The Philippine Navy selected a variant of the Makassar class design from Indonesian state-owned shipbuilder PT PAL for its Strategic Sealift Vessel (SSV) with the specifications provided by Department of National Defense. The contract for two units was signed last year January 23, 2014.
Philippine Navy flag-officer-in-command Vice Admiral Jesus C. Millan told the government news agency that the first of class, which is still unnamed, held the first steel cutting ceremony last January 22, 2015, and it is expected to be delivered to the PN on or before May 2016. The second of the class is expected to start construction by mid-2015 and will be delivered by mid-2017. The Philippine Navy’s Desired Force Mix whitepaper previously indicated the need for 4 SSVs, so it is probable that the PN will order 2 more similar ships in the future.
The vessel is being built as part of a $92m dollar contract for two landing platform dock (LPD)-like vessels, in a bid to comply with the requirements of the navy’s sea-based transport and logistics.
Weapons and Sensors system will be provided by the Philippine government in a separate acquisition or will temporarily use available resources and the contractor will only provide basic navigation system.
Based on the Indonesian Navy’s Makassar-class LPDs, the new 123m-long and 21.8m-wide and a draught of 6 m. The vessels have a full load displacement of 11,583 tons. It has a maximum range of 9,360 n miles, an endurance of 30 days, and a top speed of 16 knot.
PT PAL’s offering is based on the Indonesian Navy’s Makassar-class LPDs, which are designed by South Korean shipbuilder Dae Sun.
Philippine Navy’s Strategic Sealift Vessels can act as the force’s floating command center while carrying out its main purpose as military sealift and transport vessel in events of disasters and calamities.
It will house a Presidential Room and a War Room to accommodate the Republic’s head and other high ranking military officials when need arises.
These sealift vessels will be carrying landing craft utility/mechanized, including the upcoming Amphibious Assault Vehicles, attack helicopters and each vessel can carry up to 500 troops plus a hundred vessel crew.
These forthcoming Landing Platform Dock Strategic Sealift vessels when delivered will improve the capacity of the Philippine Navy and boost the defense capabilities of the country.