The Australian Government will gift two recently-decommissioned Landing Craft Heavy vessels, including a package of spare parts, to the Philippines Government, the Minister for Defence, Kevin Andrews, announced today.
Mr Andrews said the former Royal Australian Navy vessels HMAS Tarakan and Brunei would be gifted to the Philippine Navy after being refurbished with new safety and navigation equipment.
“I expect the vessels will be refitted and ready for hand over in May 2015,” Mr Andrews said.
The Landing Craft will be commissioned in the Philippines Navy, and will provide additional intra-theatre sealift capability.
A lack of sealift capability hampered efforts to assist Philippines’ coastal areas devastated by Super Typhoon Haiyan in 2013.
“The Landing Craft will greatly improve the Philippines’ ability to respond to natural disasters by enabling heavy equipment and large amounts of aid to be moved to affected areas,” Mr Andrews said.
The Landing Craft Heavy fleet was decommissioned from Australian service at a ceremony in Cairns on 19 November 2014.
The Philippines Government is also considering whether to purchase the remaining three Landing Craft Heavy. The former HMAS Wewak, Betano and Balikpapan were decommissioned from the Royal Australian Navy in 2012.
The Landing Craft, Heavy (LCH) is an extremely versatile vessel, capable of moving large amounts of cargo, personnel and equipment from larger ships to shore. A very shallow draft (2 metres) allows these ships to deliver personnel and equipment to areas otherwise unreachable especially during Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations.
The LCH is an all-welded twin-screw vessel, able to trans-ship cargo and supplies from ships lying offshore to water terminals or across the beach.
Maximum cargo load is governed by the load-fuel balance and varies between 140 and 180 tonnes.
A typical load of 175 tonnes gives the LCH a range of 1300 nautical miles, increasing to 2280 nautical miles for a load of 150 tonnes.
Up to 5 shipping containers with HADR supplies and equipment can also be embarked.
Dimensions & Displacement
Draft: 2 Metres
Length: 44.5 Metres
Beam: 10.1 Metres
Displacement: 364 Tonnes (loaded, 517 tonnes)
Speed: 10- 13 Knots
Range: 3000 Nautical miles unloaded (150 Ton load 1300nm)