This month, the Philippines is receiving 114 armored vehicles from its ally the United States as the Southeast Asian state seeks to modernize its military.
According to a statement by the U.S. embassy in Manila, the U.S. government transferred 77 units of M113A2 Armored Personnel Carriers (APCs) to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on December 9. A second shipment with the remaining units was scheduled to arrive later in the month.
The APCs are being transferred via the Excess Defense Article (EDA) program, which grants excess military equipment from the United States without cost to qualified allied countries. Manila did have to pay 67.5 million pesos ($1.4 million) to cover transport costs, however.
The M113, the embassy statement noted, was developed to provide a survivable and reliable light tracked vehicle that allows for troops to be brought forward under armor for dismounted operations. According to The Philippine Star, AFP spokesman Colonel Restituto Padilla said that the new PACs would expedite battle steeled movement, fast track accuracy in operation, and help ensure the survivability of troops in the field, especially in buildup areas.
Separately, AFP spokesman Colonel Benjamin Hao also told Agence France-Presse that the transfer would boost the Philippine army’s inventory of armored vehicles by over a third to 455. Though the military still has to install armament and communication equipment on the vehicles, he said they would be deployed soon.
The APCs are also expected to be featured in the upcoming annual military parade that will commemorate the 80th founding anniversary of the AFP on December 21. The parade will be held outside of the AFP’s general headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City. The centerpiece of that event, though, will be the display of FA-50 fighter jets. As I wrote for The Diplomat earlier this month, Manila had received the first two of a dozen of the jets from South Korea (See: “Philippines Receives 2 Fighter Jets from South Korea”).