Last August 2015, there happened to be the christening of two (2)Landing Craft Heavy (LCH) as BRP Ivatan and BRP Batac arrived in the Philippines as donated by Australian government. Aims to bolster Philippines’ intra-theater and sealift capabilities, Philippine Navy got the vessel in a minimal and friendly price.
A senior Navy officer said the acquisition was part of the deal where Philippines gets for free two LCH but would have to pay at a very low price for the other three (3) vessels decommissioned by the Royal Australian Navy on Novemeber 19, 2014.
Held tight as a promise, this year Philippine Navy received a present from our Australian friends three (3) additional ships which arrived in Liloan, Cebu last March 26, 2016 at around 10:30am.
She was carried by a cargo ship from NTG Shipping traversing the waters from Darwin, Australia via Cairns, Australia, before heading to Philippines. Two were loaded in Darwin and one in Cairns.
With the length of 44.5 meters, beam 10.1 meters and draught 2 meters, the ship is able to accommodate 364 tons for a standard load with maximum of 5600 kilometers range at a speed of 19 kilometers per hour. She can also carry at around 400 soldiers.
Her price was about P270 million, a very good deal closed from our friendly neighbors, still the vessels are nice and cool.
Designed to move large amount of cargo, personnel and equipment and also giving aide to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations. In case of amphibious operations or whenever necessary for the Philippine soldiers, they are also designed to transport troops from one operational area to another.
The three are decommissioned vessels of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) formerly named as Her Majesty’s Australian Ship (HMAS) Balikpapan (L126), HMAS Wewak (L130) and HMAS Betano (L133).
To sum up, our Philippine Navy is currently owning eleven (11) Supply Ships comprising of;
- Two Balikpapan Class Ship: BRP Ivatan, and BRP Batac
- Two Logistic Support Vessel: BRP Bacolod City and BRP Dagupan City
- Two Landing Ship Tank (LST): BRP Laguna and BRP Benguet
- Two Large Landing Craft Utility: BRP Tagbanua and BRP Manobo,
- Three Landing Craft Utility (LCU): BRP Subanon (AT-291), BRP Bagobo (AT-293) and BRP Tausug.
25th of May is the scheduled christening and commissioning of our newest vessels that will be moved from Cebu to navy shipyard in Cavite, all details given by Philippine Navy (PN) Spokesman Capt. Lued Lincuna.