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A theoretical model of a self-pulsating three-section DFB laser with an integrated phase tuning section is established. It is based on traveling wave equations and the standard carrier rate equations. Parameters of an existing device are used for applying the model. Key conditions and characteristics of self-pulsations (SPs) are modeled and compared with experimental results. The important role of phase tuning for turning on the SP is pointed out. The dependence of the SP regime on the detuning between the Bragg wavelengths in the laser and reflector is determined and the essential role of phase-readjustment is identified. Frequency tuning via the laser currents, as well as the pulse shape at various frequencies, is investigated. This allows us to identify the mechanism for frequency tuning. The model turns out to be a good tool to improve our knowledge of the self-pulsation effect and to design optimized devices.