MANILA, -- The Philippine Navy (PN)'s second strategic sealift vessel (SSV) was formally launched and christened the BRP Davao Del Sur (LD-602) at the Surabaya shipyard of Indonesian contractor PT PAL (Persero) Thursday morning.
She is the sister ship of the BRP Tarlac (LD-601), currently the largest Filipino warship 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.
PN spokesperson Capt. Lued Lincuna said Philippine Ambassador to the Republic of Indonesia, Maria Lumen Isleta, served as the lady sponsor who led the opening of the curtain to unveil the vessel’s name and the traditional smashing of a sacrificial bottle of champagne over its bow.
Naming the vessel after Davao Del Sur is consistent with its predecessor, BRP Tarlac (LD-601), which was also named after a province.
It further gives recognition to the province as sanctuary of natural wonders and rarities like the country’s highest peak Mount Apo, the most prized Philippine orchid Vanda Sanderiana, and the endangered Philippine Eagle.
Witnesses to the launching and christening ceremonies were Defense undersecretaries Ricardo David Jr. and Raymundo Elefante; Armed Forces of the Philippines vice chief-of-staff Lt. Gen. Gregorio Miranda; and PN vice commander Rear Adm. Rafael Mariano.
On the other hand, distinguished members of Indonesian delegation included the Ministry of Defense General Secretary, Vice Adm. Widodo; Deputy of Ministry of State Own Enterprises, Fajar Harry Sampurno; and PT Pal’s Director of Shipbuilding Turitan Indaryo.
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 on the midpart of 2017, will complete the two-unit SSV procurement project with an approved budget contract of PHP4 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 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.
The Philippine Navy second Strategic Sealift Vessel BRP Davao Del Sur (602) at PT PAL shipyard in Surabaya, Indonesia.