PH Navy to get strategic sealift vessel in 2016
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Navy will be getting its new strategic sealift vessel from Indonesia by 2016, an acquisition seen to boost the country’s naval defense capabilities.
The first of two SSVs, constructed by Indonesian state-owned shipbuilder PT PAL (Persero), will be arriving in March 2016, according to Col. Edgard Arevalo, the Navy spokesperson.
The second SSV would be completed by 2017, the Navy official said.
The Indonesian state-owned shipbuilder won the contract to build the two vessels at a price of P3.87 billion. Construction of the two vessels began in January this year with the funding coming from the military’s modernization budget.
The vessels, classified as landing platform dock strategic sealift vessels, will be the Navy’s floating command centers as these will be used as military sealift and transport vessels, and for humanitarian assistance and disaster response.
The SSVs will be capable of transporting a large number of soldiers, logistics, and supplies, with each vessel able to house three helicopters.
The Navy’s Augusta Westland-109 helicopters will be on-board components of these vessels.
The acquisition of the new SSVs are seen as a major modernization effort of the Navy’s assets.
Currently, the Navy’s major assets are three frigates, which include the BRP Ramon Alcaraz and BRP Gregorio del Pilar; 11 corvettes; 38 patrol crafts; 11 amphibious landing ships; and eight auxiliary ships.
The BRP Ramon Alcaraz and Gregorio del Pilar were formerly used by the United States Coast Guard as Hamilton class high endurance cutters before being turned over to the Philippines in 2011. Both have been deployed for patrol duties in the contested West Philippine Sea. SFM
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.