PH Navy Baptizes new 2 Warships and 2 Rocket-Armed Helicopters

The Philippine Navy holds an arrival ceremony to welcome its 2 new warships acquired from Australia on Monday, August 10, 2015.

The ceremony was presided by no less than Vice Adm. Jesus C Millan, the Flag Officer In Command, Philippine Navy (FOIC, PN) with Adm. Leopoldo M Alano, the commander of the Philippine Fleet. Commodore Narciso A Vingson, the commander of Sealift Amphibious Force, Australian dignitaries and other members of the Command team and also joined the PN in welcoming these vessels with more or less 34 PN personnel onboard.
These two new warships BRP Ivatan (AT-298) and BRP Batak (AT-299) classified as LCH or Landing Craft Heavy will be commissioned soon as  a Balikpapan Class Landing Craft Heavy certainly expected to boost the capability of the PN to transport personnel, equipment and aid during humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) operations.
BRP Ivatan (AT-298) and BRP Batak (AT-299)
Rear Adm. Alano in his welcome remarks said that, "The capability we are very proud to welcome today is described as extremely versatile vessels, capable of moving large amounts of cargo, personnel and equipment. These new assets will be vital in facilitating and sustaining Fleet-Marine operations & will bolster the amphibious and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief capabilities of the PN."

AgustaWestland AW109 photo at PN HQ / J.Roson
On the other hand, the Philippine Navy also blessed the 2 new additional rocket-packed version of AgustaWestland AW109 helicopters provided by AgustaWestland AW109, an Anglo-Italian multinational helicopter design and manufacturing company.

In December 2013, the PN received and commission the its first 3 AgustaWestland AW109 helicopters from same supplier which worth  Php 1,337,176,584.00 (US$32.544 million), financed by the AFP Modernization Program with assistance from the Department of Energy, Max Defense blog told.

An option for 2 more is also included in the contract, which was realized later on for a total budget for the 5 helicopters plus ILS for probably less than Php 2.2 billion, it added.

The said helicopters features a glass cockpit, a cabin for 2 pilots and 4 passengers and the FLIR control panel on the passenger cabin to be operated by a specialized crew member. The FLIR sensors, made by American firm FLIR Systems, will enable the helicopter crew to see in poor visibility or weather conditions due to the system's use of thermal radiation to create a picture. It can be used for surveillance of humans for target tracking or rescue at sea, target acquisition and tracking, and piloting of helicopter in poor weather condition. At the same time, the helicopter is equipped with a video transmitter that can send live feed video to land or ship bases. Also equipped with a weather radar, transponders and storm/lighting detection systems, very important features when operating on an open sea, told Max Defense.

Though incapable of carrying anti-submarine warfare, torpedo or long range missiles, Max Defense lauded it as a good addition to PN's arsenals to protect the country's territories from external threats.

Sources : Max Defense / Phillippine Navy /