Philippines launches second SSV, redesignates it as amphibious landing dock

Indonesian shipbuilder PT Pal has launched the second of the Philippine Navy’s two amphibious landing dock (LD) vessels which were formerly referred to as strategic sealift vessels (SSV).

The second vessel was christened as Davao Del Sur (LD602) and launched during a September 29 ceremony in Surabaya, Indonesia.

Naming the vessel after Davao Del Sur is consistent with its predecessor, BRP Tarlac (LD601), which was also named after a province.

The two LD vessels are the same type of ships as the Makassar-class landing platform dock ships in service with the Indonesian Navy. Delivery to the Philippines, tentatively scheduled on the midpart of 2017, will complete the two-unit SSV procurement project with an approved budget contract of PhP4 billion (approx $80 million) sourced from the AFP Modernization Act Trust Fund.

Just like the BRP Tarlac, the forthcoming LD602 will serve as a floating Command and Control especially in the conduct of Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response (HADR) and will also serve as a military sealift and transport vessel.

The vessels are 123 meters long and 21.8 meters wide. According to the Philippine Navy, they will be able to reach a maximum speed of 16 knots and carry a crew of 121 with 500 troops.