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,” 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,” Andrews said.
The Landing Craft Heavy fleet was decommissioned from Australian service at a ceremony in Cairns on November 19, 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.