PH Air Force training for Israeli air defense system already ongoing
MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine Air Force has started training operators of an Israeli air missile system that it was expected to receive within 2021.
The first Missile System Officer Course started last March 1 at the Basa Air Base in Floridablanca town, Pampanga province, INQUIRER.net learned from a senior official privy to the training program.
A ceremony that marked the start of the program was led by Lt. Col. Generoso Bautista, group commander of the 960th Air and Missile Defense Group and Lt. Col. Emerson Bermeo, deputy group commander.
The training program sought to equip officers with skills and “operational knowledge to produce capable missile system officers to lead in the performance of the air and missile defense system’s mission capabilities.”
Those undergoing training are 10 officers who all are part of the unit.
The PAF has earlier selected Rafael SPYDER for its ground-based air defense system acquisition project. The Philippine government is spending around P6 billion for three batteries, including radar, command and control unit, Python 5 and I-Derby missiles.
Both the Python 5 and I-Derby missiles could be used for surface launch and air-to-air, which means it could be integrated to the PAF’s FA-50 light combat aircraft.
Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd., the Israeli state-owned manufacturer, said the system was designed to address “a wide spectrum of threats such as attack aircraft, helicopters, bombers, cruise missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles and stand-off weapons.”