AN Israeli firm has bagged a $20-million (around P360-million) contract for the supply of upgraded armored personnel carriers (APCs) to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
Elbit Systems Ltd. will deliver 28 APCs to the Light Armor Division of the Philippine Army.
The upgraded APCs will include 25-millimeter (mm.) unmanned turrets, 12.7-mm remote controlled weapon stations and fire control systems for 90 mm turrets.
The Department of National Defense (DnD) said the deal with Elbit was sealed on January 17.
The DnD said the Philippine Army Light Armor Division will receive 142 units of M11342 APCs this year.
The delivery of the APCs was approved by the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) in 2012 as grants to the Army.
At present, the Philippine Army has 343 armored fighting vehicles (AFVs) and APCs in its arsenal.
About 85 percent of the AFVs are fully mission-capable, 10 percent are undergoing repair and five percent are beyond repair.
Elbit Systems Ltd., according to its website, is an international defense electronics company engaged in a wide range of programs throughout the world.
It deals in aerospace, land and naval systems, command, control, communications, computers, intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance, unmanned aircraft systems, advanced electro-optics, electro-optic space systems, signal intelligence systems, data links and communications systems and radios.
The company also focuses on upgrading of existing military platforms, developing new technologies for defense, homeland security and commercial aviation applications and providing a range of support services, including training and simulation systems.
The DnD is also investing some P11 billion in the acquisition of two long-range patrol aircraft and six close-air support (CAS) planes that the Philippine Air Force (PAF) will use to patrol the country’s territorial boundary, including the disputed West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).
Of the amount, P5.976 billion was allotted to the long-range patrol aircraft acquisition project, and P4,958 billion to the CAS project.
Last March, the DnD awarded an P18.9-billion contract to Korea Aerospace Industries for the supply of 12 FA training fighters jets and another P4.8 billion for eight utility helicopters from the Canadian Commercial Corp.