Former RAN Balikpapan Class Landing Craft Gifted by Australia to the
The Australian Government will gift two recently-decommissioned Balikpapan
class LCH (Landing Craft Heavy) vessels, including a package of spare
parts, to the Philippines Government, the Minister for Defence Kevin
Andrews announced today.
Former Royal Australia Navy Landing Craft Heavy HMAS Labuan,
(Pictured here during the 2013 Internationa Fleet Review) recently entered
service with the Papua New Guinea Defence Force. The former HMAS Tarakan
and Brunei gifted to the Philippines belong to the same class.
Mr Andrews said
the former Royal Australian Navy vessels HMAS Tarakan and Brunei would
be gifted to the Philippine Navy after being refurbished with new safety
and navigation equipment. “I expect the vessels will be refitted
and ready for hand over in May 2015,” Mr Andrews said.
The Landing Craft will be commissioned in the Philippines Navy and will
provide additional intra-theatre sealift capability.
A lack of sealift capability hampered efforts to assist Philippines’
coastal areas devastated by Super Typhoon Haiyan in 2013.
“The Landing Craft will greatly improve the Philippines’
ability to respond to natural disasters by enabling heavy equipment
and large amounts of aid to be moved to affected areas,” Mr Andrews
The Landing Craft Heavy fleet was decommissioned from Australian service
at a ceremony in Cairns on 19 November 2014.
The Philippines Government is also considering whether to purchase the
remaining three Landing Craft Heavy. The former HMAS Wewak, Betano and
Balikpapan were decommissioned from the Royal Australian Navy in 2012.