CLARK AIR BASE, ANGELES CITY, PAMPANGA (PNA) --- The country's first strategic-sealift vessel (SSV) will be delivered to the Philippine Navy (PN) in May 2016, a military official confirmed on Monday.
"The ship is now 87 percent complete and will be launched this coming January (2016). The SSV will be delivered sometime this May," Navy spokesperson Col. Edgard Arevalo said at the sidelines of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) 80th founding anniversary Monday.
Eight seven percent completion means the ship's keel, propulsion, engine and other major systems are now installed.
The second SSV, which is now 46 percent complete, will be delivered in 2017, Arevalo added.
When asked if the SSVs are to be armed, Arevalo said defensive armament of the ships will be installed by the PN.
The Philippines has a two-SSV order with Persero for PHP3.87 billion 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 last Oct. 30, 2013.
The Department of National Defense declared Persero as the Single Calculated Responsive Bidder with a bidding price of PHP3.87 billion 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.