SEVENTY-SEVEN more M-113A2 armored personnel carriers, intended for the Mechanized Infantry Division of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, arrived in Subic Bay on Wednesday evening, the military reported on Thursday.
The APCs is the first batch of the 114 M-113A2s donated to the AFP via the US Excess Defense Article program and is separate from the 28 modified M113A2s that the military acquired from an Israeli defense contractor for more than P800 million.
The second shipment of 37 APCs donated by the US is expected to arrive on Dec. 14 and the remainder will be delivered later this month.
The EDA Program grants excess US military equipment, without cost, to qualified allied countries and the transfer of APCs is a result of a formal request made by the AFP to assist in their defense modernization efforts.
Last September, the Army tested six of the 28 M113A2s acquired from Israel and officials said army officials were generally satisfied with the capabilities of the modified APCs that were fitted with remotely controlled 50mm guns.
Mechanized infantry division commander Major Gen. Mayoralgo dela Cruz said most of the 28 APCs acquired from Israel will be brought to Mindanao.
Although the M113 was developed by the American firm Food Machinery Corp. and first used by US mechanized infantry in the 1960s, it became the most widely used armored vehicle of the US Army before it was replaced by the M2 and M3 Bradleys.
But there are still many M113s used by the US military in various support roles, like mortar carriers, engineer vehicles and command vehicles. It has also been used in other conflicts, including the Persian Gulf War and the ongoing Syrian Civil War.