The acquisition process for Landing Dock Acquisition Project, which will provide the Philippine Navy with 2 more strategic sealift vessels (SSVs), is temporarily on hold amid COVID-19 pandemic. This was revealed by Navy public affairs office chief Lieutenant Commander Maria Christina Roxas to Philippine News Agency (PNA).
“Due to Covid-19, the bidding process was temporarily stopped. It is currently on the post-qualification period of the lowest calculated bidder. If the bidder passed, NOA (Notice of Award) and NTP (Notice to Proceed) will be subsequently issued,” Lieutenant Commander Roxas said in a message sent to PNA.
“The PN Landing Dock Acquisition Project is included in the Horizon 2 project of the revised Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Program in the amount of PHP5.56 billion for the two LDs (landing docks),” she added.
The Philippine Navy is currently operating two Tarlac-class SSVs, the BRP Tarlac (LD-601) and BRP Davao Del Sur (LD-602). Both were acquired from Indonesian shipbuilder PT PAL through an acquisition project under the Horizon 1 of the revised Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Modernization Program.
PNA added in its report that Philippine Navy chief Vice Admiral Giovanni Carlo Bacordo, in a phone interview, said the landing dock acquisition project is an ongoing project. The Navy chief also noted that the Tarlac-class SSVs is the basis for new landing docks being acquired, but with some improvements as recommended by the crews of Tarlac-class SSVs.