28 Juli 2015
BRP Ivatan (AT298) and BRP Batak (AT299) will arrive next week (photo : snipview)
The Philippine government will purchase remaining three decommissioned Landing Craft Heavy (LCH) vessels from the Australian government. This was confirmed by President Benigno S. Aquino III in his sixth State of the Nation Address (SONA) July 27 at the Batasang Pambansa Complex in Quezon City.
“We plan on buying three more, once all the paperwork has been put in order, the processes to procure them will begin,” Aquino said in Filipino. The said vessels are part of five recently decommissioned Australian Balikpapan-class LCVs. Two were donated to Philippine Navy and are expected to arrive next week.
“By next week, two Landing Craft Heavy will arrive from Australia,” the President said.
He added that the turnover of these vessels was very generous. “They even came with spare parts and generators.”
“These vessels will reduce our dependence on the kindness of other nations; we will be able to accelerate delivery to different parts of the Philippines, and more promptly send aid, supplies, and other heavy equipment such as bulldozers, which are needed for clearing and relief operations,” Aquino said.
The Department of National Defense previously said remaining three Australian LCHs will be procured at a giveaway price of PhP726 million.