Two Balikpapan-class Landing Craft-Heavy (LCH) from Australia will immediately be commissioned to service upon arrival later this month up to early August. Philippine Navy personnel were sent to Australia to train for the said vessels and become the sailing crew.
The Australian LCHs, formerly HMAS Tarakan and HMAS Brunei of Royal Australian Navy, will be sailing to Philippines from Cairns, Queensland, Australia using their own “power”.
“They are operational and will require no refurbishment upon arrival in the Philippines,” PN Public Affairs Office Chief Cmdr. Lued Lincuna said.
HMA Ship Brunei’s last Executive Officer, Royal Australian Navy Lieutenant Brenton-James Glover previously said “they (Balikpapan-class LCHs) were not the best looking or most comfortable ships, however, they could always be called upon when needed.”
“The Balikpapan class is an excellent capability for amphibious operations as well as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief,” Lieutenant Glover added.