First of 2 vessels ordered for PCG launched at Mitsubishi shipyard

Published July 26, 2021, 4:33 PM

by Emmie V. Abadilla

The first of two 94-meter multi-role response vessels (MMRVs) which the Department of Transportation (DOTr) acquired for the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) under a P6.7 billion contract with Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co. Ltd. was launched Monday, July 26, 2021 at the latter’s shipyard in Japan.

The two MRRVs will be the largest vessels of the PCG’s fleet, once delivered next year.

Modeled after the Japan Coast Guard (JCG) Kunigami-class vessels, these MRRVs will improve PCG’s maritime security and maritime safety capabilities.

Photo shows the launching of the first of two multi-role response (MRRV) ordered by the Philippine Coast Guard at the Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co. Ltd. shipyards in Japan on July 26, 2021. (PCG photo)

Each of the new MRRVs measure approximately 94 meters, with a maximum speed of not less than 24 knots, and an endurance of not less than 4,000 nautical miles.

The ships are capable of conducting sustained maritime patrols in the country’s maritime jurisdictions, including the West Philippine Sea and Philippine Rise.

The new vessels will also boost PCG’s capabilities in conducting maritime search and rescue, maritime law enforcement, as well as humanitarian assistance and disaster response operations.

Through the accelerated construction of the Japanese shipbuilder, the first 94-meter MRRV is expected to arrive in Manila by March 2022, while the second vessel will arrive two months later, by May 2022.

The new vessels will be of great help in responding to maritime incidents in the country’s waters and exclusive economic zone (EEZ), such as in the conduct of search and rescue operations and maritime security patrols, as well as in the enforcement of marine environmental laws, DOTr Secretary Arthur P. Tugade reiterated.

Indeed, “It is a big stride in the development of our country in the context of maritime security and maritime safety,” added PCG Commandant, Admiral George V Ursabia Jr.

The DOTr acquired the vessels under the Maritime Safety Capability Improvement Project Phase II (MSCIP Phase 2), a Japanese-assisted project funded by an Official Development Assistance (ODA) Loan from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) amounting to 16.5 billion yen (JPY).

The contract between the DOTr and Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co. Ltd. for the design, construction, and delivery of the two 94-meter MRRVs was signed in 2019 and became effective May 2020.