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94-meter Multi-Role Response Vessel Acquisition Project of the Philippine Coast Guard

 To improve the capability of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) in responding to offshore and coastal maritime incidents such as Search and Rescue (SAR), Maritime Law Enforcement (MARLEN), Maritime Security (MARSEC) operations, the PCG requested the acquisition of two (2) 94 meter Multi-Role Response Vessels (MRRV) as part of the PCG's Maritime Safety Capability Improvement Project (MSCIP) Phase II program.

The Maganua-class MRRV BRP Teresa Magbanua (MRRV-9701). Photo credits to Baird Marine.

The Japan Coast Guard Kunigami-class patrol vessel Ikema (PL-86). Photo for reference only, taken from J-Hangarspace website.

Project Summary:

94-meter Multi-Role Response Vessel Acquisition Project

Note: Edited as of 14 June 2022:

* End User: Philippine Coast Guard

* Quantity: 2 nos.

* Project ABC: Php7,000,000,000.00

* Acquisition Mode: Limited Source Bidding

* Source of Funding: Official Development Assistance (ODA) by Japan JICA, ODA Loan No. PH-P263.

* Winning Proponent: Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co. Ltd.

* Product for Delivery: 2 nos. modified Kunigami-class 97-meter patrol vessel

* Contract Price: JPY14,550,000,000.00, approx. Php6,790,000,000.00

* First post by MaxDefense: TBA

* Searching Hashtag: #PCG94mMRRV #PCG97mMRRV

* Status: Notice of Award (NOA) released 17 January 2020 in favor of Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co. Ltd. Contract Signing and release of Notice to Proceed (NTP) held on 07 February 2020. First steel cutting held on December 2020. Launching for first ship of the class scheduled by 26 July 2021, second ship of the class on 18 November 2021. BRP Teresa Magbanua commissioned on 06 May 2022, and BRP Melchora Aquino was commissioned on 12 June 2022. PROJECT COMPLETED.


The requirement for MRRVs was first published in the document “RA008-02: Formulating a National Transport Plan” that dates back to March 2010. 

It was commissioned by the Philippines – Australia Partnership for Economic Governance Reforms (PEGR) group and was initiated by the Australian Government. It stated that the Philippine Government work for the “Development of maritime disaster response capabilities.” The indicator to achieve this objective is a target of  acquiring twelve (12) “Maritime Disaster Response Vessels”.

Contrary to beliefs that the MRRV project was a Japanese initiative, it was actually the collaboration by the Philippine government and the Australian government that made way to the idea of acquiring such vessels. Photo taken fro AusAID website.

Also, the same MRRV requirement was stated more clearly in one of the early documents made available to the public, in this case the July 2011 commitment plan of the Philippines to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Counter-Terrorism Action Plan

It stated a ”Need to acquire the following surface assets: two (2) 100-meter high endurance vessels” among other PCG requirements stated. 

By 2013, the former Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) detailed a plan for the “Acquisition of two- 92-meter Multi-Role Response Vessels”.

This report from the former DOTC indicated the requirement for the "Acquisition of two 92-meter Multi-Role Response Vessels. Photo taken from the former DOTC website.

By November 2015, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) issued a Note Verbale transmitting the Government of the Philippines (GOP)’s official request to secure loan financing from the Government of Japan.  

From January to February 2016, JICA’s Feasibility Study Review and Appraisal Mission were dispatched and made a report in the link.

The planned deployment of the 94-meter MRRV as indicated in the Japan MOFA's case study on the request for funding assistance submitted by the Philippine government. Photo taken from Japan MOFA's website.

During a June 2016 NEDA-ICC review, the title, technical specifications, cost and implementation period of the project following the appraisals by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). 

Among the changes were:

*  The adjustment of the total length from 92 meters to 94 meters
* Amount of funding required from US$89.73 million to US$142.85 million 

On September 2016, the NEDA Board finally approved the project. And finally on October 2016, the GOP and the GOJ signed a JICA Official Development Assistance (ODA) Loan Agreement, specifically a STEP loan during Philippine Pres. Rodrigo Duterte's visit to Japan. 

The Special Terms for Economic Partnership (STEP) was applied to the project in the agreement that was signed, and it was expected that only Japanese shipbuilding technologies will be utilized. During the October 2016 signing, the project was targeted to be completed on June 2021.

The terms of the STEP loan are first they are required to use the service of Japanese companies. Payable in 40 years, the loan amount is JPY16.455 Billion with an annual interest of 0.1. The bonus is that the loan has a grace period of 10 years.

