The Philippine Navy (PN) has commissioned BRP Tarlac (LD-601), which is one of two strategic sealift vessels (SSV) ordered from Indonesian shipbuilder Pt Pal (Persero) for $83m.

SSV has been acquired after the Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin gave approval to Acquisition Decision Memorandum Number 2012-060 in 2013.

BRP Tarlac reached Manila South Harbor on 14 May following its departure from the PT PAL’s shipyard in Surabaya on 9 May 2015.

"This is the first naval ship that Indonesia has exported. Its construction commenced in early 2015."

Defense undersecretary for veterans affairs and retired Navy flag-officer-in-command Vice-Admiral Jesus Millan said: "As former PN head personally I could say that for the transport category this Tarlac class vessel is the biggest now because it has a standard load capacity of 7,200t versus the landing ship vessel or Bacolod City class of 4,265t."

This is the first naval ship that Indonesia has exported. Its construction commenced in early 2015.

A derivative of the Indonesian Navy’s Makassar Class landing platform dock (LPD) vessel, Tarlac Class SSV is propelled by a combined diesel and diesel (CODAD) propulsion system that combines two medium-speed engines, called MAN 9L28/32A.

Each of these engines comes with a maximum power output of 2,920kW.

The multi-role vessels can be deployed for humanitarian and disaster relief missions and serve as important assets to carry out civil-military operations due to their ability to ferry large number of soldiers, logistics, and supplies. They can also serve as a floating government centre if required.

Each SSV is equipped with the capacity to house three helicopters.

The PN currently operates two Bacolod City class ships; BRP Dagupan City (LCC-551) and BRP Bacolod City (LCC-550), both of which were commissioned in 1993.

Image: PN officials and Department of National Defense during the launch of BRP Tarlac. Photo: courtesy of Philippine Navy Public Information Office.