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Landing Docks Acquisition Project of the Philippine Navy

As part of it programmed modernization of the Philippine Navy's sealift and amphibious capabilities and replace legacy ships, the service has requested for support and funding to acquire two (2) additional Strategic Sealift Vessels (SSV) as part of the Horizon 2 phase Priority Projects of the Revised AFP Modernization Program (RAFPMP).

Based on the latest bid documents, it appears that the project was renamed as the Landing Docks Acquisition Project, which allows us now to differentiate this project with the Strategic Sealift Vessel Acquisition Project undertaken in the last Horizon 1 phase.

The Tarlac-class LPD BRP Davao del Sur (LD-602) in Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam during Rim of the Pacific multilateral exercises 2018. Photo taken from DVIDS Hub.


Additional Strategic Sealift Vessels were among those raised by the Philippine Navy as they started planning for the "shopping list" under the Horizon 2 phase of the RAFPMP. are expected to be similar or better to those acquired earlier (which is known now as the Tarlac-class Landing Platform Dock), and would perform similar missions including amphibious assault, logistics and transport support, act as a command vessel or mother ship for joint military operations, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) operations, among others.

In the original Desired Force Mix released by the Philippine Navy in 2012, it mentioned that the fleet requires at least four (4) Strategic Sealift Vessels for acquisition between 2013 to 2028.

Over the course of the years, the Philippine Navy made several changes in its planned acquisitions, although it moved forward to acquire two (2) units as part of the Horizon 1 phase of the RAFPMP.

In its last submission made by the Philippine Navy in late 2017 to the Department of National Defense (DND), which in turn was submitted to Malacanang for deliberation and approval, the Philippine Navy requested for 3 Strategic Sealift Vessel with a budget of Php7.5 billion (or an average of Php2.5 billion for each SSV). But it was reduced by Malacanang to just 2 units for Horizon 2, with a budget of Php5.0 billion for the entire project when it was approved in early 2018.

The Philippine Navy has received several offers to build the SSVs, many of which were present in the last ADAS 2018 defense exhibition in Manila last September 2018. Among them were the Horizon 1 SSV builder PT PAL of Indonesia, Dutch shipbuilder Damen, South Korea's Daesun, and India's Larsen & Toubro.

Other shipbuilders also showed interest in the SSV acquisition project including India's Goa Shipyards and Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers, and later on another one from India Mazagon Dock Pvt Ltd as well.

Dutch shipbuilder Damen has also offered their Landing Platform Dock 10000 family, which is scalable and has versions that are smaller or larger depending on the enduser's requirement. Photo taken from Damen's website.

Project Summary:

Landing Docks Acquisition Project

Note: Edited as of 17 June 2019:

* End User: Philippine Navy (Sealift Amphibious Force)

* Quantity: 2 units

* Modernization Phase: Horizon 2 phase Priority Projects of RAFPMP

* Project ABC: Php5,560,000,000.00

* Acquisition Mode: Public Bidding

* Source of Funding: GAA Funds through AFP Modernization Program Trust Fund, to be paid via Multi-Year Obligation Authority (MYOA)

* SARO Release: TBA

* Winning Proponent: TBA

* Product for Delivery: 

    - 2 units Strategic Sealift Vessel (SSV)
    - 4 units Landing Craft Utility (LCU, 2 units for each SSV)
    - 4 units Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats (RHIB, 2 units for each SSV)
    - Integrated Logistics Support Package

* Contract Price: TBA

* First post by MaxDefense: 25 September 2018

* Searching Hashtag: #PNSSVAcquisition, #PNLDAcquisition

* Status: Bidding process ongoing, Invitation to Bid released. SOBE rescheduled to 08 August 2019.

The project also calls for the supply of two (2) Landing Craft Utilities (LCU) for each LPD, or a total of 4 LCUs. It also includes supplying 4 RHIBs. Photo taken from DVIDS Hub.

U P D A T E S:

28 September 2018:

Indonesian shipbuider PT PAL was also present at the recently concluded ADAS 2018
defense exhibition in Manila

Among those they displayed are the 123m Strategic Sealift Vessel (similar to the ones delivered to the Philippine Navy, now known as the Tarlac-class), the proposed 163m Multimission Support Ship for the Royal Malaysian Navy, the KCR60 60m missile boat, and the proposed 85m Offshore Patrol Vessel.

According to PT PAL's representative @ ADAS 2018, they offered their 85m Offshore Patrol Vessel design for the Philippine Navy's OPV Acquisition Project, while the KCR 60 was also offered for other requirements of the PN. PT PAL also hopes to get additional orders for more SSV from the PN, as they are planning to acquire a few within the Horizon 2 phase of the RAFPMP.

