The Philippine Army is planning to purchase up to 14 M113 armoured personnel carriers (APCs) to help enhance its fire support capabilities in 2015, the service’s spokesperson captain Anthony Bacus has revealed.
Bacus was quoted by Philstar as saying that the vehicles will be equipped with 76mm turrets among other equipment from the army’s decommissioned tracked Scorpion combat vehicle reconnaissance units.
"It will be fitted with modern fire control and thermal imaging equipment. Once it is completed, the 76mm cannon armed M113s will be quite lethal," Bacus said.
The vehicles are scheduled to be manufactured by BAE Systems Land and Armaments.
More than 100 M113s are currently used by the Philippine Army for a range of support missions.
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The Philippine Army had inducted excess US M1114 armoured high mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicle (HMMWV), as well as M939 and M35 truck series into operational service in 2013 to boost fire support capability, according to the news agency.
Powered by a 6V53 Detroit 2-stroke six cylinder diesel engine, the M113 is a fully tracked APC designed to carry personnel and certain types of cargo in the battlefield.
More than 40 variants of the vehicle has been developed, some of which include the M113A1, M113A2, M113A3 and M113 armoured cavalry assault vehicle (ACAV).
Even though the US Army’s M113 series have long been replaced as front-line combat vehicles by the M2 and M3 Bradley, large numbers are still used for support missions, including armoured ambulances, mortar carriers, engineer vehicles and command vehicles, among others.
Image: US Army M113s mortar carriers during Operation Baton Rouge, Iraq. Photo: courtesy of US Air Force.