03 Agustus 2011

Philippines Expresses Interest in Spanish LPD and OPV Designs

03 Agustus 2011

Galicia class LPD (photo : Militaryphotos)

Spanish shipbuilder Navantia sent a sales team to the Philippines in July to follow up on initial interest from the archipelagic nation in regenerating its antiquated naval fleet.

Designs were presented for a landing platform dock (LPD) and offshore patrol vessels (OPVs), the company said on 2 August. Noone was available for further comment "because of the summer holidays".

Navantia built two 14,000-tonne Galicia-class LPDs for the Spanish Navy (Armada Española) in the late 1990s; SPS Galicia and SPS Castilla have both been employed on disaster relief/humanitarian aid operations - a capability that would be called upon frequently in and around the Philippines, an area prone to extreme seismic and weather events.

Avante class OPV (image : Navantia)

The company is also offering its Avante 1400 OPV design. Nearly 80 m long and displacing about 1,500 tonnes, this vessel is based on the POVZEE (Patrullero Oceánico para la Vigilancia de la Zona Económica Exclusiva) ships on order for the Venezuelan Navy.

Navantia said that it sent a team to Manila at the beginning of 2011 to "sound out the possible future needs" of the Philippine Navy. The follow-up visit in July came after the Philippines government "asked Navantia to present officially these two products that fit the future needs of their navy".

Navantia's workload has become increasingly export-oriented as its main client, the Armada, has been restricted by three consecutive years of defence budget cuts. The company's director of new construction, Angel Recaman, told Jane's earlier this year that around half its work was now for foreign customers.

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