Project Implementation:

There are two contracts for this project:
First is the Consulting Services for the construction of the vessels which was awarded on 28 September 2018 and the Notice to Proceed (NTP) was issued on 09 November 2018. 

In this project, the Joint Venture of Japan Marine Science and PADECO Co. Ltd. won the contract. This contract was delayed due to the slow procurement process of the Philippine Department of Transportation (DOTr, which replaced the DOTC after the government decided to separate the scope of communications from the agency).  

The second project is the Vessel Construction contract which is due for bidding sometime between June to November 2019. 

As of June 2019, target completion of the two vessels are now March 2020 and June 2020. Japan Marine United Corp, Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co. Ltd., and Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co. Ltd. are the shortlisted shipbuilding firms for this contract. The latest scheduled Pre-bid meeting is scheduled on 10 July 2019.

Due to delays, these target dates are not achievable, with MaxDefense now looking at mid-2021 for the completion of the first ship of the class.

Being a Japanese-funded and built class of ships, it is expected that the model will be based on an existing proven design used by the Japan Coast Guard, like the Kunigami-class (above). Credits to original source of the above photo.

Technical Requirements:

Based on the design created for this project, these are some of the basic specifications of the ships:

Overall Length: about 94 meters
Length, waterlines: about 87.50 meters
* Breadth, moulded: about 11.5 meters
Designed load draft, moulded: about 4 meters
Speed: Not less than 24 knots maximum, 12-18 knots cruising
Range: Not less than 4,000 nautical miles @ 12 knots
Endurance: Not less than 15 days
Crew: 67  
Survivor capacity: 36
Engine: 2 x 6,600kW diesel engines, with option to fit slow-speed electric drive for fuel savings
RHIB/FRP: 2 units 8 meter boats lowered by davit cranes
Gross tonnage(as per International Tonnage, 1969): about 2,300 tons

Photo taken from Technical Requirements of the 94-meter MRRV project as indicated in the Bid Documents.

To ensure the possibility of day and night helicopter operations, the vessel should be equipped with a helicopter landing deck platform, hangar, landing aids and associated equipment. Vessel and helicopter launching and recovery facilities shall be designed and supplied to allow for helicopter operations up to sea state 4 (WMO sea states) in Philippine sea areas.

The helicopter landing deck platform, associated equipment and landing aids may be designed using Japanese Coast Guard norms and standards similar or equivalent to the standards used for the PCG’s offshore patrol vessel. 

Ship-helicopter interface compatibility must be taken into consideration. Helicopter recovery assist, secure and traverse equipment required for safe and efficient helicopter operations to include equipment for; communications, approach, hover, landing/take-off, traversing and stowing shall be provided.

Helicopter landing deck with hangar shall be arranged aft part of the Vessel. The following helicopters shall be considered for the design of helideck strength, helideck fittings, helicopter stowing, refueling, electrical, firefighting equipment, associated equipment and landing aids, etc. 

As a minimum, design load of helideck platform and hangar should be able to accommodate the maximum-take-off weight of the heavier helicopter listed below with a margin for heavy landing conditions/ factor of safety:

1) Airbus EC145 T2
2) Sikorsky S-76C
3) AgustaWestland AW139
4) Bell 412EP

Helicopter hangar shall be designed as to safely store and lash the one EC145 Eurocopter through manual operations, with applicable safety regulations.

The PCG has an order for two (2) Airbus Helicopters EC145 T2 (H125) twin-engine helicopters and are scheduled to arrive soon. The PCG is also eyeing the acquisition of larger helicopters and is said to looking at the AgustaWestland AW139. Credits to original source of the photo.

The vessel shall be so designed and equipped to be able to safely tow another vessel of at least similar size or weight. Towing capacity shall be modeled after the existing similar-type JCG vessels.

The vessel will have:
* Anti-Rolling Devices: Anti-Rolling Tank-Passive type Anti-Rolling tank shall be provided. 

* Fin Stabilizer- A fixed type (non-retractable) fin stabilizer shall be provided at engine room.

A Fixed diving platform shall be provided at stern above full load line. An ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) system shall be provided.

Updated Specifications:

Based on the latest bid documents for the Vessel Construction Project, the latest 94-Meter MRRV Technical Specifications are:

It now specifically mentioned the Kunigami model, which is the Japan Coast Guard's Kunigami-class large patrol vessel. The JCG has eighteen (18) such ships and is considered a proven design.

