Philippine Navy christens two fast patrol crafts

The Philippine Navy (PN) has welcomed the two brand-new, missile-capable Shaldag Mk. V fast attack interdiction craft-missile (FAIC-M) during the christening ceremony at the Commodore Divino Pier.

The first two vessels of the Acero-class patrol gunboat are named after both Philippine Marine Corps heroes and Medal for Valor recipients, the late Private First Class Nestor F. Acero, and the late First Lieutenant Lolinato G. To-ong.

Philippine Navy
Photo: Philippine Navy

Soon to be commissioned BRP Nestor Acero (PG901) and BRP Lolinato To-ong (PG902) are part of the nine Shaldag Mk V contracted with the Israel Shipyards Limited with an approved budget of 10 billion pesos inclusive of missile and weapon systems.

Three more are slated to be delivered beginning this year, while the remaining four units will be constructed at the PN shipyard in Naval Station Pascual Ledesma, Cavite City.

These 32-meter, high-speed vessels are equipped with quick intercept ability, remote stabilized weapons, and short-range missiles that are capable to deliver precision strikes against larger hostiles and high-value targets on land or sea.

 Vice Admiral Adeluis Bordado, Navy Flag Officer In Command, emphasized that “[t]hese new FAIC-M vessels are designed to enhance the Navy’s capability in addressing threats within our unique archipelagic composition, at the same time, protect our maritime interests in a rapid and precise manner”.

The acquisition of these vessels represents a giant leap forward in the navy’s continuing capability upgrade in order to achieve a minimum credible defense posture and to assert more efficiency in the conduct of its mandated task, the officials concluded.