MANILA, Jan 7 (Mabuhay) — The Philippine Army (PA) is expected to receive 20 new Israeli defense manufacturer Elbit Systems Land Sabrah ASCOD (tracked) light tanks which are expected to greatly enhance its armor capabilities.

In a message Thursday night, Col. Xerxes Trinidad, PA spokesperson, said these armored vehicles are part of the Army’s Light Tank Acquisition Project under Horizon Two of the Revised Armed Forces Modernization Program (RAFPMP).

“As part of the Light Tank Acquisition Project under the Horizon 2 of the Revised AFP Modernization Program (RAFPMP), the 20 units of Sabrah ASCOD (Tracked) Light Tanks are expected to be delivered this year,” he said.

Meanwhile, another 10 Sabrah PANDUR II (Wheeled) light tanks, are scheduled to be delivered by 2023.

Asked how these light tanks will be organized once they are delivered, Trinidad said these vehicles will comprise the planned 1st Tank Battalion of the PA Armor Division.

“These armored vehicles are mounted with 105mm cannons. As to their organization, the tanks will be organic to the proposed activation of 1st Tank Battalion of the Armor Division to compose the first modern light tank fleet of the PA,” he said.

The contract is worth around PHP9.4 billion and was acquired via government-to-government mode. (MNS)

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