Navy’s strategic sealift vessel to be tested for seaworthiness by March
MANILA — One of the Philippine Navy’s soon-to-be-delivered strategic sealift vessels will be used by March to test its seaworthiness before it sets sail for the Philippines later this year.
The one of two SSVs being constructed in Indonesia will be subjected to a sea trial once the ship’s interiors are finished and its 117-member Navy crew arrives in Indonesia to conduct the test.
“The sea trial is done to check and ensure that all facilities and instruments are working before its voyage to the Philippines. It is a akin to a road test of a vehicle before it travels long distances,” said the Navy spokesperson, Col. Edgard Arevalo.
The sea trial would be the last process before the SSV, constructed by an Indonesian state ship builder, sails home to the Philippines as a vessel dedicated to humanitarian assistance and disaster response.
Last January 17, the SSV was launched in Surabaya, Indonesia by PT Pal Indonesia (Persero)
The ship is now water borne after being in dry dock during construction, with its interiors being furnished.
The Navy is optimistic that the new vessel will be home before the Philippine Navy Day on May 20.
The SSV is one of two vessels that the Navy contracted with the Indonesian ship builder for a contract price of P3.8 billion.
The ship’s crew will be going to Indonesia to check the facilities and integrity of the new vessel. The crew has 17 officers while the rest are enlisted personnel.
The second SSV is expected to be completed by next year.
Both vessels will be the Navy’s floating command and control for HADR operations, and will also serve as military sealift and transport vessels due to its capacity for transporting a large number of people and supplies.
Each SSV can house three helicopters, with the Navy’s Augusta Westland 109E attack helicopters designated as on-board components of these vessels. SFM