A fourth batch of multipurpose attack craft (MPAC) on order for the Philippine Navy (PN) will largely inherit the design of the Mk III vessels that were commissioned in 2017, an industry official has told Jane’s .
The official, who spoke at the Kaohsiung International Maritime and Defence exhibition on the condition of anonymity, described the fourth batch as featuring mostly internal modifications to accommodate more equipment such as troop-carried firearms, and ammunitions.
“The MPACs will not have the assault ramp found on earlier boats. Like the Mk III boats, the fourth batch will also be designed to deploy missiles,” the official said, in reference to the Rafael Defense Systems’ Spike Extended Range (ER) surface-to-surface missiles found on hulls 488, 489, and 491.
The PN currently operates a fleet of nine MPACs, which have been ordered in three separate batches of three boats each. The Philippine Department of National Defense approved the acquisition of a fourth batch of three vessels in late 2017, Jane’s has been informed.
According to information provided by the industry official, vessels in the fourth batch will each feature an overall length of 17 m, an overall beam of 4.76 m, and a hull draught of 2.1 m. Propelled by waterjets, the platform can attain a maximum speed of 47 kt, and a maximum mission range of 350 n miles at 30 kt.
Besides Spike-ER missiles, other weapons that can be accommodated on the vessel include two stern-facing 12.7 mm machine guns, and one remote-controlled weapon station (RCWS). It will have a crew complement of seven, and accommodate between 8 and 10 fully equipped troopers.