Under the Revised AFP Modernization Program Horizon 2 phase, the Philippine Air Force (PAF) has officially selected the Rafael SPYDER (Surface-to-air PYthon and DERby) air defense system for its Ground-Based Air Defense System (GBADS) acquisition project.
According to MaxDefense, the selection was already passed to the Department of National Defense (DND) for negotiation and implementation of the procurement process vis-à-vis their counterparts with the International Defense Cooperation Directorate (SIBAT) at Israel’s Ministry of Defense (IMOD) and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems.
The decision to acquire the SPYDER was reportedly supported and approved by the outgoing PAF Commander, Lt. Gen. Galileo Gerard Kintanar.
During a December 21 Change of Command ceremony of the Philippine Air Force, which resulted in Lt. Gen. Kintanar's replacement by Lt. Gen. Rozanno Briguez, the outgoing commander disclosed that the PAF will acquire three ground-based air defense systems (GBADS) from Israel.
It should be noted that the SPYDER air defense system was the only Israeli GBADS product offered to the PAF. Hence, while Kintanar did not mention any specific model, it is obvious that he was referring to Rafael’s system.
MaxDefense adds that the systems will be operated by the PAF’s 960th Ground-Based Air Defense Group.
According to a report by Inquirer.net, the Philippines are also planning to acquire two new radars from IAI and some 13 Hermes UAVs from Elbit Systems.
Kintanar said the Air Force also expects the delivery of two Cobra attack helicopters from Jordan, six Super Tucano close air support aircraft from Brazil, and two fixed-wing Command and Control aircraft in 2019.
“(The year) 2019 is particularly sweet, a giant leap in our quest to defend our precious skies, and keep our nation free,” Kintanar said.