The Philippine Navy needs three strategic sealift vessels (SSVs) in its inventory to be a really world class naval force. This is according to Philippine Navy’s Desired Force Mix 2015. “I’m confident that the next set of defense officials, national leadership, will continue with the modernization,” Mercado said in an interview shortly after the welcoming ceremonies for BRP Tarlac, the country’s first SSV, Monday afternoon.
The country’s second SSV, which was also ordered from PT PAL (Persero), is expected to arrive by May 2017. Mercado said the Filipino SSV was patterned after the Indonesian Makassar-class landing platform dock.
Its sister ship is expected to be delivered by May 2017.
The ship has a complement of 121 officers and enlisted personnel. It can carry 500 troops, two rigid-hull inflatable boats, two landing craft units and three helicopters. BRP Tarlac has a tonnage of 7,300 tons, overall length of 120 meters, breadth of 21 meters, draft of five meters and carry a payload of 2,800 tons.
It has a cruising speed of 13 knots and maximum speed of 16 knots. The ship has minimum operating range of 7,500 nautical miles.
The Philippine Navy’s Desired Force Mix 2015 is divided in three horizons, acquisitions are currently under the first horizon.
In the Desired Force Mix 2015, the Navy shows need for 3 patrol frigates (2 del-Pilar class in service, 1 arriving) 7 guided missile frigates (2 in later stage of bidding), 3 SSVs (1 delivered, 1 under-construction), 8 corvettes, 3 landing craft cushion, 42 fast attack crafts, 6 semi-submersible ships, 2 logistic support vessels, 3 submarines, among others.
The Navy also listed different types of maritime helicopters for variety of missions which include heavy lift, anti-submarine (2 ordered), and close air support (2 delivered). Amphibious vehicles (8 ordered), patrol aircraft, air defense and medium range missile systems are also in Navy’s three horizon shopping list. with PNA
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