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18 Aug 16. First of 10 Japan-built MRRVs arrives in the Philippines. The first of 10 Japan-built multirole response vessels (MRRVs) arrived in the Philippines on 18 August to improve the Philippine Coast Guard’s ability to protect the southeast Asian country’s maritime territory and assets.
Named Tubbataha, the MRRV was built by Japan Maritime United Corporation (JMUC) in Yokohama and is part of 10 platforms ordered under a PHP8.8bn (USD191m) contract signed between the Philippine Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) and JMUC in 2015. The final boat is scheduled to be delivered in 2018.
According to specifications provided by JMUC, the MRRV features an overall length of 44 m, an overall width of 7.5 m and a draught of 4 m. The vessel is powered by two MTU 12V 4000 M93L diesel engines and has a standard cruising speed of 15 kt. The boat can accommodate a crew of 25, including five officers. The Philippines is locked in a dispute with China over the sovereignty of a number of atolls and reefs in the South China Sea (SCS), but Beijing’s military capabilities dwarf that of Manila.
“In the past few years, we have all been witness to the growing and evolving challenges the Philippine Coast Guard is facing and the maritime and sea-travelling public has had to face,” Rear Admiral William Melad, the head of the Philippine Coast Guard, was quoted by Kyodo news agency as saying.
“Who would not be angered by violations committed against our maritime laws that sometimes resulted in maritime accidents or even casualties?” he asked. “And who could afford to take the bullying of our fishermen within our maritime jurisdiction?”
Melad added that as well as helping to interdict poachers, smugglers, human and drug traffickers, he hoped the MRRVs would help the Philippines “stand up for the country’s citizens against maritime bullies”.
A Coast Guard spokesman was quoted as saying that the vessel is likely to be deployed off the west coast, where the Philippines claims jurisdiction, despite China’s occupation of Scarborough Shoal and Reed Bank. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
17 Aug 16. Indonesian Navy retires Tisza-class support ship from military sealift command. The Indonesian Navy (Tentara Nasional Indonesia – Angkatan Laut, or TNI-AL) has decommissioned a Hungary-built Tisza-class auxiliary support ship, KRI Karimata(960). The ship was retired in a decommission ceremony on 15 August at the naval base in at Tanjung Priok, North Jakarta, according to a statement issued by the TNI-AL’s Military Sealift Command (KOLINLAMIL) the following day. Karimata was commissioned into KOLINLAMIL in March 1965. The platform has an overall length of 78.8m and can carry 875 tonnes of dry cargo and 11 tonnes of liquid, according to IHS Jane’s Fighting Ships. While in service with KOLINLAMIL, Karimata was mostly deployed as a freighter ship. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
16 Aug 16. Secretary Mabus Names Destroyer for Medal of Honor Recipient. Today, in a ceremony at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in California, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced that Arleigh-Burke class destroyer, DDG 122, will be named John Basilone in honor of the United States Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant who was awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism during the Battle of Guadalcanal in World War II. He was the only enlisted Marine to receive both the Medal of Honor and the Navy Cross in World War II. This is the second ship to be named for John Basilone. The first USS Basilone (DD/DDE-824) was a Gearing-class destroyer, decommissioned in 1977.
“It is a great honor to name this ship in recognition of John Basilone,” said Mabus. “I have no dou