The Philippine Navy has christened its first two of eight future fast-attack interdictor craft-missile (FAIC-Ms) vessels at command headquarters in Manila.
The BRP Nestor Acero (PG-901) and BRP Lolinato To-Ong (PG-902) were named after two Philippine Marine Corps heroes and recipients of the Medal of Valor, the highest military award for courage in the country’s armed forces.
“These ships could be deployed to patrol and protect our littorals from any possible threats,” Philippine Navy Spokesperson Cmdr. Benjo Negranza said.
“This acquisition aims to strengthen the country’s naval capability in terms of enhancing littoral defence and maritime interdiction operations as it will complement previously acquired 12 multi-purpose attack craft (MPAC) of PN,” Negranza explained.
Last June, BRP Acero and BRP To-Ong were launched and succeeded in sea trials.
The 10 billion Philippine peso ($175 million) contract for the FAIC-M project was issued in January 2021 to replace the navy’s aging patrol killer medium surface vessels as part of the Horizon 2 List of the Revised Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Program.
Soledad Bacarro, the wife of Philippine Armed Forces Chief-of-Staff Lt. Gen. Bartolome Bacarro, served as the sponsor for both ships.
Israel Shipyards Limited constructed the 32-meter (105-feet) long FAIC-M vessels. The ship is expected to engage threats and deploy missiles in the country’s littoral zones.
The vessels carry remote stabilized weapons, short-range missiles, and other precision strike capabilities to rapidly intercept targets on land and at sea.
Four of the ships will utilize non-line-of-sight missiles that allow pinpoint accuracy and a range of 25 kilometers (16 miles), with the remaining four armed with machine guns and automatic light cannons.