Royal Australian Navy (RAN) Lieutenant Brenton-James Glover, HMA Ship Brunei’s last Executive Officer said that two decommissioned landing craft, heavy (LCH) from RAN will greatly help Philippine Navy specially in natural disasters. “They were certainly the work horses of the Royal Australian Navy and I am sure they will provide just as much service to the Philippine Navy,” Lieutenant Glover said as quoted by Australia’s Navy Daily.
“They were not the best looking or most comfortable ships, however, they could always be called upon when needed,” he added. “The Balikpapan class is an excellent capability for amphibious operations as well as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.”
HMAS Brunei and Tarakan will be refitted and transferred to Philippine Navy on May 2015. Philippine government will buy the remaining three decommissioned crafts namely HMAS Wewak, Betano and Balikpapan at a give away price of PhP726 million.
These Balikpapan-class LCHs are 44.5 meters long and can load up to 180 tons of cargo.