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Philippines tests first ever missile system

The Philippine Navy on Thursday successfully tested its first ever missile system, acquired from an Israeli weapons manufacturer, Officials said.

The Spike Extended Range missile system, fitted on a multipurpose attack craft, accurately hit a metal plate target six kilometres away, Navy Spokesman, Commander Jonathan Zata, said.

“The target was hit dead centre even if the sea state condition was moderately rough with waves of at least 1 metre high, but within the normal firing conditions of the missile,’’ Zata said in a statement.

The test was conducted off the port of Lamao in Bataan province, 43 kilometres west of Manila.

The missile system was delivered to the Philippines in April by Israeli manufacturer Rafael Advanced Defence Systems Ltd.

It has a range of eight kilometres and has been installed in three Philippine navy attack ships.

Zata said a second test would be conducted to allow President Rodrigo Duterte to witness the demonstration.

Defence department spokesman, Arsenio Andolong, said the missile system would “greatly enhance the navy’s capability to secure (the country’s) littoral areas against terrorism and in support of maritime law enforcement operations’’.

The Philippines has been building up its defence capabilities amid a territorial dispute in the South China Sea, which Beijing claims almost entirely.

Aside from the Philippines and China, parts of the sea, which is a key shipping lane believed to be rich in mineral and marine resources, are also claimed by Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei.

(dpa/NAN)

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