Russian visit first for PHL Navy

The coming port visit of one of the two Tarlac-class strategic sealift vessels (SSVs) in Vladivostok is the first time a Philippine Navy (PN) ship will be visiting Russian territory.

This was confirmed by Navy spokesperson Cmdr. Jonathan Zata in a message to the PNA Wednesday.

“(The visit of the PN to Vladivostok, Russia is the) very first,” he added.

Zata said the proposed schedule for the Russian port visit is by the end of September.

When asked on the number of officers and enlisted personnel, the PN spokesperson said the final figure is still being finalized.

“The final number is being confirmed since it (the visit) will also be a training opportunity for new personnel of the PN,” Zata added.

The scheduled PN port call is in reciprocation of the visit of Russian warships in Manila last June and those of last year, Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana earlier said.

The Tarlac-class SSVs are the largest PN ships in service as of this posting. These vessels have an overall length of 120 meters, breadth of 21 meters, draft of five meters and can carry a payload of 2,800 tons.

Both have a cruising speed of 13 knots and maximum speed of 16 knots and a minimum operating range of 7,500 nautical miles. Both SSVs can carry 500 troops, two rigid-hull inflatable boats, two landing craft units and three helicopters. PNA