Indonesian shipbuilder PT PAL (Persero) confirmed over-the-weekend that it conducted the ceremonial steel-cutting for the second Makassar-class Landing Platform Dock vessel of Philippine Navy June 6. The shipbuilder also announced that first unit of Makassar vessel is now undergoing keel laying.
Structural keel is a beam around which the hull of a ship is built. The keel runs in the middle of the ship, from the bow to the stern, and serves as a basic foundation or spine of the structure, providing the major source of structural strength of the hull.
Laying of keel, a significant event in a ship’s construction, is the initial step in construction of a ship.
PT PAL is looking to launch the first Makassar of Philippine Navy this coming November. Prior to commissioning, the vessel will undergo sea trials to identify any deficiencies needing correction.
With the current pace of development, PN is optimistic that first vessel – which will act as strategic sealift vessel – will be delivered May 2016. Second vessel is scheduled to be delivered May 2017.
These two vessels will be 123 meters long with width of 21.8 meters and capable housing landing craft utility/mechanized, Amphibious Assault Vehicles (AAV) and attack helicopters. Each vessel can carry up to 500 troops plus a hundred vessel crew.