MANILA — The country’s first strategic vessel (SSV) is now undergoing sea trials, said Philippine Navy (PN) spokesperson Col. Edgard Arevalo Saturday.
This is to determine whether all the ship’s systems are operational for the voyage to the Philippines.
“It’s akin to a car doing road test. The facilities and other navigational instruments are being tested to ensure seaworthiness especially before its embarks on its voyage to the Philippines,” Arevalo added.
Also undergoing trials are the ship’s propulsion, electrical and communication systems.
Arevalo did not give an exact time frame on when these tests will be completed.
The first SSV, out of a two-ship order from PT PAL (Persero), was launched last January 17.
It was the designation of “LD-601” and the prospective name of BRP Tarlac.
The first SSV will arrive this May while the second will be delivered on May 2017.
The Philippines has a two-SSV order with PT PAL (Persero) for PHP3,870,000,000 which is sourced from the AFP Modernization Fund.
The SSV acquisition project for the PN was initiated upon the approval of Acquisition Decision Memorandum Number 2012-060 by Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin on October 30, 2013.
The Department of National Defense declared Persero as the Single Calculated Responsive Bidder with a bidding price of PHP3,870,000,000 on November 18, 2014.
The SSVs are programmed to be the PN’s floating command center carrying out their main purpose as military sealift and transport vessels and also for humanitarian assistance and disaster response.
The ships are estimated to weigh around 7,300 gross register tons.
Furthermore, these vessels are critical assets for civil-military operations due to their capability of transporting large number of soldiers, logistics, and supplies.
Moreover, each SSV has the capacity to house three helicopters. The Navy’s Augusta Westland-109s are programmed to be on-board components of these vessels.
These forthcoming landing platform dock strategic sealift vessels will improve the transport capability of the PN and boost the defense capabilities of the country. PNA/northboundasia.com