19 November 2016
IMI Lynx mobile launching system (photo : Maxdefense)
Philippine defense and military officials today have seen how Israeli missile system work. Israel Military Industries (IMI) and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI)-ELTA jointly conducted a live-fire demonstration in Israel, Friday afternoon (Manila time), according to MaxDefense Philippines.
The said live-firing was to demonstrate Israeli firms’ offer for Philippine Army’s Shore Based Missile System (SBMS) acquisition project, MaxDefense said.
“Among those demonstrated were the IMI Lynx mobile launching system, the EXTRA, Accular, and Predator Hawk guided rocket systems, and smart ammunitions for the 155mm howitzers, which are offered to the AFP as well,” MaxDefense said.
IAI-Elta ELM-2084 Multi-Mission Radar (photo : Maxdefense)
Present during the said demonstration were National Defense Undersecretary for Finance and Material Raymund Elefante, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief-of-Staff General Ricardo Visaya, Army commanding general Lieutenant General Eduardo Año, Philippine Marine Corps commandant Major General Andre M. Costales Jr., Navy vice commander Rear Admiral Rafael G. Mariano, and other officials from the Army and Navy.
MaxDefense Philippines is being managed by Max Montero, an Australia-based defense analyst and a former naval reservist officer in the Philippine Navy.
In mid-2015, a reprioritization in the AFP modernization program was made by senior defense and military officials shelving the planned SBMS acquisition project (at that time) in favor of equipment that can be used for internal threats. (Update)
The Shore Based Missile System: A Background
MaxDefense previously discussed the Shore Based Missile System project, which was the most expensive project in the Philippine Army’s request under the Horizon 1 phase. It has an Approved Budget for the Contract (ABC) worth Php 6.5 billion, and is to be procured by direct negotiation under a government-to-government (G2G) procurement deal with Israel and Israel Military Industries (IMI).
The original offer made by IMI involves the acquisition of a small battalion, with 2 batteries composed of 2 platoons per battery of mobile guided rocket / missile system that could be fired against threats from the sea, including ships, landing crafts, and even fixed positions on sea features. It also involves the acquisition of a battery of short-range air defense system that will defend the SBMS against aerial threats.
Each platoon will have its truck-mounted launchers and ammunition reload carrier/loader, radar, and platoon fire direction centre, while the battery has its own command post, FDC, support equipment, forward observation equipment, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) for surveillance and target acquisition.
The system is centred on IMI’s Lynx MLRS modular launch system, which is configured to fire different rocket and missile systems. To be able to hit small moving targets at sea, IMI has offered their 306mm EXTRA guided rocket which has a published range of 150 kilometres, and can carry several types of warheads up to 120 kilograms.
EXTRA, Accular, and Predator Hawk guided rocket systems (photo : konflikty)
EXTRA is guided to its target by a GPS-augmented inertial navigation system developed by Israeli Aerospace Industries (IAI). According to inside sources, the rocket adjusts its trajectory as the target’s position changes while in flight. This results to a circular error probable (CEP) of only 10 meters, although MaxDefense was informed that actual CEP is lower than published.
The project was already in the advanced stages when it was cancelled by then PhilippineArmy chief Lt. Gen. Hernando Iriberri for reasons explained in our previous blog entry. Instead, he proposed to use the Php 6.5 billion budget to frontload the acquisition of sniper rifles, force protection equipment, and other items for the Philippine Army that are originally scheduled for acquisition on the Horizon 2 phase. This proposal was ultimately not approved for implementation even until now. While the general said he didn’t cancel the project and just moved it to a later date, the project is still not implemented as of this writing.