MANILA, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) -- The Philippine Navy has sent a strategic sealift vessel for a port visit to Russia, a military spokesman said on Thursday.
Jonathan Zata, the Philippine Navy spokesman, said the strategic sealift vessel BRP Tarlac with around 440 personnel, which left Manila on Thursday morning, is scheduled for a port visit to Russian Pacific Fleet in Vladivostok.
According to the spokesman, the Philippine Navy ship is due to arrive at the Russian naval base in Vladivostok on Oct. 1 and will depart on Oct. 6.
"It's a goodwill visit in reciprocation of the port visits by the Russia Navy. We're reciprocating the Russian Navy efforts and we're looking forward to improving further relations between our Navy and theirs," said Zata.
Russian Navy warships paid port visits to the Philippines in October last year and this June.
"This is the first time that a Philippine Navy contingent will visit the Russian Pacific Fleet in Vladivostok," Zata added.
While in Russia, Zata said the contingent will be engaged in various activities, including a visit of the headquarters of the Russian Pacific Fleet and a Russian submarine manufacturing facility.
After visiting Russia, the Philippine Navy ship will head to Jeju Island in South Korea to participate in the International Fleet Review, added the spokesman.
BRP Tarlac, one of the largest Philippine Navy ships in service, has an overall length of 120 meters, breadth of 21 meters. The ship can carry 500 troops, two rigid-hull inflatable boats, two landing craft units and three helicopters.