One of the Philippine Navy’s strategic sealift vessels being constructed in Indonesia will be subjected to the final testing process in March this year, before its handed over to the Philippines.
The one of two SSVs will be subjected to a sea trial once the ship’s interiors are finished and its 117-member Navy crew arrives in Indonesia to conduct the test, Inquirer.net reported today.
“The sea trial is done to check and ensure that all facilities and instruments are working before its voyage to the Philippines. It is a kin to a road test of a vehicle before it travels long distances,” said the Navy spokesperson, Col. Edgard Arevalo.
Last January 17, the SSV - dedicated to humanitarian assistance and disaster response, was launched in Surabaya, Indonesia by PT Pal Indonesia (Persero). The SSV is one of two vessels that the Philippine Navy contracted with the Indonesian ship builder for a contract price of P3.8 billion.
The ship is now water borne after being in dry dock during construction, with its interiors being furnished.
The Navy is optimistic that the new vessel will be home before the Philippine Navy Day on May 20.
The ship’s crew will be going to Indonesia to check the facilities and integrity of the new vessel. The crew has 17 officers while the rest are enlisted personnel.
The second SSV is expected to be completed by next year.
Both vessels will be the Navy’s floating command and control for HADR operations, and will also serve as military sealift and transport vessels due to its capacity for transporting a large number of people and supplies.
Each SSV can house three helicopters, with the Navy’s Augusta Westland 109E attack helicopters designated as on-board components of these vessels.