Capability test firing off Bataan not due to Xi’s visit
Posted 3 years ago
Commander Jonathan V. Zata, director of the Naval Public Affairs Office (PN / MANILA BULLETIN)
The Philippine Navy said that Wednesday’s capability test firing activity held off the waters of Lamao Point, Bataan, was not intended to coincide with the two-day visit to the country of Chinese President Xi Jingping.
This was clarified by Commander Jonathan V. Zata, director of the Naval Public Affairs Office on Wednesday.
“It’s not intentional. It’s not something that was planned, purposely for anyone, or any organization. It so happened that the planning cycle afforded this window and this is the only available window that was agreed upon,” Zata said.
“Hindi ito (This is not) purposely against one person or against an organization or even a particular entity. It so happened lang na yung (that the) planning cycle, even consideration… medyo nauna na to (This came first) even before…,” he added.
Zata, at the same time, said that President Rodrigo Duterte was supposed to attend the scenario-based capability demonstration and live firing of the newly-installed Spike Extended Range (ER) Missile System and Mini Typhoon Machine Gun System (MGS) on board the Multi-Purpose Attack Craft (MPAC) MKIII but sent instead Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.
Zata said the Capability Demonstration is PN’s way of showing its readiness and preparedness as it acquires new capabilities as part of the ongoing military modernization program.
“The newly acquired Spike ER missile system, automated machine gun system and rocket equipped helicopter of your navy are intended to better serve the country and people,” Zata said.
The Philippine Navy successfully tested last August its first Spike-ER surface-to-surface missile on board the Multi-Purpose Attack Craft (MPAC) MKIII during the Sea Acceptance Test (SAT) off Lamao Point in Limay, Bataan.
Zata said Navy officials together with teams from Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. (RAFAEL) and the Technical Inspection and Acceptance Committee (TIAC) of the Department of National Defense (DND), oversaw the test firing activity that included the SAT for the Mini Typhoon Machine Gun System (MGS) and SAT for the Spike-Extended Range (ER) Missile Launching System (MLS).
He said it is necessary to test, inspect and accept the weapons and its systems in accordance with the contract for the final acceptance of the system.
Zata said Vice Admiral Empedrad, together with other senior Navy officers and DND Defense Acquisition Office representatives were on board an MPAC as they witnessed the historic missile live fire testing.
He said a Spike-ER missile was fired and accurately hit the designated target, approximately 6 kilometers away from the firing platform.
“The target was hit dead center even if the sea state condition was moderately rough with wave of at least 1 meter high but within the normal firing conditions of the missile,” Zata said.
The Philippine Navy MPAC Acquisition Project earlier entered into a contract with RAFAEL, through SIBAT of Israel Ministry of Defense (IMOD), for the supply and integration of the Weapons Systems to MPAC MKIII platforms.