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Photo shows Israeli weapons test, not ‘Philippines launch rocket’


Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos said the archipelago had acquired a Spyder air defense system in 2022 as part of an effort to modernize the military. However, a photo circulating on Facebook shows other devices. Israeli company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems said the photo showed a new missile tested in Israel in December 2023, while a Philippine Air Force spokeswoman told AFP that the equipment in the photo shared online “not from us“.

“AIR DEFENSE ROCK OF THE PHILIPPINES”, read a Facebook post who shared the photo on May 17.

“The Launch of Missiles of the Philippine Air Force Spyder Air Defense Missile System.”

Spyder is a ground-based air defense system developed by the Israeli company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems.

Screenshot of the fake post, taken on June 1, 2024

Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos welcome the Spyder defense system acquired by the Philippine Air Force in November 2022 (archived link).

Manila purchased the equipment in 2019 as part of efforts to modernize his army (archived here And here).

Similar Facebook posts claimed the photo showed the Spyder defense system in the Philippines here And here.

The posts circulated after thousands of Philippine and American troops participated military exercises – called Balikatan or “shoulder to shoulder” in Tagalog – at various locations in the Asian archipelago in April and May (archived link).

The drills came as tensions soared between Chinese and Philippine ships in the disputed South China Sea.

One of the events in the war games there was the “first ever meeting” of a US Patriot missile and the Philippines’ Spyder system (archived link).

Israeli missile test

However, Philippine Air Force spokeswoman Col. Consuelo Castillo told AFP that the equipment in the photo was “not ours.”

A reverse image search on Google revealed that the photo actually shows another missile being tested in Israel.

Rafael advanced defense systems published a video of the defense system seen in photo in an article about testing of the new “All in One” Spyder defense system, conducted in Israel in December 2023 (archived here And here).

The Israeli Ministry of Defense also shared this photo on January 14, 2024 in a post on social media sitearchived link)

Below is a comparison of the photo shared in the fake posts (left) and the Israeli Ministry of Defense X-post (right):

Comparison of the photo shared in the fake posts (left) and the Israeli Defense Ministry’s X-post (right)

The weapons company Posted images of the live fire test on YouTube (archived here).

Philippine fact-checking organization FactRakers has also debunked this claim.

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