Naval Warfare

PT PAL Lays Keel for Philippine Navy’s Fourth 124-metre Landing Platform Docks (LPD)

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PT PAL Lays Keel for Philippine Navy’s Fourth 124-metre Landing Platform Docks (LPD)

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PT PAL Lays Keel for Philippine Navy's Fourth 124-metre Landing Platform Docks (LPD)
PT PAL Lays Keel for Philippine Navy's Fourth 124-metre Landing Platform Docks (LPD)

In January 2024, PT PAL Indonesia marked a significant milestone with the First Steel Cutting (FSC) ceremony for the fourth 124-metre Landing Platform Docks (LPD) export ship. Now, the company celebrates the progress of the project reaching the Keel Laying stage. This ceremony, attended by the Technical Inspection and Acceptance Committee (TIAC) from the Philippine Navy, was conducted at PT PAL Indonesia’s workshop, showcasing the ongoing commitment to the ship’s construction. During the visit, PT PAL Indonesia’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) Iqbal Fikri, General Manager of the Commercial Ship Division Supriono, and Project Manager Parnianto represented the company in welcoming the TIAC team led by Capt Leo Amor A. Vidal. The delegation was also accompanied by Capt Emerson F. Oxales PN (GSC), Chairman of the Philippine Navy Owner Representatives (PNOR), along with his team stationed at PT PAL.

The Keel Laying ceremony was highlighted by the symbolic handing over of the Keel Laying coin for the second Philippine Landing Dock from COO Iqbal Fikri to TIAC Chairperson Capt Leo Amor A. Vidal. The event, attended by representatives from both sides, included the lowering of the ship block in the graving dock area in Semarang, marking the official start of the ship’s lifespan calculation. The ceremony continued with a technical inspection by the TIAC and PNOR teams at the workshop. PT PAL Indonesia’s commitment to meeting the challenges of this Landing Dock project is evident in the positive progress and achievements recorded at each stage. The Landing Dock is classified as a support ship, designed to meet the operational needs of the Philippine Navy. Capable of sailing for up to 30 days, this Landing Dock is an ideal solution for maritime needs, especially in the Southeast Asian region.

Keel laying for the fourth LPD.
Keel laying for the fourth 124-metre landing platform docks. (Photo by PT PAL)

The Philippine Navy is set to enhance its amphibious capabilities with the acquisition of two new 124-meter Landing Platform Docks (LPDs). These vessels, constructed by Indonesian shipbuilder PT PAL, mark an evolution from the earlier Tarlac-class and are part of the Horizon 2 phase of the Revised Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Modernization Program. The new LPDs are designed to meet the growing operational needs of the Philippine Navy. These ships are poised to play a crucial role in various maritime operations, from humanitarian assistance and disaster response (HADR) to military engagements. The steel cutting ceremony for the first vessel took place on August 10, 2023, at PT PAL’s facility in Surabaya, Indonesia, marking the commencement of construction. The second ship followed suit on January 22, 2024. Both ships are expected to be delivered by 2025.

The design of the new LPDs features significant upgrades over the Tarlac-class. The ships are designed to be armed with a 76mm Oto Melara Super Rapid main gun, two 30mm Aselsan SMASH secondary guns, and provisions for either the Rheinmetall Oerlikon Millennium Gun or the Aselsan GOKDENIZ close-in weapon systems. Additionally, they will carry eight manually-operated 12.7mm heavy machine guns. PT PAL’s proposal confirmed that the weapon systems will be installed by the Philippine Navy post-delivery, ensuring the vessels are fully equipped for their intended roles. The aviation facilities on the new LPDs have also been tailored to meet the Philippine Navy’s evolving requirements. Initially designed to accommodate two medium-sized (10-ton) helicopters on the flight deck and one in the hangar, the design was revised to support one medium helicopter in the hangar and two on the flight deck.

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