Philippine Air Force receives first Spyder air defense systems - M5 Dergi
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Philippine Air Force receives first Spyder air defense systems

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The Philippine Air Force on July 5, 2022, announced that the first two of three Spyder air defense missile systems would be delivered by the last quarter of 2022: “The Spyder Philippines Air Defense System is very much on time; delivery will be earlier than scheduled (January 2023).

It will be in the country by the end of November or the first week of December. The project is for three batteries. The first delivery will be of two batteries”, Air Force spokesperson Col. Maynard Mariano said in a message to the Philippine News Agency. A battery consists of three or more missile launchers. So, the first delivery has been completed ahead on schedule.

The last Spyder battery will be delivered along with a missile maintenance facility which will be built in the Philippines, giving military personnel the capability to maintain the weapon system: “We have upgraded the program. The last battery will be delivered with a missile maintenance facility to be built in the country at no expense to the government. There will be a technology transfer that goes with this and it will make us capable of maintaining missile systems and will greatly help in the sustainment of the program,” Mariano said.

The first Spyder Philippines Air Defense Systems (SPAD) simulator was delivered to the training center last April 26. The facility is located at the Basa Air Base in Floridablanca, Pampanga. The simulator training center aims to develop three different capabilities: detection through radar, command, and control, and missile firing.

Spyder air defense system

The Spyder (“Surface-to-air Python and Derby”) is a short and medium-range mobile air defense system developed by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems with assistance from Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). Rafael is the prime contractor and IAI is the major subcontractor for the Spyder program. This system achieved a notable milestone in 2005 when missiles were fired against test targets in Shdema, Israel and scored direct hits. Since then, it has been showcased in multiple military exhibitions throughout the world.

The Spyder is a low-level, quick-reaction surface-to-air missile system capable of engaging aircraft, helicopters, unmanned air vehicles, drones, and precision-guided munitions. It provides air defense for fixed assets and for point and area defense for mobile forces in combat areas. The system is fitted atop a Tatra truck, a Mercedes-Benz Actros truck, a MAN TGS truck, a Scania P-series truck, a Dongfeng truck, or a TELAR.

It implements the Python-5 and Derby missiles of the same company. The Spyder launcher is designed to fire Python-5 and Derby surface-to-air missiles which share full commonality with the air-to-air missiles. There are two variants of the Spyder: the Spyder-SR (short-range) and the Spyder-MR (medium-range). Both systems are quick reaction, all-weather, network-centric, multi-launchers, and self-propelled.

A typical battery consists of a central command and control unit, six missile firing units, and a resupply vehicle. The Spyder-SR uses the EL/M-2106 ATAR radar while the Spyder-MR incorporates the EL/M-2084 MMR radar. The latter is the same radar used by the Iron Dome system currently in service with the Israel Defense Forces.

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