Future BRP Melchora Aquino begins journey to PH from Japan shipyard

Published May 21, 2022, 2:38 PM

by Martin Sadongdong

The future BRP Melchora Aquino (MRRV-9702) is scheduled to sail from Shimonoseki Shipyard in Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan on Sunday, May 27.

The future BRP Melchora Aquino (Courtesy of Philippine Coast Guard)

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said Saturday, May 21, that it has been conducting harbor acceptance tests and inspection of the vessel ahead of its departure to ensure that all of its systems are ready when it arrives in the Philippines on June 1.

The future BRP Melchora Aquino is the second 97-meter multi-role response vessel of the PCG, and the sister ship of the newly commissioned BRP Teresa Magbanua (MRRV-9701).

Commander Patrick Babag, commanding officer of the MRRV-9702, said the PCG inspection team was assessing the functionality, quality, and acceptability of works, equipment, machinery, parts, and systems installed onboard the vessel.

“Harbor acceptance tests and inspections aim to ensure that the vessel is fully compliant with the contract technical specifications before delivering to the Philippines,” he said.

(Courtesy of Philippine Coast Guard)

The two MRRVs were acquired by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) under the Maritime Safety Capability Improvement Project Phase II from Japanese firm Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co. Ltd., with funding from Japan’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) loan. They cost JPY14.6 billion or around P7 billion.

Upon arrival, the vessel will be officially commissioned into the Coast Guard service and deployed for its maiden mission.

Like BRP Teresa Magbanua, the future BRP Melchora Aquino has a maximum speed of 24 knots and endurance of 4,000 nautical miles.

It is expected to be used in patrolling the 37,000-kilomter long coastline of the country including areas in its exclusive economic zone such as the West Philippine Sea, Philippine Rise, and the southern archipelago.