4 Navy vessels now helping in Surigao quake relief efforts

MANILA — With four gunboats now helping in the Surigao City relief efforts, there is still no need to deploy the Philippine Navy (PN)’s largest ship,the BRP Tarlac (LD-601), in the ongoing mercy missions in quake-affected areas.

This was disclosed by PN spokesperson Capt. Lued Lincuna in a message to the Philippine News Agency Thursday.

“(There are) no final plan for the deployment of the SSV (strategic sealift vessel) (yet),” he added.

Lincuna said there are still other naval assets in the area that can support the ongoing relief efforts in Surigao City.

Four gunboats in Naval Forces Eastern Mindanao were earlier tapped to help in the ongoing humanitarian assistance and disaster relief mission in the locality.

The 7,000 gross-ton BRP Tarlac was commissioned during short ceremonies at Pier 13, Manila South Harbor last June 1.

She arrived in the Philippines last May 14 after a five-day journey from PT PAL (Persero)’s shipyard in Surabaya which started on May 9.

The Philippines has a two SSV order with the Indonesian shipbuilder worth PHP3.8 billion.

She was formally presented to the public at Pier 13, Manila South Harbor last May 16.

BRP Tarlac was assigned to the Philippine Fleet’s Sealift Amphibious Force.

The ship has an overall length of 120 meters,breadth of 21 meters, draft of five meters and carry a payload of 2,800 tons.

She has a cruising speed of 13 knots and maximum speed of 16 knots and a minimum operating range of 7,500 nautical miles.

Her sister-ship is expected to be delivered by May 2017. The ship has a complement of 121 officers and enlisted personnel.

She can carry 500 troops, two rigid-hull inflatable boats, two landing craft units and three helicopters.

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