Philippines' 1st of two 97-meter patrol vessel launched by Japanese shipbuilder


The new Multi-Role Response Vessel, with hull number 9701 before launching. Photo c/o MaxDefense Philippines.

Japanese shipbuilder Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co. Ltd. has launched the first of two 97-meter offshore patrol vessels for the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).

The ships will become the largest vessels of the PCG upon commissioning.

The launching ceremonies was held on 26 July 2021 at Mitsubishi Shipbuilding's Shimonoseki shipyard in Japan, and was physically attended by the Philippine ambassador to Japan Jose C. Laurel V, and Mitsubishi Shipbuilding President and CEO Mr. Toru Kitamura.

The project involving the construction of the 2 patrol vessels were under the 94-meter Multi-Role Response Vessels (MRRV) Acquisition Project, a part of the PCG's Maritime Safety Capability Improvement Project Phase II (MSCIP Phase 2) which is financed through Official Development Assistance (ODA) Loan from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

The ship, with hull number 9701, has not been named yet, and was based on a modified Kunigami-class large patrol vessel used by the Japan Coast Guard.

It is expected to be delivered to the PCG by March 2022, with the second vessel with hull number 9702 also expected for delivery by May 2022.

They were acquired under a JPY16.455 billion (US$150 million) contract signed on December 2019 between the Philippines' Department of Transportation (DOTr) and Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co. Ltd., which won a tender against other Japanese shipbuilders to supply the ships.

Despite the project's name calling for a 94-meter patrol vessel design, the final product is closer to 97 meters.

Answering Asia Pacific Defense Journal's queries, Philippine defense page MaxDefense Philippines confirmed that based on the project's program, the constructed ship is 96.6 meters long, has a maximum width of 11.3 meters, and a draft of 4.3 meters.

It also confirmed that the ships are powered by two diesel engines with output of 6,600 kilowatts each, allowing a maximum speed of more than 24 knots, and a maximum range of more than 4,000 nautical miles at cruising speed.

The ship has a helicopter landing deck and a multi-purpose hangar for light to medium helicopters, and is capable of supporting the operation of the PCG's current fleet of Airbus H145 helicopter, and other future helicopters being eyed by the PCG for acquisition.

The new ships will be used to conduct maritime law enforcement, maritime search and rescue, and humanitarian and disaster relief operations.

[1] Philippine Coast Guard
[2] MaxDefense Philippines
[3] Philippine Defense Resource

Philippines' 1st of two 97-meter patrol vessel launched by Japanese shipbuilder Philippines' 1st of two 97-meter patrol vessel launched by Japanese shipbuilder Reviewed by Asia Pacific Defense Journal on July 28, 2021 Rating: 5

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