The country’s second strategic sealift vessel (SSV), tentatively known as the BRP Davao Del Sur (LD-602), is almost completed and will start dock and sea trials by March. This was confirmed by Philippine Navy (PN) spokesperson Capt. Lued Lincuna in a interview with the Philippine News Agency.
“LD-602 is more than 95 percent complete. By March [she] will have a series of dock and sea trials to test her systems, machineries and equipment,” he added.
At the moment, PT PAL (Persero) shipbuilders in Surabaya, Indonesia are now installing navigational, deck and engineering equipment on the PN’s second SSV.
She is the sister ship of the BRP Tarlac (LD-601), currently the largest Filipino warship commissioned.
BRP Tarlac was commissioned during short ceremonies at Pier 13, Manila South Harbor last June 1. She arrived in the Philippines last May 14 after a five-day journey from PT PAL shipyard in Surabaya which started on May 9.
BRP Davao Del Sur is also a Makassar-class landing platform dock like her sister ship BRP Tarlac.
Its delivery to the Philippines, tentatively scheduled this coming May, will complete the two-unit SSV procurement project sourced from the AFP Modernization Act Trust Fund.
Just like the BRP Tarlac, the PN’s latest SSV will serve as military sealift and transport vessel and may act as floating command-and-control ship especially in the conduct of humanitarian assistance and disaster response.
The ship has an overall length of 120 meters,breadth of 21 meters, draft of five meters and can carry a payload of 2,800 tons. She has a cruising speed of 13 knots and maximum speed of 16 knots and a minimum operating range of 7,500 nautical miles.
BRP Davao Del Sur can carry 500 troops, two rigid-hull inflatable boats, two landing craft units and three helicopters.
It can also house and launch Amphibious Assault Vehicles (AAVs). The Philippines has ordered 8 AAVs from South Korean Hanwha Techwin, previously Samsung Techwin, expected to be delivered in 2018.