THE Philippine Army’s Mechanized Infantry Division (MID) on Monday demonstrated before top defense and military officials six of the 28 newly procured M113A2 refurbished but “high tech” armored vehicles that will beef up the mechanized assets and improve the Army’s capabilities.
Acquired from Israel, the armored vehicles with remote controlled weapons system were tested before Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and other top officials of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) at the MID Rifle Range in Camp O’Donnell, Capas, Tarlac.
Maj. Gen. Mayoralgo de la Cruz, MID commander, clarified that the demonstration was just part of the test and evaluation process and that the vehicles have not yet been accepted.
“There is a committee that will accept this, the technical inspection and acceptance committee (TIAC) and part of that acceptance is the live firing,” he said.
He added that as soon as the TIAC accepted the vehicles, they will be turned-over to the MID.
“Actually refurbished ito but ang system nya is high-end yung remote control. In terms of power train yung sinasabi nyong makina and, nagdadaan yan sa test and evaluation so sabi ko nga as the division commander nandito naman ako habang tinetest sya, nakikita ko kung paano sya tumakbo, pano sya talaga ihataw ng mga drivers natin and so far im very satisified with the mobility and firepower capability of these assets (Actually these are refurbished but their systems are high-end, the remote control. In terms of the engine’s power train, it passed the tests and evaluation. I witnessed how it runs. So far I am satisfied with the mobility and firepower capability of these assets),” de la Cruz told reporters.
He said the M113A2’s firepower and force protection are accurate. The gunner, he explained, need not go out of the vehicle because he can operate the machinegun mounted on the vehicle remotely.
“Nandoon lang sya sa loob parang naglalaro lang sya ng computer (he is just there inside as if he is just playing a computer game) and then we can see the enemy at a longer range,” he added.
At least 114 similar armored vehicles that are part of the excess defense article of the United States are expected to arrive in November this year.
Gazmin said the M113A2s will greatly boost the capability of the AFP’s armored units.
“We have not had these kind of equipment before. These will be very effective in combat operation,” he said.