Japan Coast Guard Tarama (PL-85) Kunigami-class patrol vessel
Japan Coast Guard Tarama (PL-85) Kunigami-class patrol vessel

Philippines Signs Contract for Two Mitsubishi Multirole Response Vessels (MRRVs)

To improve the capability of the Philippine Coast Guard (Tanod Baybayin ng Pilipinas) in responding to Search and Rescue (SAR), Maritime Law Enforcement (MARLEN) and Maritime Security (MARSEC) operations. The Philippine Department of Transportation (DOTr) has signed a contract for two multirole response vessels (MRRVs) with Japan’s Mitsubishi Shipbuilding. The MRRV has an overall length of approximately 94 m, and a top speed of no less than 24 kt as part of the PCG’s Maritime Safety Capability Improvement Project (MSCIP) Phase II program. A contract for the vessels, which will be the largest ships to be operated by the service, was signed on 7 February.

In this project, the Joint Venture of Japan Marine Science and PADECO Co. Ltd. won the contract. As of June 2019, target completion of the two vessels are now March 2020 and June 2020. Japan Marine United Corp, Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co. Ltd., and Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co. Ltd. are the shortlisted shipbuilding firms for this contract. The latest scheduled Pre-bid meeting is scheduled on 10 July 2019. Being a Japanese-funded and built class of ships, it is expected that the model will be based on an existing proven design used by the Japan Coast Guard, like the Kunigami-class.

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It now specifically mentioned the Kunigami model, the Japan Coast Guard (Kaijō Hoan-chō) has eighteen such ships and is considered a proven design. The Kunigami-class patrol vessel (Kunigami-gata-junnsi-senn) is a class of 1,000 ton-class PL type patrol vessels of the Japan Coast Guard (JCG). Due to the demand for multi-mission capabilities, displacement hull made of steel was adopted. Also, since low-speed stability was required, antiroll tanks was also installed in addition to fin stabilizers. The superstructure is made of aluminium alloy, but the bridge has bulletproofing structure introduced. A helipad is set on the stern deck. Although there is no hangar, they can supply fuel and electric power to a helicopter on board.

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) handed over ten (10) 44-meter multi-role response vessels (MRRVs) to the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) as part of its support to Philippine maritime safety and security. The MRRVs are part of the JICA-PCG Maritime Safety and Capability Improvement Project (MSCIP) amounting to 18.732 billion yen Official Development Assistance (ODA) signed during the 40th Anniversary of ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation in Tokyo in 2013.As of early 2018, the PCG has used the MRRVs in 80% of its missions or 211 out of the 263 missions related to maritime security operations. So far, the MRRVs were used in search and rescue operations, maritime security operations and medical evacuation.

Japan Coast Guard Tarama (PL-85) Kunigami-class patrol vessel
Japan Coast Guard Tarama (PL-85) Kunigami-class patrol vessel
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