first strategic sealift vessel (SSV) will be officially launched on Jan. 17 at
the PT PAL (Persero) shipyard in . Surabaya,
"We just got word from the Navy that the strategic sealift vessel, one of two that we have ordered from
, will be launched this
Jan. 17," Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson Brig. Gen.
Restituto Padilla said on Friday. Indonesia
Padilla said ranking Philippine defense and military officials will be present during the launching of the first SSV.
"Why are we relaying this news? The acquisition of the SSV is a very important milestone for our Navy, and will increase our capacities for humanitarian assistance and disaster response during critical moments when we are hit by increasingly growing storms in this part of the world," Padilla pointed out.
He added the SSV will give the Navy the capability to transport en masse sizeable number of relief and human assistance and disaster response personnel in critical areas that may be hit by disasters.
"Another, it's a standalone command-and-control ship that can coordinate rescue, recovery, and retrieval efforts during disasters, as well as along with the bulk of goods and relief items that can be provided to our citizens. The other one is the ability for this ship to be used as a floating hospital, in case many of our health centers and hospitals in provincial areas that may be affected by disasters become unavailable," Padilla said.
The first SSV will arrive in the country by May while the second will be delivered in May 2017.
has a two-SSV order with PT PAL (Persero) for PhP3.87 billion which is sourced
from the AFP Modernization Fund. Philippines
The SSV acquisition project for the PN was initiated upon the approval of Acquisition Decision Memorandum Number 2012-060 by Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin 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.