San Antonio, Zambales
May 19, 2023

“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 to all exigencies that may confront our nation,” imparted President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. as he stood witness to the Philippine Navy’s (PN) anti-air warfare capabilities with the test firing of the surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) during a live demonstration off the coast of San Antonio, Zambales.

Aboard the viewing ship BRP Davao Del Sur (LD602), the Commander-in-Chief observed the capability demonstration of the Mistral 3 SAMs hitting and destroying a drone as a mock target based on a scenario where guided missile frigate BRP Antonio Luna (FF151) detected an unmanned aerial hostile.

The Mistral 3 SAMs have 90-millimiter high-explosive warheads, range of more than 3 nautical miles and speed of 2.7 mach. It is among the primary weapons of the Jose Rizal-Class (BRP Jose Rizal or the FF150) multi-mission capable frigates that bolster their defensive capabilities against aerial hostiles.

“With the impressive modern features that it has, such as infrared imaging seeker, advanced image processing, the missile system will be a significant boost to the four-dimensional warfare capabilities of our naval vessels, to make them more effective, more formidable in their multi-role operations. Overall, this upgrade in our vessels’ weaponry will further enhance our naval presence within our territorial domain,” the President said in his keynote speech, expressing the Administration’s commitment towards the completion and eventual commissioning of the rest of the PN’s projects lined up in Horizons 1, 2 and 3 of the AFP Modernization Program.

The AW159 anti-submarine warfare naval helicopter was also showcased through the utilization of its Compact-FLASH dipping sonar and the BlueShark torpedo to detect, locate and neutralize stealthy submarine.

“Let us likewise ensure parallel training and capacity-building for our personnel, especially for those who will actually operate and maneuver these major naval assets,” President Marcos Jr. ended in his message, urging further the naval forces to keep up the good work as continually guided by the national interests and democratic ideals of the country.

The PN considered the event a landmark activity as it represented a great stride in its resolve to better protect the Philippines and secure the Filipino people.

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