The BRP ‘Tubbataha’, a Japan-built 44-metre patrol boat ordered by the Philippine Coast Guard, is expected to arrive in Manila on August 18 following a period of sea trials.
She is the first in a series of ten multi-role response vessels (MRRVs) ordered by the Philippine Government from Japan Marine United Corporation.
JMUC launched the ‘Tubbataha’ at its Yokohama shipyard on May 12 in a formal ceremony also attended by representatives of the Japanese Government and Philippine Coast Guard officers, including commandant Rear Admiral William Melad. The keel for the second MRRV was laid down at the same shipyard the following day.
The coast guard named the ship ‘Tubbataha’ after a famous lighthouse that takes its name from the Tubbataha Reef Marine Protected Area in the waters just off the province of Palawan.
The nine remaining Tubbataha-class ships will be delivered at a rate of one per quarter over the next two years with the last expected to arrive in August 2018.
Like BRP ‘Tubbataha’, these nine vessels are to be named after lighthouses operated by the Philippine Coast Guard, hence their alternate local designation as “Parola” (“Lighthouse”) class ships.
The MRRVs were designed from the outset to serve different functions including fisheries patrol, search and rescue, environmental protection, and transport of personnel and materiel.
Each MRRV has accommodations for a crew of 25, a top speed of 25 knots, and a maximum range of 1,500 nautical miles.
The coast guard intends to begin sending the ‘Tubbataha’ out on regular patrols in the West Philippine Sea shortly after her commissioning on September 1.
Nelson E. Dela Cruz