Tarlac-class landing platform dock

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BRP Tarlac homebound.jpg
BRP Tarlac (LD-601) underway in May 2016
Class overview
Name: Tarlac
Builders: PT PAL, Surabaya, Indonesia
Operators:  Philippine Navy
In service: 1 June 2016– present
Planned: 5 (1 modified as hospital ship)
Completed: 2
Active: 2
General characteristics
Type: amphibious transport dock
Displacement:
  • Standard load: 7,400 tons
  • Full load: 11,583 tons[1]
Length: 123 m (404 ft)
Beam: 21.8 m (72 ft)
Draft: 5 m (16 ft)
Installed power: 1 x MAN D 2842 LE301 diesel generator
Propulsion:
Speed: 16 knots (30 km/h) maximum
Range: 9,360 nautical miles (17,300 km)
Endurance: 30 days
Boats & landing
craft carried:
  • 2 × LCU or LCM at floodable well docks
  • 2 × RHIB or LCVP at boat davits
Capacity: 500 troops and associated vehicles & equipment
Complement: 121
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • Navigational radar
  • Surface & Air search radar (planned)
  • Electro-Optical Fire Control System (planned)
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
Electronic Warfare Suite (planned)
Armament:
  • 1 × 76 mm (3 in) main gun on the foredeck (FFBNW)
  • 2 × 25 mm (0.98 in) secondary RCWS guns, one each on the port and starboard sides (FFBNW)
  • 6 x 50-caliber machine guns
Aircraft carried: 2 × AW109 Power
Aviation facilities: Hangar and flight deck for 2 medium helicopters

The Tarlac class is a ship class of landing platform docks, based on the Indonesian Navy's Makassar class, that is commissioned under the Philippine Navy. Two ships were ordered and constructed by the Indonesian state-owned shipbuilder PT PAL (Persero).[3] The lead ship was launched on 17 January 2016[4] as BRP Tarlac.[5] The second ship was delivered on 10 May 2017 and named as BRP Davao del Sur.[6] The class was initially called the "Strategic Sealift Vessel" before the class was formally named.

Construction of the first unit already started in January 2015 and was delivered in July 2016, while the second unit started a few months after and delivered by 2017 after going through sea trials.[7] These ships would be the first of its kind to be operated by the Philippine Navy, and are meant to be used for amphibious operations and transport duties in support of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, but will double as a support platform for Humanitarian and Disaster Relief (HADR) and Search & Rescue (SAR) operations.

History[edit]

The original strategic sealift vessel project was based on a proposal to acquire a converted Ro-Ro (Roll On – Roll Off) vessel from Japan as recommended by the Center of Naval Leadership & Excellence in 2009. Purchase and technical assistance was to be provided by the DBP Maritime Leasing Corporation Inc. (DMLC).[8] It was one of the priority items in the wish list for purchase between 2012 and 2016 presented by the armed forces to the House of Representatives' committee on national defense and security on 26 January 2011. But this project did not push through due to delays in budget allocation and with the ship being offered and sold to another buyer.

Initially a separate project from the Strategic Sealift Vessel, the Department of National Defense (DND) was rushing the acquisition of one or two multi-role vessels (MRV) for the Philippine Navy through government-to-government contract at a cost of 5 to 10 billion pesos. Initially the reported source of the said ships is either South Korea or Singapore.[9] Previous statements and news reports indicate that the multi-role vessels are comparable to landing platform docks operated by foreign navies like the Singaporean Endurance class or the Spanish Galicia class.[10] It was later confirmed that the ship would be from South Korea[11] and is a variant of the Indonesian Navy (TNI-AL) Makassar class LPD, and is packaged with four units Samsung Techwin KAAV-7 amphibious assault vehicles (AAV), two units Daesun 23-meter landing craft utility LCU-23, four units 9.8-meter rigid-hulled inflatable boats, one unit truck-based mobile hospital, two units Kia KM-250 2​12-ton troop trucks, two units Kia KM-450 1​14-ton troop trucks, two units Kia KM-450 ambulances, two units Kia Retona 1/4-ton utility vehicles, and one unit forklift/cargo handling equipment.