Top: PT PAL released a scale model cut-out of the Tarlac-class LPD, which shows it armed with a forward 76mm gun. The ship was originally designed with it but is a Fitted For But Not With (FFBNW) item.
Above: An inforgraphic on PT PAL's MRSS proposal to Malaysia, which is essentially a lengthened SSV/LPD. Depending on the final specs, the PN may also consider something like this.
Photos shared by a MaxDefense community member.


28 September 2018:

Dutch shipbuilder Damen is present at ADAS 2018 in Manila, and presented some of its products including the OPV 1800 offshore patrol vessel, SIGMA 10514 light frigate, and Enforcer 10000 landing platform dock.

Damen wont be directly involved in the Philippine Navy's OPV Acquisition Program as they will work instead with local company Propmech Corporation using the OPV 1500 design, Damen is expected to participate in the Corvette Acquisition Program using their SIGMA design, and the Strategic Sealift Vessel acquisition program using the Enforcer design.

Damen's Enforcer 10000 LPD design, which is being offered to the Philippine Navy.
Photo shared to MaxDefense by a community member.


02 October 2018:

Two items were discussed in this report by Jane's regarding PT PAL's offerings to the Philippine Navy:

1. PT PAL is hopeful to bag a contract to supply 2 more Strategic Sealift Vessels to the Philippine Navy, which they expect the acquisition process to start in 2019.

2. PT PAL also claims that the Philippine Navy is interested in acquiring the KCR-60M 60-meter missile boats, with Jane's understanding that at least 2 were being negotiated with the Philippine Navy.

MaxDefense confirms that the Philippine Navy is indeed looking to acquire 2 more Strategic Sealift Vessels as part of the Horizon 2 phase of the RAFPMP, with a proposed ABC of Php5 billion for 2 ships. This is actually higher than the budget allocated for the first two SSVs under Horizon 1 phase (which eventually won by PT PAL and the resulting ships became the Tarlac-class) were being tendered. But this might be to compensate for the drop in dollar value of the Philippine pesos, while also allowing to inflation, price increase, and improvements on the SSV requirement. PT PAL's closest rival is Propmech-Damen which is offering the Enforcer family of landing platform dock.

As for the KCR-60M, MaxDefense received information from Navy sources that they are indeed interested but is still trying to find funding for it, as there is no allocated funds for such type of ship. It is believed that the Littoral Combat Force is the one requesting for these ships, and may initially not include the missile capability, although they could be fitted for but not with (FFBNW).

In general, the AFP is hoping that the government can provide more funds under the 2nd List of Horizon 2, which the DND and AFP plans to request either by 2020, as so far only less than Php80 billion worth of additional projects are being lined up for it.

The link on Jane's report can be accessed HERE.


10 May 2019:

The President had a Command Conference with his cabinet members, the leadership of the Department of National Defense (DND) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines. The conference included meetings regarding the Horizon 2 phase of the RAFPMP.

Among those greenlighted by the president was the acquisition of additional 2 units of Strategic Sealift Vessels. This means that acquisition process for this project will be happening soon.


01 June 2019:

MaxDefense received information from a source that the project to acquire the SSVs was being tied to the take-over of Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction's Shipyard in Subic. 

This complicates the project as interested proponents will need to consider on how to include the take-over of the gigantic shipyard when it is considered too big for most if not all interested proponents.

Looking at the most likely proponents like PT PAL, Damen, and Daesun, all three are operating with smaller shipyards and none of them appears to be interested in taking over the HHIC Subic Shipyard due to lack of market for ships that require such facility.

The HHIC Subic Shipyard, which is said to being coupled by the DND and PN for the SSV acquisition project.


17 June 2019:

The Department of National Defense (DND) has released the Invitation to Bid (ITB) for the Strategic Sealift Vessel (SSV) Phase 2 project, which is now renamed as the Landing Docks Acquisition Project.

Among the most visible change is the increase in budget, from Php5.0 billion (average of Php2.5 billion per ship), to Php5.56 billion (an average of Php2.78 billion per ship).

In comparison, the original SSV Acquisition Project under Horizon 1 only has an Approved Budget of Contract (ABC) of Php4 billion for 2 ships, or an average of Php2 billion per ship.

MaxDefense believes that the increase in budget was due to the decreased value of the Philippine Pesos versus the US Dollar, and also to consider inflation and price increases since the first SSV acquisition project was 2013.

The technical specs is already with us, although I might take some time to prepare a summary to discuss the details. In brief, it appears that the Philippine Navy is looking for a ship with similar dimensions and performance parameters as the Tarlac-class, but with additional features including storage for ammunition (missiles, torpedoes, rockets), and capability to carry the Multi-Purpose Attack Craft (MPAC) Mk. III.

And it also appears that they have specifically required for the hangar and flight deck to be capable of accommodating a 10-ton medium helicopter, specifically the AgustaWestland AW139M helicopter. Which means there are plans either with the PN or the Philippine Air Force to acquire the helicopter model. 

