MANILA – Personnel of the Philippine Navy’s (PN) Naval Combat Systems Center and crew members of the BRP Jose Rizal (FF-150), the country's first missile frigate, have completed their training for the operation and maintenance of the ship's newly delivered Mistral 3 surface-to-air missile (SAM) system.
The intermediate level maintenance (ILM) training was carried out by the original equipment manufacturers of the Mistral 3.
"Successfully completed after two weeks of face-to-face discussion and hands-on activities, the trainees familiarized themselves and got first-hand experience on the operation and maintenance (of) the newest SAM system," a Naval Sea Systems Command Facebook post said Tuesday night.
Technical training and practices are crucial in the operation of the system and the maintenance personnel.
"(The) ILM is a vital part of sustaining every PN naval asset, while preventive and corrective maintenance is the lifelines of naval vessels that are essential to the asset's continuous operational readiness," the post read.
The Mistral 3 missiles were delivered at the Subic Bay International Airport in Bataan on October 8.
The procurement and delivery of the Mistral 3 SAMs are part of the PN Frigate Acquisition Project Lot 2B, which was awarded to the MBDA Missile Systems based in France.
Surface-to-air missiles are among the primary weapons of the FF-150 and FF-151 (BRP Antonio Luna) that bolster the Navy’s anti-air warfare capability.
Meanwhile, the Navy's Frigate Acquisition Lot 2A, which is for the Jose Rizal Class’ (JRC) surface-to-surface missiles, is scheduled for delivery in March 2022.
South Korean defense manufacturer LIG Nex 1 will deliver C-Star missiles, which is considered the main surface-to-surface weapon of the JRCs.
The C-Star is described as a "sea-skimming surface-to-surface anti-ship cruise missile."
The BRP Jose Rizal and BRP Antonio Luna are modern warships capable of surface, sub-surface, air, and electronic warfare using state-of-the-art electronic sensors, long-range missiles, acoustic guided torpedoes, and an embarked anti-submarine helicopter.
The BRP Jose Rizal was delivered to the Philippines in May 2020 and commissioned in July that year while the BRP Antonio Luna was commissioned on March 19 this year.
The contract for the two ships was placed at PHP16 billion with another PHP2 billion for weapon systems and munitions. (PNA)