Local shipbuilders are welcome to participate in AFP modernization program

March 19, 2013 11:38 pm 

MANILA, March 19 — Local shipbuilders are more than welcome to participate in the ongoing modernization efforts of the Navy provided that they have the capability to meet the strict requirements of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

Lt. Cmdr. Gregory Fabic, Philippine Navy (PN) spokesperson, said they strongly welcome local participation in this important project.

"Local shipbuilders are very much welcome to participate in the AFP's modernization effort for as long as they will able to meet the requirements. In fact, we are encouraging it," he added.

He cited the case of the three multi-purpose assault crafts (MPACs) and the BRP Tagbanua (AT-296), the PN's newest landing craft unit (LCU), which were all built by Binondo-based Propmech Corporation.

"(Local shipbuilders) are being encouraged to help develop our local defense industry. The MPACs and LCU are example products of local shipbuilders already in the PN inventory," Fabic pointed out.

These MPACs, which cost around P90 million each, are around 16.5 meters long, 4.76 meters wide and have a draft of one meter and a top speed of 45 knots and a range 300 nautical miles.

The hull is made of high-quality aluminum and is crewed by one officer and four enlisted personnel.

It is capable of carrying 16 fully-equipped troopers or two tons of cargo.

The MPAC is capable of operating in territorial waters up to "Sea State 3" (slight waves) without any system degradation. It is armed with one .50 caliber and two 7.62mm machine guns.

The BRP Tagbanua, meanwhile, is the largest Filipino naval craft built locally.

She was named after the Tagbanua tribe mainly residing in Palawan island.

The LCU acquisition project was part of the 2002 Revised Reprioritized Project List with an approved budget of P189 million.

The ship was launched on Sept. 28 2011, and her maiden voyage and sea trial was done on November 10 to 11 2011from Jasaan, Misamis Oriental to Navotas.

BRP Tagbanua was commissioned on Dec. 14, 2011. (PNA)



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