The ITB as released in PhilGEPS last 14 June 2019. Photo taken from PhilGEPS website.

Technical Specs calls for helicopter facilities to allow accepting 10-ton medium helicopters, but was very specific in mentioning the AgustaWestland AW139M helicopter, which is currently not in service in the AFP. Which means the Philippine Navy might be interested in the model. Previously the specs on the SSV calls for facilities to allow Sikorsky's Black Hawk helicopter. Photo taken from Wikipedia.


18 June 2019:

MaxDefense released a blog entry discussing the Technical Requirements of the new Landing (Platform) Docks being tendered by Philippine navy.

A summary of the important parts of the Tech Requirements are as follows:

* Safely operate to up to Sea State 6
* Being able to launch at least 2 Landing Craft Utilities (LCU) from the well deck, at least 2 RHIBs or MPAC Mk. III to and from the cradle, and AAVs to and from the well deck and side ramps.
* Accommodate at least two 10-helicopters in the helideck
* Helicopter hangar for at least 1 10-ton helicopter

Dimensions and Characterisrics:
* At least 120 meters long
* At least 21 meters breadth
* Displacement at least 7,200 tons (payload compliant)
* Ship operation up to Sea State 6
* Helicopter operation up to Sea State 4
* LCU, RHIB and MPAC operations up to Sea State 4
* AAV operations up to Sea State 4
* Complement of 138 officers and men including 16 females
* Non organic complement for 1 VVIP, 8 VIPs, and 33 officers and men
* Allow accommodation for a marine battalion of 500 men

The LPDs will be used as platforms to launch the Amphibious Assault Vehicles similar to the ones above. Photo taken from US Navy.p

* Cruising speed of at least 13 knots
* Maximum speed of at least 16 knots
* Maximum Range of at least 8,000 nautical miles without refuelling
* Ship circling diameter of not more than 5 ship lengths
* Operate at temperatures between - 10° to 45°C Air Temperature, -2.2° to 32°C Sea Temperature, and 10% to 100% Humidity

Equipment Support:
* 2 Collapsible Cradles for 2 MPAC Mk.3
* Storage for up to 24 rounds of Spike-ER missiles
* Well deck provisions for 2 LCUs
* Flight deck for 2 10-ton medium helicopters specifically AW139 and including AW159
* Flight deck with deck locking grid or landing grid helicopter securing system
* Hangar for a 10-ton helicopter specifically the AW139
* Storage for up to 48 Spike-NLOS missile rounds and 48 2.75" aerial rockets
* 7-meter, 40-ton capacity tank turntable to turn vehicles on its own radius
* Space to fit at least 8 AAVs

Ship Design
* Future space and munition storage for a 76mm gun, 30mm guns, CIWS, decoy launching systems, 
* Fitted for but not with Hull Mounted Sonar, Air/Surface Search 3D Radar, Electronic Warfare System, Combat Management System, Electro-Optical Tracking System, and Gyro Compass
* Powered by 2 Main Propulsion diesel engines
* Bow thruster and controllable pitch propellers
* 4 Service generators, allowing 3 to be fully capable to power the entire ship including all Fitted for But Not With items
* 2 Reverse Osmosis Plants for freshwater production
* Replenishment at Sea Capability using STANAG 1065 standards

Sensors and Weapons:
* X and S-band solid state Navigation Radars
* Forward Looking Infra Red (FLIR) Camera
* 8 nos. of .50 caliber machine guns with mounts

A .50 cal gun mount on a Tarlac-class LPD. Eight similar guns and mounts are required for the new LPDs.

Technology Transfer:
* Require proponents to tie-up with local shipbuilder to build one of the ships in the Philippines
* Grant PN the ownership of design or allow license production of the design.

Other details were left, as they would entail longer discussion which are not really too important for most of our readers to know.

In the meantime, we would be waiting for the closing of bid submission, and opening of bids which is scheduled by 07 July 2019, should there be no changes in the schedules.


20 June 2019:

During PHILMARINE 2019 exhibition in SM Mall of Asia, Indonesian shipbuilder PT PAL came in full force and displayed their offerings to the Philippine Navy.

Among those in the display was the 123-meter Strategic Sealift Vessel "New Version", which was confirmed by PT PAL representatives to be the one they are offering for the Philippine Navy's Landing Docks Acquisition Project.

PT PAL's 123-meter SSV "New Variant" as displayed in PHILMARINE 2019. Photo taken by a community member exclusively for MaxDefense.

This appears to be a new model from PT PAL as this has not been published before even on PT PAL's website, nor with major Indonesian defense forums or pages. Originally, many are speculating that the offer would be based on PT PAL's larger 143-meter Landing Platform Dock model, which may have the space enough to fit the new requirements specified in the bid documents.

