15 Juni 2015
PN Strategic Sealift Vessel (image : pdff)
MANILA — Aside from improving the transport and logistics capability of the Philippine Navy (PN), the two strategic sea-lift vessels (SSVs) can also serve as command-and-control platforms or floating government centers during national emergencies.
This was disclosed by PN flag-officer-in-command Vice Admiral Jesus C. Millan in a message to the PNA.
"(These ships can also be converted into) floating hospitals or evacuation centers," he added.
The first SSV had its steel-cutting ceremony last Jan. 22 and is slated for delivery in May 2016.
While the second SSV had its steel-cutting last June 6 and is scheduled for delivery in May 2017.
Both ships are being constructed by PT PAL (Persero), an Indonesian shipbuilder, at its Surabaya facility.
"The two SSVs will be a big boost to our transport capability once they will be phased-in/commissioned to our inventory. The SSVs will address our gaps on troop transport support for internal security and they could also improve our humanitarian assistance and disaster relief capabilities as these vessels are multi-role platforms," Millan stated.
The Philippines has a two-SSV order with Persero for Php3,870,000,000 which is sourced from the AFP Modernization Fund.
The strategic sealift acquisition project for the PN was initiated upon the approval of Acquisition Decision Memorandum Number 2012-060 by the Secretary of National Defense last Oct. 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 Nov. 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.
Further, 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.