MANILA — A large portion of the country’s armored assets are now seeing action in the ongoing operations to clear Marawi City of the remaining Maute Group terrorists.
This was bared by Mechanized Infantry Division (MID) public affairs office chief Capt. Emman Adriano in an interview with the PNA over the weekend.
“(Armored assets deployed ) are four mechanized battalions, one cavalry squadron and one light armored troop. All of our newly acquired armored vehicles are now deployed in Marawi City,” he added in Filipino.
These units consists of more than 120 armored vehicles of various types.
The EDA Program grants excess US military equipment, without cost, to qualified allied countries.
The new armored vehicles, Adriano is referring to the 114 M-113A2 armored personnel carriers acquired from the US through the Excess Defense Articles Program (EDA) in 2016.
The latter program gives excess American military equipment, without cost, to qualified allied countries.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines virtually got these additional armored assets for free saved for the shipping costs which amounted to PHP67.5 million and refitting of .50 caliber machine guns to the APCs.
The M-113A2 was developed to provide a survivable and reliable light tracked vehicle that allows for troops to be brought forward under armor for dismounted operations.
Also seeing action are the 28 armored vehicles fitted with remote-control weapons systems with .50 caliber, 25mm and 90mm guns.
The above-mentioned armored units were upgraded by Israeli defense manufacturer Elbit Systems Ltd for PHP882 million last 2014 and delivered in 2016. Priam Nepomuceno/PNA-northboundasia.com