It now remains to be seen who will be selected to build the ships for the PCG. It is also worth noting that all three interested proponents Japan Marine United, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Shipbuilding and Mitsui Engineering and Shipbuilding all had experience in building the Kunigami-class for the JCG between 2011 to 2017.

Some photos of Kunigami-class large patrol vessels of the JCG. Credits to original sources of the photos.

U P D A T E S:

28 January 2020:

As of January 2020, it was determined that Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co. Ltd. has won the tender and was given the Notice of Award (NOA) on 17 January 2020. A Contract Signing and release of Notice to Proceed are expected to take place either February or March 2020.

A copy of the NOA from the Department of Transportation (DOTr). Photo shared to MaxDefense by Herbie.

Mitsubishi Shipbuilding was the original designer and builder of the Kunigami-class which would be the basis of the Philippine Coast Guard's 94-meter Multi-Role Response Vessels. Their shipyard in Shimonoseki built 12 of the 18 ships of the class operated by the Japan Coast Guard, with the other 6 ships built by Japan Marine United and Mitsui Shipbuilding.


07 February 2020:

On behalf of the Philippine Coast Guard, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) has finally signed the contract for the acquisition of two 94-meter Multi-Role Response Vessels (MRRV) with Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co. Ltd., as part of the Maritime Safety Capability Improvement Project Phase II.

DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade and Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co. Ltd., President and CEO Koji Okura led the signing of the contract.

The vessels are expected to be delivered to the PCG by 2022. 

Contract signing ceremonies held in Manila, between the DOTr and Mitsubishi Shipbuilding. Photo taken from DOTr's FB page.

23 June 2020:

he Philippine Coast Guard has released the CGI of their new 94-meter patrol vessels that will be built by Japan's Mitsubishi Shipyard based on the Japan Coast Guard's Kunigami-class.

Several changes can be noted, including the smoke stack becoming 2 instead of 1 to make way for a helicopter hangar, the relocation of the boat davits, among others.

No weapons appear to be installed but since the Philippine Coast Guard has started interest in installing remote-controlled weapon systems (RCWS) on some of its smaller assets, it is not surprising if they decide to install an RCWS for small and medium-caliber guns on the ships after they are delivered to the PCG.

Thanks to one of our contributor, Herbie, for sharing these photos to our community!!


19 December 2020:

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) released information and photos showing the start of the construction of the 94-meter Multi-Role Response Vessels for the Philippine Coast Guard, marked by the Safe Construction Prayer Ceremony held at Mitsubishi Shipyards Co. Ltd. in Japan earlier this week.

The event, which was conducted in Shinto religious ways, was participated mostly by the Japanese side, as Philippine officials participated virtually.

The ceremony also marks the First Steel Cutting, which the first steel section can be seen on the photos. All photos are credited to JICA Philippines' social media page.

The start of construction is an important milestone in shipbuilding. The next milestone would be the Keel Laying Ceremony which we are expecting to happen next year.


03 February 2021:

MaxDefense PH received word from sources that the ships are now closer to 97 meters in length, rather than 94 meters as previously described by the PCG.

This brings the length closer to the original Kunigami-class cutter, which is around 97 meters.


26 May 2021:

Our parent page MaxDefense PH received confirmation from its sources that the first ship of the class is scheduled for launching on July 2021, and delivery to the PCG could happen as early May 2022, if there would be no problems in the construction and delivery of subsystems due to COVID-19 pandemic.

With this, sending of PCG crewmembers for training on the ship may happen within 3rd quarter of 2021, as they start getting to know the ship as Mitsubishi Shipbuilding completes all fitout works, testing and obtaining approvals until the ship is ready for delivery by 2022.

No word yet on the launching of the second ship of the class, but it is expected to be following closely, most probably less than 1 year difference from the first ship.


22 July 2021:

MaxDefense PH received new confirmation supporting its information last May 2021, that the first ship of the class, with hull number 9701, will be launched on 26 July 2021 at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries' shipyard in Japan.

This marks a major milestone for the project, with final fit-out works to proceed afterwards and will be done with the ship already floating at pier. 

This will be followed by at-pier tests of its subsystems, before conducting its sea trials which will later on involved personnel from the Philippine Coast Guard.

Delivery is still expected to be made by early May 2022, if no issues will be encountered considering COVID-19 pandemic is still a worldwide issue that may affect the movement of parts and technical personnel involved in completing the ship.

Photos from MaxDefense Philippines.


26 July 2021:

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries has launched the 1st of 2 new 97-meter Multi-Role Response Vessel for the Philippine Coast Guard, during ceremonies held earlier today.

