The Philippine Navy (PN) can deploy its two landing dock vessels equipped with reefers to help transport coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccines to remote areas once these become available.
“Ang ating mga LD (landing dock vessels) po ay may mga reefers onboard na maari pong magamit na cold storage, upon orders by higher headquarters po (Our LD have reefers aboard that can be used for cold storage, if these ships are ordered by higher headquarters to transport Covid-19 vaccines,” PN public affairs office chief, Commander Benjo Negranza said in a message to the Philippine News Agency Thursday night.
Negranza was referring to the BRP Tarlac (LD-601) and BRP Davao Del Sur (LD-602), both of which have an overall length of 120 meters, breadth of 21 meters, draft of five meters and can carry a payload of 2,800 tons.
The vessels have a cruising speed of 13 knots and a maximum speed of 16 knots and a minimum operating range of 7,500 nautical miles. Both ships can carry 500 troops, two rigid-hull inflatable boats, two landing craft units, and three helicopters.
Both were acquired from Indonesian shipbuilder PT PAL for around PHP4 billion and were delivered to the PN in 2016 and 2017 with the BRP Tarlac being named the lead ship.
Negranza said following are initial information on the volume and sustained temperatures of these reefers aboard the two landing dock vessels:
*Meat and fish reefer: 60 cubic meters/ -20°C
*Vegetable room: 50 cubic meters/ 3°C
*Lobby: 12 cubic meters/ 10°C.
If these reefers are not enough, Negranza said these ships can still be used to transport vaccine cold-storage units that would be used by the government.
“For our other ships with substantial cold-storage capacities that may be used, I cannot confirm as of yet,” he added. PNA.GOV.PH