Mobility Developments in the Philippine Army
Over the years the Philippine Army has acquired a somewhat diverse selection of armoured vehicles. Now as a part of its modernisation efforts it is looking to bring into service new capabilities, while rationalising its legacy vehicle fleet as far as possible.
The US ‘Excess Defense Articles (EDA)’ programme allowed the Philippine Army to acquire 114 M113A2 vehicles from US stocks with deliveries from 2012 onwards. Another acquisition saw the Philippine Army acquire 28 more M113A2 vehicles, which Elbit will upgrade under the terms of a $19.7 million contract. This will result in 14 Fire Support Vehicles (FSV) that will be equipped with a Scorpion tank turret mounting a 76mm gun. Four of the M113A2 will be equipped a 25 mm cannon mounted in an Elbit Remote Control Weapon Station (RCWS), six will have an RCWS mounting a 12.7mm machine gun and four will be configured as armoured recovery vehicles (ARV). All 142 of these M113A2 vehicles will be taken into service with the Mechanised Infantry Division of the Philippine Army.
Legacy armour assets include the survivors of the 120 M113A1 vehicles acquired from 1967 onwards. In the late 1970s a derivative of the M113 in the form of 51 FMC AIFV was acquired, 32 of these vehicles had a turret-mounted 25mm cannon, 13 had a cupola-mounted 12.7mm machine gun and six were ARV variants. More recently in 2010 Turkish company FNSS delivered six ACV-300 APCs (with a cupola-mount 12.7mm machine gun) and an ACV-300 ARV, the ACV-300 is itself a development of the FMC AIFV design.
In terms of wheeled armoured vehicles, the GKN Simba, Cadillac Gage V-150/V-150S Commando and the Bravia Chaimite were all acquired in reasonable numbers, but many have been lost in operations and eventually new generation of wheeled armour will be required. Armoured versions of AM General HMMWV are also in service in the M1025 and M1114 versions. Finally we should mention the fact that the Philippines acquitted some 45 Scorpion light tanks in the late 1970s, many of these were lost in combat. Others had their turrets removed to create M113 FSV systems, the Elbit contract is not the first time that the Philippine Army has acquired FSVs in this manner.
The Philippine Army received its first M113A1 armoured vehicles in 1967, acquiring a total of some 120 units