Navy frigates test countermeasures vs anti-ship missiles


The Philippine Navy has tested its newly acquired anti-ship missile defense for its two frigates, ensuring that both warships can defend themselves in a modern-day sea battle.

Navy spokesman Capt. Benjo Negranza said the Bullfighter chaff decoys aboard the two Jose Rizal class frigates were tested last week in the waters of Zambales.

The testing of the countermeasures aboard the BRP Jose Rizal and BRP Antonio Luna was made by the Offshore Combat Force of the Navy’s Philippine Fleet.

Negranza said the Bullfighter is a new generation of 130mm decoys for Super Rapid Blooming Offboard Chaffs (SRBOC) and other 130mm launcher systems to protect naval vessels up to the size of frigates against anti-ship missiles.

The payload of the chaffs is effective against missiles with modern and sophisticated seekers and electronic protection measures.

“The acquisition of the chaff countermeasure capability is part of the Navy’s Horizon 2 modernization program to capacitate our warships to defend against modern naval warfare threats,” Negranza said.

The two Jose Rizal class frigates were the first pair of warships from the Navy that have been armed with modern countermeasures.

Aside from the frigates, the Navy is also in the process of completing its delivery of nine offshore patrol vessels and two corvettes.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Army and the US Army in the Pacific are stepping up their joint training under the ongoing “Salaknib” military exercise.

Both forces carried out the helocast exercise last week wherein special operation forces (SOF) trained in being inserted into an area by jumping directly from a helicopter into water.

Army spokesman Col. Xerxes Trinidad said that aside from the heliborne operations, both forces also conducted the sling load exercise.

The sling load trained soldiers in rigging up pieces of artillery, military trucks and crates onto all-weather, medium-lift Chinook and Black Hawk helicopter using sling sets, cargo nets and other specially designed equipment.

“Sling loading equipment allows units to avoid obstacles that may hinder them from promptly reaching their target destination. The technique is also used to reach areas where the use of convoys is impractical or unfeasible,” Trinidad.

Today, Army forces from both countries will conduct live-firing exercises for the HIMARS and AT-4 84mm anti-tank weapon in Nueva Ecija. Both weapons were brought into the military exercises by the US.