Philippine Embassy - Tokyo, Japan > First Japan-Funded Patrol Vessel “BRP Tubbataha” to Arrive in Manila

First Japan-Funded Patrol Vessel “BRP Tubbataha” to Arrive in Manila

Photo Courtesy of JMU

Photo courtesy of JMU

16 August 2016 – The BRP Tubbataha, the first of ten (10) 44-meter Multi-Role Response Vessels (MRRV) financed by Japan, is homeward bound on its delivery voyage to the Philippines.

The Tubbataha set sail for Manila on August 11 from the Yokohama Shipyard, Isogo Works, Port of Yokohama, Japan, where it was constructed by the Japan Marine United Corporation (JMU) through Official Development Assistance from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Photo courtesy of JMU

Photo courtesy of JMU

The Tubbataha had a brief stop at Naha, Okinawa on August 14 for bunkering, and is expected to arrive in Manila on August 16. It will be welcomed at a special arrival ceremony on August 18 at the Port of Manila, and is scheduled to undergo additional performance tests before it is physically delivered to the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on August 22. A formal handover and commissioning ceremony of the Tubbataha is scheduled on September 22.

The Tubbataha is manned by a nine-person Filipino crew led by Capt. Roy Echevarria and a six-man Japanese crew led by Capt. Akira Shibata, with the assistance of a JMU engineer. To prepare for the Tubbataha’s delivery voyage and its eventual deployment as a Coast Guard vessel, the Filipino crew had previously undergone training with the JMU in Japan to man and operate the patrol boat.

Photo courtesy of JMU

Photo courtesy of JMU

The 44-meter MRRVs, which will be named after famous Philippine lighthouses, were commissioned by the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) and constructed by the JMU Corporation using Japanese design, technology and manufacturing processes. The vessels will augment the capability of the PCG to patrol Philippine coastlines as well as conduct search-and-rescue and enforce martime law in territorial waters.

PCG and JMU Officials during the Delivery and Signing Ceremony on 11 August 2016, Yokohama, Japan.

PCG and JMU Officials during the Delivery and Signing Ceremony
on 11 August 2016, Yokohama, Japan.

The construction of the ten patrol boats was financed under a JPY 18.7B loan agreement to implement the Maritime Safety Capability Improvement Project (MSCIP) for the PCG. Each patrol vessel has an overall length of 44.5 meters with a crew of 25 PCG officers and enlisted personnel. It has a cruising speed of 15 knots and can reach up to 1,500 nautical miles, which make it ideal for coastal patrol and rapid response.

Construction on the second MRRV is ongoing since December 2015 and will be completed and ready for delivery voyage to Manila by the end of December 2016. The remaining vessels are scheduled to be turned over to the Philippine government by the end of August 2018.

The construction and deployment of the ten MRRVs is a timely product of closer maritime cooperation between the Philippines and Japan, as both countries celebrate the 60th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations in 2016.
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