Australia donates two vessels to Philippines
Iran Press TV
Sun Feb 1, 2015 1:31PM
Australia has donated two military vessels to the Philippines, which has been struggling with a shortage of watercraft at times of frequent natural disasters.
The two 44.5-meter-long (146-foot) decommissioned vessels, dubbed HMAS Tarakan and HMAS Brunei, will be refurbished with modern safety and navigation equipment prior to transfer to the Philippines, Australian officials confirmed on Sunday.
"I expect the vessels will be refitted and ready for handover in May 2015," Australian Defense Minister Kevin Andrews said.
The vessels, designed to carry heavy supplies, will help with humanitarian assistance and relief work during operations conducted by the Philippines' navy.
Manila reported a shortage of vessels in the country during relief operations after Super Typhoon Haiyan hit the archipelago in November 2013.
Haiyan decimated whole towns and villages and left a massive death toll in the region. More than 7,350 people were reported dead or missing as a result of Haiyan.
Statistics suggest that the Philippines is struck by more than 20 typhoons each year, many of them deadly.
The Philippines' military is also considering whether to purchase three additional Australian landing craft that were decommissioned in 2012.
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