The Philippines’ Department of National Defense (DND) was reported to have awarded a tender for the construction and delivery of two new Landing Platform Docks (LPD) for the Philippine Navy (PN) to Indonesian state-owned shipbuilder PT PAL (Persero). Aside from PT PAL, other shipbuilders competing for the project includes South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), India’s Larsen & Tourbro (L&T), and a joint venture of local shipbuilder Megaship Builders and Indonesian shipbuilder PT Batamec. The new LPDs have been under public tender since 2019, but has encountered several bidding failures due to a variety of reasons.
According to the technical requirements released by the Department of National Defense (DND), the LPDs are at least 120 meters long, has a maximum speed of at least 16 knots, a maximum displacement of at least 7,200 tons, powered by 2 diesel engines and has a maximum range of at least 9,000 nautical miles, and has a helicopter landing deck capacity for at least two 10-ton naval helicopters, and a hangar for one 10-ton helicopter. The Philippine Navy currently has two Tarlac-class LPDs operational and were also built by PT PAL, although it has expressed to acquire more LPDs to replace World War 2-era landing ship tanks (LST) that are scheduled for decommissioning soon.
PT PAL previously released a design that it has offered to the Philippine Navy, which is 123 meters long and is said to be an improved version of the Tarlac-class. The Tarlac class are landing platform docks of the Philippine Navy meant for amphibious operations and transport duties in support of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. The class was initially called the “Strategic Sealift Vessel” before being formally named. The ships will also double as a support platform for Humanitarian and Disaster Relief (HADR) and Search & Rescue (SAR) operations. Two ships were constructed by the PT PAL Indonesia based on the Indonesian Navy’s Makassar class.
PT PAL is an Indonesian state-owned enterprise that manufactures ships for military and civilian use and conducts repairs and maintenance on ships and engineering. PT PAL Indonesia was established in 1939 as Marine Establishment (ME) by the Dutch East Indies government. During the Japanese occupation, ME was renamed as Kaigun SE 2124. After Indonesia gained independence, the company was nationalized with the company name changed to Penataran Angkatan Laut (PAL). On April 15, 1980, the company’s status was changed from a Public Company to a Limited Company. The deed also states that PAL is no longer bears “Penataran Angkatan Laut” (Naval Shipyard)), thus the name PAL is standalone.