The Philippine Air Force on Tuesday (PAF) announced that the first two of three SPYDER air defense missile systems will be delivered by the last quarter of this year.
"The SPYDER Philippines Air Defense System is very much on time, delivery will be earlier than scheduled (January 2023), it will be in the country by end of November to the first week of December. The project is for three batteries, the first delivery will be two batteries," Air Force spokesperson Col. Maynard Mariano said in a message to the Philippine News Agency Tuesday.
Battery refers to the grouping of missile launchers. A normal battery consists of three or more missile launchers.
SPYDER is short for Surface-to-Air Python and Derby mobile-air defense system that was developed by the Israeli defense technology firm, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, with assistance from Israel Aerospace Industries.
Mariano added that the last SPYDER battery will be delivered along with a missile maintenance facility which will be built in the Philippines, giving military personnel the capability to maintain the weapon system.
"We have upgraded the program, the last battery will be delivered with a missile maintenance facility to be built in the country at no expense to the government. There will be a technology transfer that goes with this and it will make us capable of maintaining missile systems and will greatly help in the sustainment of the program," Mariano said.
Earlier, the PAF said it can now train on various surface-air missile engagement techniques after it formally accepted its first missile simulator, the SPYDER Philippines Air Defense Systems (SPAD) Simulator-Training Center last April 26.
The facility is located at the Basa Air Base in Floridablanca, Pampanga.
"The SPADS Simulator-Training Center is the AFP’s (Armed Forces of the Philippines) first missile training center, which will serve as a training ground for future missile operators to prepare them for real-world challenges, as well as to increase personnel knowledge, skills, and develop the right attitude for air and missile defense," he said.
The SPAD Simulator-Training Center is part of the Ground Base Air Defense System (GBADS) acquisition project of the PAF, which seeks to enhance the military's defense capabilities.
The simulator training center aims to develop three different capabilities – detection through radar, command, and control, and missile firing.
It is also custom-made for the men and women of the PAF to utilize in their training on advanced air defense techniques.
The Notice of Award for the GBADS acquisition project was released in 2019.