Philippine Navy’s soon to be largest vessel Landing Dock BRP Tarlac (LD-601), first of two Strategic Sealift Vessels (SSV) based on Makassar-class Landing Platform Dock (LPD), is now undergoing sea trials prior to its delivery in May. It will be back to shipyard for fine tuning before the turn-over.
The vessel was launched January 18 at PT PAL Indonesia’s shipyard in Surabaya. The launching event was attended by Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and Navy flag-officer-in-command Vice Admiral Caesar Taccad.
Meanwhile, Navy’s second SSV also undergone a milestone ceremony at the same event, the Keel Laying Ceremony. It is expected to be delivered in May 2017.
The Philippines has a two-SSV order with PT PAL (Persero) for PHP3,870,000,000 which was sourced from the AFP Modernization Fund.
“The acquisition of the SSV is a very important milestone for our Navy, and will increase our capacities for humanitarian assistance and disaster response during critical moments when we are hit by increasingly growing storms in this part of the world,” Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla said Friday.
“It’s a standalone command-and-control ship that can coordinate rescue, recovery, and retrieval efforts during disasters, as well as along with the bulk of goods and relief items that can be provided to our citizens. The other one is the ability for this ship to be used as a floating hospital, in case many of our health centers and hospitals in provincial areas that may be affected by disasters become unavailable,” Padilla added.
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