Among its features are as follows (versus project specs):

* Length: 123 meters (>120 meters)
* Breadth: 21.8 meters (>21 meters)
* Max Displacement: 7,200 tons (=7,200 tons)
* Max Speed: 16 knots (=16 knots)
* Cruising Speed: 13 knots (=13 knots)
* Cruising Range: >9,360 nautical miles (>8,000 nautical miles)
* Endurance: 30 days for crew (=30 days for 138 crewmembers)
* Main Diesel Engine: 2 x 2,920KW output
* Generators: 4 x 550KWe output
* Emergency Generator: 1 x 400KWe output
* Provision Crane: 1 x 2 tons x 7 meters
* Cargo Lift: 1 x 10 ton capacity (=1 x 10 tons)
* Helicopter Deck: 2 x AW101 Merlin helicopters (>2 x AW139 helicopters)

The ship also has a bow thruster, space for 76mm gun and two 30mm guns, space for decoy launchers, a dome sonar space, and a hangar for a medium helicopter.

It remains to be seen the ship will have space for two Multi-Purpose Attack Craft Mk.3 (MPAC Mk.3) as specified in the bid documents. But aside from.that, this offered design seems to meet most if not all requirements.


21 June 2019:

The Department of National Defense (DND) 
released a Suppemental Bid Bulletin announcing the need for a Second Pre-Bid Conference scheduled on 25 June 2019. While no reason was provided, the need for a second conference means that there are still a lot of questions or clarifications that needs to be made and there could have not been enough time during the first Pre-Bid Conference held yesterday 20 June 2019.

In addition, the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) is also moving the bid submission deadline and bid opening date from 04 July 2019, and instead was left open and a new date would be announced later on.

Taken from the SBB released 20 June 2019.


25 June 2019:

The DND released a new Supplemental Bid Bulletin (SBB) No. DND/PN-LD-19-02 dated 25 June 2019, confirming that the Submission and Opening of Bid Envelopes (SOBE) has been moved to 08 August 2019.

Interested proponents now have 6 weeks more to make their bid submissions better, complete, and free from errors.They could even re-think their offers and try to beat out the offers of the other companies.

Link to the DND's new SBB can be accessed by clicking HERE.


23 July 2019:
Additional information were provided by the DND through the Supplemental Bid Bulletin (SBB) No. DND/PN-LD-19-03 dated 10 July 2019.

The  Submission and Opening of Bid Envelopes (SOBE) has been confirmed to 08 August 2019.

Among the changes are as follows:

* Bidders are not required to have built a military vessel with gross tonnage of 7,000 tons. Instead, they are just required to have built a vessel (either civilian or military) with gross tonnage of 5,000 tons. This is probably to allow smaller players to join.
* One of the ships will still be needed to be built in the Philippines. But no tie-ups between foreign and local shipbuilders are required. It could mean that a foreign shipbuilder may subcontract the shipbuilding to a local shipbuilder rather than being officially a joint venture.
* Warranty is now just one (1) year, regardless of mileage.
* Payment terms has been changed, with the DND paying 35% after delivery of 1st vessel, and another 50% upon delivery of 2nd vessel. A 5% retention will apply while warranty is valid.
* Shipbuilders are required to just have a drydocking capability of 10,000 DWT, as compared to 20,000 DWT before.
* Bidders are required to submit their bids in Philippine Pesos. Contract amount will also be in Philippine Pesos.

* Transfer of Technology (ToT) is required and included for consideration as part of the amount.

Based on the queries submitted proponents, we now have a list of who will potentially submit a bid for the project. And these are:

1. Samkang M&T of South Korea - they build ship blocks for larger shipbuilders although it remains to be seen if they have actually built something similar to a Landing Platform Dock before.

2. PT PAL (Persero) of Indonesia - the builder of the Tarlac-class. It appears they have an issue on giving full technology transfer of the design, as they prefer to use it in cooperation with their company.

3. POSCO International of South Korea - initials for POhang Steel COrporation, the 4th largest steel company in the world.

4. Goa Shipyard Limited of India - while they have built naval ships for the Indian Navy and other regional navies and coast guards, it appears they are having difficulty in meeting shipyard capabilities in terms of previous experience in ships as large as the LPD.

Although not submitting a query, MaxDefense also received information that other shipbuilders has shown interest in the tender, which includes those from the Netherlands and Turkey.

The Supplemental Bid Bulletin can be accessed by clicking the link HERE.

MaxDefense will provide more details as the bid submission gets nearer.


First edit and release: 17 June 2019
Copyright MaxDefense Philippines


  1. You should mention the 40 tonnes vehicle capability.

  2. Hopefully, we'll be able to see some exact details about the armaments that the PN desires to mount on the 4 ships (including brp tarlac and dds).

  3. We can only hope the Damage Control center is not a converted wardroom. And real air conditioning.


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