Sunday, November 7, 2010

Navy wants multi-role vessels

By Ding Cervantes
Philippine Star, Monday, 8 November 2010

CLARK FREEPORT, Philippines – The Navy wants to procure multi-role vessels (MRVs) similar to one that sailed through turbulent waters to deliver relief goods to residents of Pangasinan and Isabela isolated by rains during typhoon “Juan.”

Col. Ariel Caculitan, acting Navy public affairs chief, said these vessels will enhance the Navy’s security efforts and boost its capability in performing disaster and calamity-related missions.

An MRV can also serve as a floating government humanitarian center during times of calamity, he added.

Caculitan said the vessel can be a platform for medical treatment of calamity victims in isolated areas.

“It can also accommodate a host of activities of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and non-government organizations for the affected communities, be a springboard for disaster response and rescue operations teams, and carry other logistic and engineering supplies and equipment that are needed in response to a humanitarian emergency anywhere in the archipelago,” he said.

During typhoon “Juan,” Caculitan said an MRV carrying Marines and Navy men surged through rough seas and reached isolated folk in Divilacan and Isabela to deliver 36 tons of food and other basic needs from the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund and the DSWD.

“The MRV also had a 60-man rescue team, a communications team, medical team, two payloaders, trailers, and a crane used for undertaking engineering and rehabilitation of various facilities,” he said.

“The urgency of acquiring the MRV is often felt strongly during times when people’s lives and properties are in great danger,” he said.

The MRV measures 120 meters and can load up to 7,200 tons of cargo.

It can accommodate 100 crewmen and 500 passengers and travels at a speed of 12 knots.

Meanwhile, Aerotech Philippines Inc., the local counterpart of Italian aircraft manufacturer Alenia Aermacchi, has turned over to the Air Force four brand new SF-620 trainer aircraft, comprising the first batch of 18 such aircraft costing a total of P622.59 million intended to be delivered to the PAF up to April next year.

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