Naval Warfare

PT PAL Indonesia Starts Construction of Philippine Navy 124-meter Landing Platform Dock

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PT PAL Indonesia Starts Construction of Philippine Navy 124-meter Landing Platform Dock

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Philippine Navy Landing Platform Dock BRP Tarlac (LD-601)
Philippine Navy Landing Platform Dock BRP Tarlac (LD-601)

PT PAL Indonesia has commenced the construction of third landing platform dock (LPD)-like strategic sealift vessel (SSV) for the Philippine Navy. This marks a key milestone in the ongoing defense partnership between the two nations, highlighting the level of trust bestowed upon Indonesia’s ship manufacturing capabilities. The LPD, a class of two ships, is a pivotal component of the Philippine Navy’s Landing Dock Acquisition Project under the Horizon 2 phase of the Revised Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Modernization Program. This ambitious initiative, with a budget of PHP5.56 billion, signifies the Philippines’ commitment to enhancing its sealift and amphibious assault capabilities.

The steel-cutting ceremony, held on August 10, 2023, at PT PAL’s facility in Surabaya, Indonesia, signified the official commencement of the first ship’s construction. The second LPD followed suit on January 22, 2024. The project is on track for completion by 2024, with delivery to the Philippine Navy scheduled for 2025. This LPD class represents a significant improvement over its predecessor, the Tarlac-class, which was also crafted by PT PAL. The advancements incorporated into the design are a direct result of the Philippine Navy’s operational experience with the Tarlac-class, ensuring that the new vessels address both strengths and shortcomings.

PT PAL president director Kaharuddin Djenod and RADM Caesar Bernard N Valencia from the Philippines Navy at the keel laying procession for the landing dock ordered by the Philippines, in Surabaya, East Java
PT PAL president director Kaharuddin Djenod and RADM Caesar Bernard N Valencia from the Philippines Navy at the keel laying procession for the landing dock ordered by the Philippines, in Surabaya, East Java. (Photo by PT PAL Indonesia)

Among the notable improvements are the inclusion of a 76mm Oto Melara Super Rapid main gun, two 30mm Aselsan SMASH secondary guns, and the flexibility to incorporate either the Rheinmetall Oerlikon Millennium Gun or the Aselsan GOKDENIZ close-in weapon systems. Additionally, the LPDs will feature eight manually-operated 12.7mm heavy machine guns. PT PAL has confirmed that the LPD design accommodates a 76mm main gun on the foredeck and two stern-facing 30mm secondary guns, providing the Philippine Navy with versatile firepower. Notably, the LPDs are designed to accommodate one medium-sized (10-ton) helicopter in the hangar and two on the flight deck, initially emphasizing the Sikorsky Black Hawk and AgustaWestland AW139 helicopters.

The collaboration between Indonesia and the Philippines not only underscores the strategic positioning of Indonesia within the ASEAN region but also sets an example for regional defense cooperation. Indonesia’s technological advancements, from producing 60-meter KCR ships to the current 124-meter LPDs, showcase the nation’s prowess in overcoming limitations and obstacles in defense manufacturing. As the LPD construction progresses, it symbolizes the shared commitment of Indonesia and the Philippines to bolstering regional security and capabilities. The success of this project will undoubtedly strengthen the bonds between the two nations and serve as a testament to the growing influence of Southeast Asian countries in the realm of defense.

PT PAL officials making final checks ahead of the keel-laying ceremony for the third SSV that will be delivered to the Philippine Navy.
PT PAL officials making final checks ahead of the keel-laying ceremony for the third landing platform dock (LPD)-like strategic sealift vessel (SSV) that will be delivered to the Philippine Navy. (Photo by PT PAL Indonesia)

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