NAVIGATIONAL, deck and engineering equipment are being installed on the Philippine Navy’s second strategic sealift vessel (SSV) that is undergoing construction at the PT PAL shipyard in Surabaya in Indonesia, a navy spokesman said over the weekend.
Navy spokesperson Capt. Lued Lincuna told journalists he has no idea on the vessel’s percentage of completion but said it will arrive in the country by May next year. It will be named BRP Davao Del Sur.
“I don’t know the exact percentage of completion but for sure she will be [home in the Philippines]by May 2017,” Lincuna said.
The BRP Davao Del Sur (LD-602), launched last September 29, 2016, is the largest Philippine warship that is currently in commission with the Navy. It is the sister ship of the BRP Tarlac (LD-601) that was commissioned in Pier 13, Manila South Harbor on June 1, 2016 after arriving in the country on May 14, 2016, following a five-day journey from PT PAL’s shipyard in Surabaya.
Like her sister ship BRP Tarlac, BRP Davao Del Sur is a Makassar-class landing platform dock.
Its delivery to the Philippines, tentatively scheduled middle of next year, will complete the two-unit SSV procurement project with an approved budget of P4 billion sourced from the military’s Modernization Act Trust Fund.
Just like its sister ship, BRP Davao Del Sur will serve as a floating command-and-control ship, especially in the conduct of humanitarian assistance and disaster response (HADR). It will also serve as a military sealift and transport vessel.
The ship has an overall length of 120 meters and a breadth of 21 meters, draft of five meters, and can carry a total payload of 2,800 tons.
BRP Davao Del Sur will have a cruising speed of at least 13 knots, maximum speed of 16 knots and a minimum operating range of 7,500 nautical miles. It can carry 500 troops, two rigid-hull inflatable boats, two landing craft units and three helicopters.