Australian shipbuilder Austal is eyeing to sign a contract with the Philippine government for the supply and delivery of six offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) of Philippine Navy, a project included in Horizon 2 of Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Modernization Program. Austal has a shipbuilding facility in Balamban, Cebu.
“The Philippines in the past has typically bought a lot of military vessels from external countries. We’re in a position right now where we can potentially build ships for Philippines’ Navy, built by Filipino workers in the Philippines,” Austal Philippines president and general manager Wayne Murray said during Australian Business Briefing on April 4 as quoted by Rappler.
“Because it’s an offshore patrol vessel, as the name implies, it’s offshore, but it’s not going to be international. It’s for inter-island protection,” he added.
It can be recalled that Austal unveiled in September 2018 its OPV proposal.
The overall length of the OPV will be 81.7 meters, beam (moulded) will be 13.3 meters, and hull draft (maximum) will be 4 meters.
“The OPV is arranged with a starboard boat deck and stern well for the safe and rapid launch and recovery of RHIBs. The vessel is fitted with a mission bay and aft storage area to facilitate the embarkation of containerised mission modules,” Austal said at that time.
“The proposed design incorporates 20 years of product improvement and evolution beginning with the ‘Bay Class’ first delivered in 1999,” Austal added. “The Philippine Navy OPV is a steel hulled vessel featuring an aviation deck enabling helicopter and unmanned aeronautical systems missions.”
Austal said among the capabilities of the OPV are: Execute ISR operations; Conduct Search and Rescue operations; Execute anti-piracy, anti-terrorism, anti-smuggling, anti-human trafficking and anti-drug operations; Provide critical infrastructure protection; Support special forces operations; and Provide humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.