MANILA –The Philippine Navy’s second strategic sealift vessel, the BRP Davao Del Sur (LD-602), will be formally commissioned on May 31 at Davao City’s Sasa Wharf in line with the celebration of PN’s 119th founding anniversary.
This was revealed by PN spokesperson Capt. Lued Lincuna in an interview with the PNA Saturday.
He added that President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to attend the ceremony as guest-of-honor and speaker along with other ranking defense and military officials.
The BRP Davao Del Sur arrived off South Harbor, Manila last May 8 after departing from the PT PAL (Persero) shipyard in Surabaya, Indonesia last May 4.
She was named after the province of Davao Del Sur, the home of the country’s highest peak Mount Apo and other rare species of flora and fauna.
“It gives due recognition to the province as sanctuary of natural wonders and rarities like the country’s highest peak Mt. Apo, the most prized Philippine orchid Vanda Sanderiana, and the endangered Philippine Eagle,” Lincuna said,
Also, the namesake takes inspiration from a former PN vessel of the same name notable for its accomplishments during during the 1980s.
“Naming the vessel after Davao Del Sur is consistent with its predecessor, BRP Tarlac (LD-601), which was also named after a province,” Lincuna added.
The ship 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 completed 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 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.