The Philippine Navy’s (PN) largest vessel has suffered minor damage after a collision with a tanker.
The BRP Tarlac, a new landing dock vessel, was anchored at Naval Station Romula Espaldon off Mindanao on 19 September when it was rammed by a Liberian tanker. Philippine naval officials said that although none of the crew members were hurt, the vessel sustained minor damage in the right forward bulwark and the side ramp.
Delivered to the Philippines in May, Tarlac is a Strategic Sealift Vessel (SSV)-1 built by Indonesia’s state-owned shipbuilder PT PAL (See: “Philippines Navy Commissions New Ships in 118th Anniversary Celebration”). It was part of a contract PT PAL secured back in 2014 worth $92 million to deliver two SSVs to the Philippines (the other is expected to be delivered by mid-2017).
Assigned to the Philippine Fleet’s Sealift Amphibious Force, it has an overall length of 120 meters, breadth of 21 meters, and draft of five meters. It can carry a payload of 2,800 tons and has a cruising speed of 13 knots and maximum speed of 16 knots, with a minimum range of 7,500 nautical miles.
SSVs like the Tarlac can be used for several purposes, including meeting a variety of sea-based transport and logistics needs, including humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions as well as a command and control ship in bigger operations.
In recent weeks, Tarlac has been utilized as a command-and-control vessel for ongoing sea denial missions in Sulu directed at the Abu Sayyaf.
Philippine Navy spokesperson Lued Lincuna told local media outlets that repairs would take place as part of the ship’s usual cycle and that the ship could continue to perform its current tasks without trouble.
He added that an investigation by the Philippine Coast Guard Station would determine the circumstances of the collision.