In May 2011, reports surfaced on the possible acquisition of three landing platform docks from Indonesian shipbuilder PT PAL. This would be of indigenous design and will have no resemblance to the previously constructed model for the Indonesian Navy, the Makassar class, which was of South Korean origin.[12] This would represent another option as South Korea has been reportedly pushing for the sale of at least one platform based on the Indonesian Navy Makassar class. As of December 2011, the Philippine Navy was cleared to start negotiations for the ship/s from any friendly nations with a budget of Php 5 billion.[13]

With the cancellation of the original SSV project, the two projects were combined as the strategic sealift vessel, based on the original multi-role vessel parameters and requirements. Based on the "Philippine Fleet Desired Force Mix" strategy concept publicly released in May 2012, the Philippine Navy requires at least four strategic sealift vessels to be available by 2020.[14]

On 24 May 2013, the DND announced the proposed acquisition of two service support vessels (SSVs) worth P2 billion each, describing the ships as vessels smaller than the original MRV requirement but still capable of moving a battalion of troops with their armored vehicle complement, and equipped with helipad and a platform for search and rescue operations which could be fitted with hospital facilities.[15][16] On 29 August 2013, the DND declared PT PAL of Indonesia as the winner of the two SSVs and considered as the "lone eligible bidder" with a bid price of Php 3,963,999,520.00. Other firms bought bid documents but never pursued their interest in the actual bidding procedures.[17]

Design[edit]

The design is closely based on the Makassar class of Landing Platform Dock used by the Indonesian Navy, which in turn were actually based on a low-cost LPD design from Korean shipbuilder Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering / Daesun Shipyard.

BRP Tarlac underway in Manila Bay
A scale model of Strategic Sealift Vessel presented by PT PAL during ADAS 2014.

Communication equipment[edit]

The communication equipment is supplied by the Portuguese company EID Naval Communications, specifically the ICCS5 communications control system, and Harris RF Communications VLF-HF and V/UHF radios.[18]

Propulsion[edit]

The ships have a Combined Diesel and Diesel (CODAD) layout and will be using similar engines as those used by their Indonesian counterparts, the MAN 9L28/32A medium speed engines. Combined power from the two engines will produce 7,830 brake horsepower (5,840 kW) transferred to two controllable pitch propellers.[19][2]

Armaments[edit]

PT PAL confirmed that the SSVs will be designed to support one 76 mm (3 in) gun on the foredeck as the main armament. Two stern-facing 25 mm (0.98 in) guns will also be fitted, one each on the port and starboard sides.[20]

The weapons systems are supposed to be installed separately by the Philippine Navy after delivery.

As of 25 October 2019, both existing vessels are only armed with six manually operated .50-caliber machine guns.

Flight support[edit]

Originally the ships were designed with a hangar and helicopter landing deck for two medium-sized helicopter, with the specifications emphasizing the US-made Sikorsky Black Hawk helicopter as basis. But changes in the Philippine Navy's requirement later on changed the design to have a hangar for two medium helicopters.

Construction[edit]

SSV-1 officially started its construction on 22 January 2015 where a first steel cutting ceremony was held in PT PAL's facility in Surabaya, Indonesia.[21] It had entered keel laying works as of 5 June 2015, and was launched as BRP Tarlac (LD-601) on 18 January 2016. Further works and testing will be made until the ship is delivered to the Philippine Navy by May 2016.[22][23]

The second ship, SSV-2, has undertaken its first steel cutting ceremonies on 5 June 2015 in PT PAL's Surabaya shipyard.[23] Its keel laying ceremony was held together with the launching of the lead ship on 18 January 2016, and was given a hull number LD-602. The ship reached Manila on 8 May 2017 and was accorded a formal welcome ceremony on 10 May 2017.[24]

Ships of class[edit]

Pennant number Ship name Laid down Launched Commissioned Service Status
LD-601 BRP Tarlac 22 January 2015[25] 18 January 2016 1 June 2016[26] Sealift Amphibious Force Active
LD-602 BRP Davao del Sur 5 June 2015[27] 29 September 2016 31 May 2017[28] Sealift Amphibious Force Active

References[edit]

