The BRP Tarlac (LD-601), the country’s first strategic Sealift vessel (SSV), will be fitted with a weapon system to be able to defend itself against any incoming threat.

According to Philippine Fleet commander Rear Admiral Ronald Joseph Mercado, the Philippine Navy (PN) is now in the process of evaluating the design and the most appropriate weapons systems for the 7,300 gross ton ship to be able to defend itself from any possible threat.

“Definitely, we’ll put in weapons systems, (so) at the very least she is able to defend itself,” he said.

The BRP Tarlac (LD-601) –

The BRP Tarlac is one of the two SSVs acquired from PT PAL (Persero) for the a total of PHP3.8 billion and was patterned after the Indonesian Makassar-class landing platform dock. Her sister-ship is expected to be delivered by May 2017

But since the BRP Tarlac is designated as an SSV, he stressed that whenever it goes on patrol or deployment, the PN’s largest ship will be provided “force protection by our combat ships.”

These escorting vessels will be provided by the PN’s offshore combat force, he said.

The SSv can carry 500 troops at one time along with two rigid-hull inflatable boats, two landing craft units, and three naval helicopters.

The ship has an overall length of 120 meters,breadth of 21 meters, a draft of five meters; it can carry a payload of 2,800 tons; it has a minimum operating range of 7,500 nautical miles and a complement of 121 officers and enlisted personnel. – Jason E.



  1. Since this is our biggest naval capital ship, it is highly recommended to follow through the acquisition of defensive armaments. As per PT Pal the Indonesian Shipyard that built our SSV’s it could accommodate a Oto Melara 76mm Naval Gun in the forecastle upper deck just below the bridge, and two Auto Canons at the rear of the superstructure. Actually the PN could still add additional M2 Browning .50 Caliber Machine Guns to supplement the two Auto Canons. In point of fact, at least the PN should also install a minimum air defense system like the Mistral Simbad VSHORAD air defense lightweight twin missile launcher installed in the Indonesian Navy’s Makassar class landing platform dock.

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