MANILA- The country's second strategic sealift vessel (SSV), the BRP Davao Del Sur (LD-602), has left PT PAL (Persero)'s shipyard in Surabaya, Indonesia and started her voyage home Wednesday afternoon.
Philippine Navy (PN) spokesperson Capt. Lued Lincuna in a message to the PNA said the SSV's departure was witnessed by Philippine Fleet commander Rear Admiral Gaudencio C. Collando and his party.
Departure of BRP Davao Del Sur took place 12 noon Wednesday. She is expected to arrive at the Manila South Harbor on May 8.
The SSV and her 120-strong crew will be most likely welcomed by PN flag-officer-in-command Vice Admiral Ronald Joseph Mercado on May 10, Lincuna added.
Commissioning ceremonies will be announced later. p>The PN spokesperson said the second SSV would boost the Navy's capability to conduct humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions alongside with its troop and cargo missions.
The BRP Davao Del Sur was launched last Sept. 29. She is the sister ship of the BRP Tarlac (LD-601), currently the largest Filipino warship in commissioned.
BRP Tarlac was commissioned during short ceremonies at Pier 13, Manila South Harbor last June 1.
She arrived in the Philippines last May 14 after a five-day journey from PT PAL shipyard in Surabaya, which started on May 9.
BRP Davao Del Sur is also a Makassar-class landing platform dock like her sister ship BRP Tarlac.
Its delivery to the Philippines, tentatively scheduled this coming May, will complete the two-unit SSV procurement project with an approved budget contract of Php 4 billion sourced from the AFP Modernization Act Trust Fund.
Just like the BRP Tarlac, the PN's latest SSV will serve as a floating command-and-control ship, especially in the conduct of humanitarian assistance and disaster response and will also serve as a military sealift and transport vessel.
The ship has an overall length of 120 meters,breadth of 21 meters, draft of five meters and can carry a payload of 2,800 tons.
She has a cruising speed of 13 knots and maximum speed of 16 knots and a minimum operating range of 7,500 nautical miles.
BRP Davao Del Sur can carry 500 troops, two rigid-hull inflatable boats, two landing craft units and three helicopters.
Source: Philippines News Agency