos ($12.3 million) and was procured through a negotiated agreement with the MBDA, as reported by the Asia Pacific Defense Journal.
‘Strengthening Warfare Capability’
The Mistral is a short-range air defense missile system that can be used on military vehicles, helicopters, and surface ships. Around 40 armed forces from various countries are reportedly using the system.
For Navy spokesperson, Commander Benjo Negranza, the Mistral 3 missiles are considered primary weapons of the country’s most modern frigates. He also said the new weapons can strengthen the anti-air warfare capability of the southeast Asian nation.
“The arrival of these missiles will greatly capacitate our JRC (Jose Rizal-Class) frigates in the conduct of their maritime operations,” the spokesperson remarked.
Although the precise number of delivered Mistral missiles was not disclosed for security reasons, it was revealed that the navy is expecting another set of missile technology in 2022.
“This is a game changer. This is still part of the frigate acquisition… This coming March, the surface-to-surface missiles would arrive,” Vice Admiral Adeluis Bordado told reporters in Filipino.