National defense gets a boost via S2A missile system

THE latest acquisition of the game-changing surface-to-air missile system by the Philippine Navy (PN) will further boost its warfare capabilities, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. said on Friday.

After witnessing the SAM capability demonstration aboard the BRP Davao del Sur (LD 602) in San Antonio, Zambales, the President was elated by the continuous effort of the PN to realize its mandate.

“I am very happy to be able to join the brave men and women of our Philippine Navy on this important day as we conduct our test fire, our country’s first surface-to-air missile system, the Mistral 3, and the other weapon systems that we have seen demonstrated here this morning,” Marcos said.

“With the fluid security situation in our region, it is imperative that the Armed Forces of the Philippines and of course the Navy is substantially equipped, trained, and always on alert to respond to any and all exigencies that may confront our nation. It is for this prime reason that we exert a continuous effort to strengthen the capacity of our Armed Forces,” he added.

Marcos said the administration will continue similar naval exercises while the government is completing and eventually commissioning the rest of the PN projects in the pipeline.

“We are now working on horizon three of the AFP modernization program. As we do so, let us likewise ensure parallel training and capacity building for our personnel, especially for those who would actually operate and maneuver these major naval assets and with the backing of their highly technical training,” the President pointed out.

“I urge the entire rank of the Philippine Navy to keep up the good work continually guided by the national interest and the democratic ideals of the Republic of the Philippines,” he added.

Among the officials who witnessed the event were Senior Defense Undersecretary Carlito Galvez Jr., House Speaker Martin Romualdez, Armed Forces chief Gen. Andres Centino, and PN Flag Officer in Command Vice Admiral Toribio Adaci leading the PN officers and enlisted personnel.

The PN said the SAM capability demonstration was among the major events leading to its 125th anniversary celebration on May 20.

During the live-fire demonstration, BRP Antonio Luna’s countermeasure, the Bullfighter chaff decoy, was displayed during the demonstration.

The Mistral 3 SAMs have 90-millimeter high-explosive warheads, range of more than 3 nautical miles and speed of 2.7 Mach. They are among the primary weapons of the Jose Rizal-class multi-mission capable frigates that bolster their defensive capability against hostile aircraft.

These weapons have been acquired through the PN Frigate Acquisition Project Lot 2B awarded to MBDA missile systems based in France with a budget of around Php670 million.

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