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Philippine Navy gets new landing dock ship

A new landing dock ship from PT PAL of Indonesia for the Philippine Navy has arrived in the Philippines.

By Richard Tomkins
The Tarlac, the Philippine Navy's new landing dock ship. Photo courtesy Philippine Navy
The Tarlac, the Philippine Navy's new landing dock ship. Photo courtesy Philippine Navy

MANILA, May 17 (UPI) -- The first of two landing dock vessels for the Philippine Navy from an Indonesian shipbuilder has arrived in the country.

The vessel, to be christened the Tarlac, is a strategic sealift ship for the transport of troops and equipment from PT PAL.

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The ship weighs 7,300 tons, is nearly 394 feet long and has a cruising speed of 13 knots. The ship features rigid-hill inflatable boats, landing craft and three helicopters.

"With the evolving and increasing requirements for both maritime security and environmental challenges, what has been a mere plan and concept on paper has been pushed through to become a reality," Rear Adm. Ronald Joseph Mercado, the commander of the Philippine Navy Fleet, was quoted by the Inquirer newspaper as saying.

"The arrival of the SSV Tarlac gives the sailors and marines of our Navy the impetus to serve our countrymen more with the knowledge that we know have additional capability to serve our maritime nation."

Acquisition of the vessel comes as the Philippines modernizes its armed forces amid a territorial dispute with China over the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea.

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The Tarlac's sister ship is due to be delivered to the Philippine Navy in May of next year.

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