The Philippine Navy’s, in an effort to develop a robust island defense force, christened two newly-acquired Landing Craft Heavy (LCH) vessels and two armed Agusta Westland (AW) 109 helicopters in a joint ceremony in Manila.
The two LCH vessels were christened as Barkong Republika ng Pilipinas (BRP) Ivatan (AT-298) and BRP Batak (AT-299). The addition of these vessels translates into the boosting of the capability of the PN to transport personnel, equipment and aid during humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) operations. They will also be useful in transporting troops from one operational area to another.
Similarly, the acquisition of two additional units of AW109 armed with caliber 50 machine gun and 2.75-inch rockets and further equipped with maritime air surveillance capability, amphibious air support operations and weather search radar and forward looking infrared systems enhances the PN’s maritime air surveillance and close air support for ground troops.
Image: Philippine Navy