A heavy lift firm BigLift Shipping said it loaded three Australian naval vessels, Balikpapan-class Landing Craft Heavy (LCH), intended for delivery to Philippines. “Last week our Happy Buccaneer loaded three Navy Landing Crafts,” BigLift Shipping said March 21.
“Two vessels were loaded in Darwin and one in Cairns. All three with destination Cebu – Philippines,” BigLift Shipping said.
These vessels – former HMAS Balikpapan, HMAS Wewak and HMAS Betano – were decommissioned from the Australian Navy service then acquired by Philippines at a giveaway price, within 10 to 15 percent of the actual value of vessels.
The acquisition was after two vessels of same class were donated by Australia to Philippines. Donated vessels were commissioned as BRP Ivatan (formerly HMAS Tarakan) and BRP Batak (ex-HMAS Brunei) to Philippine Navy last year.
“These vessels will reduce our dependence on the kindness of other nations; we will be able to accelerate delivery to different parts of the Philippines, and more promptly send aid, supplies, and other heavy equipment such as bulldozers, which are needed for clearing and relief operations,” President Benigno S. Aquino III said during his last State of the Nation Address (SONA).