  1. ^ "PT PAL outlines weapons fit for Philippine Navy SSVs". IHS Jane's. 13 August 2015. Archived from the original on 15 August 2015. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
  2. ^ a b [1]
  3. ^ "Indonesia's PT PAL signs contract to supply strategic sealift vessels to the Philippines". IHS Jane's. 16 July 2014. Retrieved 28 January 2015.
  4. ^ "First of 2 new vessels for PH Navy to be launched in Indonesia". globalnation.inquirer.net. Retrieved 19 January 2016.
  5. ^ "LOOK: PH Navy's first strategic sealift vessel". newsinfo.inquirer.net. Retrieved 19 January 2016.
  6. ^ "State ship builder PT PAL sends second warship ordered by Philippines". thejakartapost.com. Retrieved 11 May 2017.
  7. ^ "PT PAL cuts steel on first Philippine Navy sealift vessel". IHS Jane's. 26 January 2015. Archived from the original on 28 January 2015. Retrieved 28 January 2015.
  8. ^ Navy Journal Yearend Edition 2009, page 14. Navy Public Affairs Office, Headquarters – Philippine Navy, 2009
  9. ^ "DND rushing acquisition of Navy vessels". The Philippine Star. 16 May 2010. Archived from the original on 6 September 2012. Retrieved 31 May 2010.
  10. ^ "Navy eyes own hospital ship". The Philippine Star. 4 June 2007. Archived from the original on 18 September 2012. Retrieved 31 May 2010.
  11. ^ "Defense contract review for multi-role vehicle purchase done in 1 month". Philippine Navy in the News. 21 September 2010. Retrieved 21 October 2010.
  12. ^ Dhick, Mowby (15 May 2011). "WAR SHIP KASAL Review INDONESIA PHILIPPINES". Komenteryan Pertahan Ri Indonesian Ministry of Defense. Archived from the original on 20 July 2011. Retrieved 15 May 2011.
  13. ^ "Navy revives plan to buy P5-b ship". Manila Standard Today. 5 December 2011. Retrieved 11 December 2011.
  14. ^ "Philippine Navy needs P500B to upgrade war capability". Philstar.com. 24 May 2012. Archived from the original on 10 March 2014. Retrieved 10 August 2012.
  15. ^ Laude, Jaime (25 May 2013). "DND to procure 2 naval vessels". PhilStar.com. The Philippine Star. Retrieved 25 May 2013.
  16. ^ "DND Bidding for 2 Navy Vessels Still Open". 24 June 2013.
  17. ^ "Indonesian firm bags P4-b Navy Supply Deal". Manilastandardtoday.com. 30 August 2013. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
  18. ^ "Portugal's EID to supply communications systems for Philippine sealift ships". IHS Jane's 360. 12 May 2015. Archived from the original on 18 May 2015. Retrieved 6 June 2015.
  19. ^ "A clearer picture on the Strategic Sealift Vessel of the Philippine Navy". MaxDefense. 28 August 2013. Retrieved 28 January 2015.
  20. ^ Ridzwan Rahmat (13 July 2015). "PT PAL outlines weapons fit for Philippine Navy SSVs". Archived from the original on 8 December 2015. Retrieved 2 December 2015.
  21. ^ "PT PAL Mulai Garap Kapal Perang untuk Filiphina". Suarasurbaya.net. 22 January 2015. Retrieved 6 June 2015.
  22. ^ "LOOK: PH Navy's first strategic sealift vessel". Inquirer.net. 18 January 2016. Retrieved 19 January 2016.
  23. ^ a b "PAL sudah 25% garap kapal perang Filipina". Antara News. 5 June 2015. Retrieved 6 June 2015.
  24. ^ "ARRIVAL AND WELCOME CEREMONY New PN Landing Dock Vessel Davao Del Sur (LD602)". DWDD. 10 May 2017. Archived from the original on 6 October 2017. Retrieved 13 May 2017.
  25. ^ PT PAL (22 January 2015). "First Steel Cutting Strategic Sealift Vessel (SSV-1)Philippines". Archived from the original on 28 January 2015.
  26. ^ Ridzwan Rahmat (3 June 2016). "Philippine Navy commissions first SSV, three landing craft on 118th anniversary". Jane's. Retrieved 3 June 2016.
  27. ^ Antara News (5 June 2015). "PAL sudah 25% garap kapal perang Filipina".
  28. ^ Dela Cruz, Ace. "Duterte graces 119th founding anniversary of Navy". Update.ph. Retrieved 31 May 2017.