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Philippine Air Force officers start training on Israeli air defense system SPYDER.

| 2021

The Philippine Air Force (PAF) has started the training of its officers who will operate the soon-to-be delivered SPYDER (Surface-to-air PYthon and DERby) ground-based air defense system (GBADS) from Israeli Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, Defense Studies reports. PAF is set to receive three batteries of SPYDER GBADS with delivery expected to begin this year.
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Rafael's SPYDER air defense system (Picture source: Rafael)

According to a report of Frances Mangosing in, Lieutenant Colonel Generoso Bautista and Lieutenant Colonel Emerson Bermeo, the group commander and deputy group commander, respectively, of PAF’s 960th Air and Missile Defense Group led the opening of the training on March 1 at Basa Air Base in Floridablanca, Pampanga. According to the report, the training aims to provide PAF officers with “operational knowledge to produce capable missile system officers to lead in the performance of the air and missile defense system’s mission capabilities.”

The SPYDER (Surface-to-air PYthon and DERby) is a low-level, quick-reaction, 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 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, Scania P-series truck, 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 a 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 one 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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