MANILA, May 31 (PNA) — The Philippine Navy (PN) has revealed the names of the three ex-Australian landing craft heavy (LCH) which will be formally commissioned along with the country’s first strategic sealift vessel, BRP Tarlac (LD-601), on June 1.
They will be named BRP Agta (LC-290), BRP Iwak (LC-289) and BRP Waray (LC-288), Navy Spokesperson Capt. Lued Lincuna said in a message to the PNA.
As per PN naming conventions, landing craft are named after indigenous people.
Commissioning ceremonies will be held at Pier 13, Manila South Harbor with President Benigno S. Aquino III as the guest-of-honor and speaker.
Lincuna said these three ships will be assigned to the Sealift Amphibious Force of the Philippine Fleet.
These three LCHs were sold to the Navy for PHP270 million.
The LCHs are former ships of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and identified as the HMAS Balikpapan, HMAS Wewak and HMAS Betano.
They were offloaded to Liloan, Cebu last March 26.
The three are sisters to BRP Ivatan (formerly HMAS Tarakan and BRP Batak (ex-HMAS Brunei) which were commissioned into PN service in Aug. 10, 2015.
The first two LCHs were donated by the Australian government to the Philippines in November 2014.
“The acquisition of additional capabilities of our Navy further translates into offering better service to our maritime nation as we continue to protect our country, step up commitment for HADR and our continuing pledge to provide assistance to our Filipino people in all corners of the archipelago. These new assets are manifestations of our Navy’s optimum readiness to perform its tasks and the ability to adapt vis-a-vis the emergent operating environment,” Lincuna said.
LCHs are an extremely versatile vessel, capable of moving large amounts of cargo, personnel and equipment from larger ships to shore.
A very shallow draft (two meters) allows these ships to deliver personnel and equipment to areas otherwise unreachable especially during HADR missions.
It is an all-welded twin-screw vessel, able to trans-ship cargo and supplies from ships lying offshore to water terminals or across the beach.
Maximum cargo load is governed by the load-fuel balance and varies between 140 and 180 tons.
A typical load of 175 ton gives the LCHs a range of 1,300 nautical miles, increasing to 2,280 nautical miles for a load of 150 tons.
Up to five shipping containers with HADR supplies and equipment can also be embarked.
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