Philippine Ambassador to Japan Jose C. Laurel V was present in Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co. Ltd.'s Shimonoseki Shipyard during the launch ceremonies.

As shown on the program details below from the ship launching ceremony, the ship is 96.6 meters long, which is longer than the 94 meters originally envisioned.

The launching of this ship was first reported exclusively by MaxDefense Philippines last week.
The design was based on a revised Kunigami-class large patrol vessel used by the Japan Coast Guard.

Photos from Presidential Communications Office's video.

Expected delivery of the 1st ship of the class will be on March 2022, while the second ship of the class, with hull number 9702, will be delivered by May 2022.

Final fit-out, and crew training will proceed thereafter, with sea trials expected to begin by 4th quarter 2021.


18 November 2021:

Mitsubishi Shipbuilding has launched the second Magbanua-class 97-meter Multi-Role Response Vessel for the Philippine Coast Guard during ceremonies held this morning at Mitsubishi Shipbuilding's Shimonoseki shipyard.

While not mentioned, MaxDefense PH's sources confirmed that the ship would be the future BRP Melchora Aquino (MRRV-9702) once commissioned with the PCG.

The shipbuilder is expected to deliver the ship by 2nd quarter of 2022, and commissioned to the PCG by 3rd-4th quarter 2022.

The video of the ceremonies can be watched from the link provided below:

Photos screengrabbed from video posted by Presidential Communications.


27 December 2021:

The two Magbanua-class 97-meter Multi-Role Response Vessels bound for the Philippine Coast Guard are seen here at Mitsubishi Shipyard in Shimonoseki, Japan.

The first ship is scheduled for delivery in early 2022, while the second ship is scheduled for delivery by late 2022.

The crew of the future BRP Teresa Magbanua (MRRV-9701) are already in Japan to start their training soon. We wish them Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Photo credits to MaxDefense PH community member who wish to remain anonymous.

Photo credits to MaxDefense Philippines.


26 February 2022:

The 1st Magbanua-class 97m MRRV bound for the Philippine Coast Guard, the future BRP Teresa Magbanua (MRRV-9701) arrived earlier today in Manila Bay, and was given a welcome by Philippine Coast Guard ships. 

The ship left Japan a few days ago for its delivery cruise.

Video courtesy of MaxDefense Philippines contributor.


06 May 2022:

Commissioning ceremony of Magbanua-class 97-meter Multi-Role Response Vessel (MRRV) BRP Teresa Magbanua (MRRV-9701) was held today at the Philippine Coast Guard headquarters in Manila


23 May 2022:

The Philippine Coast Guard has conducted harbor acceptance tests and inspection on the second Magbanua-class 97-meter Multi-role Response Vessel, the Melchora Aquino (9702) at Mitsubishi Shipbuilding's Shimonoseki Shipyard in Japan from 19 to 26 May 2022.

The ship is scheduled to depart Japan on 27 May 2022 for its delivery cruise to the Philippines, and is expected to arrive on 01 June 2022 where it will be commissioned into service with the PCG as the BRP Melchora Aquino (MRRV-9702).

Photo credits to Philippine Coast Guard.


01 June 2022:

The second Magbanua-class 97-meter multi-role response vessel, the future BRP Melchora Aquino (MRRV-9702) arrived in Manila earlier today after sailing from Japan for its delivery cruise.

The ship was built by Mitsubishi Shipbuilding in Shimonoseki, Japan, and was funded by Japan-sourced loan under the Maritime Safety Capability Improvement Project Phase 2 project of the Department of Transportation.

Video credits to the PCG.


12 June 2022:

The Philippine Coast Guard commissioned its second Magbanua-claas 97-meter multi-role response vessel, named the BRP Melchora Aquino (9702).

The vessel was acquires under a Japanese development loan program provided by JICA, and was built by Mitsubishi Shipbuilding in Shimonoseki, Japan.

The PCG should strive to acquire more of these ships as the PCG commander previously stressed the need for at least 16 more of these ships to cover the country's needs.

Photo credits to JICA Philippines.


With the two Magbanua-class 97-meter MRRV already delivered and commissioned with the Philippine Coast Guard as of 12 June 2022, MaxDefense Philippines and Philippine Defense Resource can officially consider the 94-meter Multi-Role Response Vessel Acquisition Project of the Philippine Coast Guard as COMPLETED.

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First edit and release: 07 July 2019
Copyright MaxDefense Philippines / Herbie / Philippine Defense Resource

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