Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Philippine Army's M113 stocks (24) to get major upgrade from Elbit Systems of Israel for $19.7m

MANILA, Philippines -- The Department of National Defense (DND) has formally signed the contract for the delivery of 28 "armored infantry fighting vehicles" which will boost the inventory of the Army's light armored units.

Assistant Secretary Patrick Velez said that this project is worth P882 million. He said the contract was already signed weeks before the ceremony. 

DND has hired an Israeli firm (Elbit) to refurbish 24 of their M113 armored vehicles for $19.7 million. In addition to rebuilding the structural, mechanical and electrical elements of the M113s, Elbit will install new fire control systems as well as night vision sensors along with GPS, intercom and radios. 

Philippine Army (PA) will supply the turrets from 14 of its decommissioned Scorpion reconnaissance vehicles. These two man turrets are equipped with a 76mm gun that can provide excellent infantry support. Four of the M113s will be equipped to tow damaged vehicles or carry casualties.

Velez declined to give specifics of the vehicles' armament, speed and armor but stressed that these armored infantry fighting vehicles "are very capable."

These upgraded armored vehicles is expected within a year or around January 2015. The PA, which has around 10 infantry divisions, is equipped with 343 AFVs (armored fighting vehicles).

Capt. Anthony Bacus, Army spokesperson, said earlier that these AFVs are distributed to the various infantry units to provide them with mobility and additional firepower. 

 "Around 85 percent of these AFVs are on green status (fully mission capable) while another 10 percent are on yellow status (undergoing repair) and five percent are on red (beyond repair)," he added.


Some 150 of these are the United Kingdom-built GKN "Simba" with the remaining AFVs consisting of US designed V-150 and V-200 APCs, M-113, Turkish made ACV-300s and British Scorpion CVRTs.

These AFVs give the PA dependable armor capability and are organized into a 14-vehicle mechanized infantry companion for deployment with regular units.


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