The keel of the Philippine Navy (PN)'s first-ever strategic sealift vessel (SSV) is now being constructed by Indonesian shipbuilder PT PAL (Persero).
PN public affairs office chief Cmdr. Lued Lincuna in a message to the PNA said work on the SSV has been proceeding smoothly since steel cutting started on Jan. 22 at the Persero's shipyard in Surabaya, Indonesia.
"(With the fast pace on construction), we are hopeful that the May 2016 delivery of the first SSV will be met," Lincuna said.
has a two-SSV order with Persero for Php4-billion which is sourced from the AFP
Modernization Fund. Philippines
The second SSV is expected to be completed and delivered by May 2017.
The keel is a beam around which the hull of a ship is built.
It runs in the middle of the ship, from the bow to the stern, and serves as a basic foundation or spine of the structure, providing the major source of structural strength of the hull.
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 on 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.