The Philippine Navy (PN) announced that frigate BRP Antonio Luna (FF-151), has simulated the launching of its surface-to-surface missile armament in the ongoing Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise off Hawaii.
“The Philippines’ multi-mission capable warship also simulated the launching of its surface-to-surface missile in a simulation serial with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF)’s JS Izumo and US Navy USS Mobile Bay as opponent ships,” Navy spokesperson Commander Benjo Negranza said in a statement Tuesday night.
He was referring to the LIG Nex 1’s SSM-700K C-Star surface-to-surface missile which is the primary missile weapon of the Jose Rizal-class frigates.
The C-Star, which was delivered earlier this year, is described as a “sea-skimming surface-to-surface anti-ship cruise missile” and is part of PN Frigate Acquisition Lot 2 A.
“The PN’s participation in RIMPAC provides our sailors with experiential learning to better operate modern platforms and systems. It likewise allows them to exchange best practices with and learn from the best navies in the world,” Negranza said.
He also said that the ship successfully tested its secondary guns, the 30mm Aselsan Smash automatic cannon, and the .50 caliber machine guns during the second phase of RIMPAC’s gunnery exercise (GUNNEX) held last July 20.
Negranza said the BRP Antonio Luna fired these weapons at the “killer tomato” target deployed by the USS Mobile Bay.
“Meanwhile, during the surface warfare exercise (SURFEX), the PN frigate demonstrated its ability to detect hostile surface contacts with the embarked AW-109 helicopter performing as an intelligence surveillance reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft.
The RIMPAC, considered the world’s largest maritime exercise, is held biennially to promote regional stability in the Pacific region.
About 25,000 personnel from 26 participating nations are set to participate in the 28th iteration of RIMPAC, which was first conducted in 1971.
This year’s RIMPAC began on June 29 and runs until August 4.
Negranza earlier said Naval Task Group 80.5 would help develop, maintain and enhance the Navy’s pursuit of maritime collaboration with its counterparts through the exercise.
The PN’s participation in RIMPAC 2022, themed “Capable, Adaptive Partners,” will be the third after its maiden participation in 2018 and its sophomore run in 2020.
In the 2018 RIMPAC, the Navy deployed the offshore patrol vessel, the BRP Andres Bonifacio (PS-17), and the landing dock BRP Davao Del Sur (LD-602).
In the 2020 iteration of the maritime exercise, the PN sent the country’s first missile frigate, the BRP Jose Rizal (FF-150). Both the BRP Jose Rizal and BRP Antonio Luna are capable of anti-air warfare, anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, and electronic warfare operations.
Photo courtesy of Philippine Navy