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September 1, 2016 1:53 pm

Report: Seeking to Bolster Military Prowess, Philippine Navy Looks to Purchase Israeli Fast Patrol Boats

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An Israel Navy Shaldag-class fast patrol boat. Photo: IDF.

An Israel Navy Shaldag-class fast patrol boat. Photo: IDF.

Seeking to bolster its military prowess, the Philippine Navy is looking to purchase six Israeli fast patrol boats, the MaxDefense blog has reported.

According to the report, the potential acquisition of the Shaldag-class vessels, built by Haifa-based Israel Shipyards, is part of an upgrade program currently being expedited, due to new Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s goal of “beefing up the capabilities to fight internal threats like insurgency, terrorism and drug shipments.”

With its eyes on using the Shaldag MK V for such missions, the Philippine Navy reportedly submitted a Request for Information to Israel Shipyards. The Shaldag MK V is said to be faster and able to carry more weapons than the nearly three-decade-old US-made Jose Andrada-class patrol boats currently in use by the Philippine Navy.

Regarding the weaponry expected to be installed by the Philippine Navy on the Shaldag MK Vs, the report said the boats will likely “be armed with a stabilized remote weapons station for a 25mm gun and small surface-to-surface [Spike] missiles” — missiles which are produced by Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems.

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The Philippines is among a growing number of countries seeking Israeli military technology. Just this week, The Algemeiner reported that the Lithuanian military will equip its 88 new Boxer armored fighting vehicles with advanced Israeli-made remote weapons stations.

In addition, earlier this month, The Algemeiner reported that the Indian military plans to equip itself with an Israeli radar system that will enable Indian troops to detect terrorists hiding in dense forests.

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