The Philippine Navy, represented by the crew onboard the future BRP Lolinato To-Ong, attended the launching ceremony of the command’s two brand-new Fast-Attack Interdiction Crafts (FAICs) in Haifa, Israel on June 26, 2022.
Commodore Alfonso Torres Jr., Chairperson of the Pre-Delivery Inspection Team, and Commodore Roy Vincent Trinidad, Chairperson of the Project Management Team of the FAIC Acquisition Project, led the PH Navy’s delegates in witnessing the launch of the new ships held at the Israel Shipyards Limited port.
In his speech during the ceremony, Commodore Torres stressed Israel’s key role in the success of the Navy’s Multi-Purpose Assault Craft (MPAC) program. “[Israel] paved the way for the FAIC Acquisition Project, [which] includes a complete transfer of technology, a first of its kind in our defense cooperation.”
“This project enables the Philippine Navy to make a “leap-frog” approach in strengthening our littoral defense capability in the areas of warfare, sustainment, and technical knowledge,” he added.
The launch was attended by Eyal Califf, Director of Israel’s Ministry of Defense’s Directorate for International Defense Cooperation (IMOD-SIBAT) for Asia and the Pacific, Sammy Katsav, Chairman of the Board of Israel Shipyards, Ltd., and Ran Tavor, Director of Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd.’s Naval Division.
The launching is a prelude to the conduct of the Pre-Delivery Inspection of the said vessels from June 27-30, 2022.
The acquisition of the new crafts is the latest in the Philippine Navy’s pursuit to become a modern and multi-capable naval force, responsible for protecting our maritime nation’s sovereignty. — AFP