Thursday, February 4, 2016

Philippine Army Mechanized Infantry Division formally recieved M113A2 APCs

Over a hundred Armored Personnel Carriers (APC) were turned over by the Armed Forces of the Philippines to the Mechanized Infantry Division of the Philippine Army in Camp O' Donnel, Capas Tarlac.

This is as part of modernization program of the AFP.

Defense secretary Voltaire Gazmin and AFP Chief of Staff General Hernando Iribberi led the turn over ceremony. 

The 114 units of M113A2 APCs were provided by US as part of its Excess Defense Article Programme (EDA), which recommends the surplus defense equipment be reassigned to foreign governments or international organizations at a reduced price, or as a grant.

The country paid around $1.4m for the shipment of the APCs.

These armored vehicles will be a great help in maintaining peace and security, as well as territorial defense operations of the AFP.

BGen Edgar Gonzales, commander of the Army’s Mechanized Infantry Division said “The number of vehicle we received through EDA is composed 25% of the total inventory that we have.” 

Other than 50-caliber machine gun, M113A2 can be reconfigured to carry even more powerful weapons.

It can be fitted with Air Defense Anti-Tank System (ADATS), a dual-purpose short range surface-to-air and anti-tank missile system based on the M113A2 vehicles.

Last year, AFP received M113A2 APCs from Israel fitted with state of the art remote controlled weapon system, infrared and thermal imaging; and high end communication devices.

See: Philippine Army challenged the capacity of 6 out of 28 newly acquired M113A2 (APC)

14 units of M113 in Philippine Army's inventory are set to be fitted with 76mm self-propelled anti-tank gun from decommissioned Scorpion Light Tanks. Another four will be equipped to tow damage vehicles or carry casualties. 

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

Sec. Voltair Gazmin said that the APCs will be deployed to the different parts of the country, especially in the areas where there are threats to security. 

"There are areas in need, such as hostile areas,such as areas with terrains these APCs are applicable." 

MID commander Edgar Gonzales also said “These assets will be more useful in Mindanao because we are fighting semi-conventional warfare there. Now with this vehicle, it has three important features; mobility, troop survivability and weapon system lethality.” 

Even without its weapon systems yet, the APCs can be deployed and used by our troops in the field as force protection vehicles.

The M113 is a military-tracked vehicle designed to transport 12 soldiers and a driver. It can also conduct amphibious operations, extended cross-country travel over rough terrain, and perform high-speed operations on improved roads and highways.

More than 80,000 M113 vehicles are currently being used by at least 44 countries worldwide.

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