The Philippine Army is reportedly set to receive upgraded armoured personnel carriers (APCs) from Israel next year.
Philippine Army spokesperson lieutenant colonel Noel Detoyato was quoted by The Manila Times as saying: "Delivery of all APCs is scheduled for the first quarter of 2015."
In June, the army awarded a PHP822m ($18.7m) contract to Elbit Systems for the upgrade of 28 APCs.
The Israel-based company will arm the vehicles with 25mm unmanned turrets, 12.7mm remote-controlled weapon stations (RCWS), and fire-control systems (FCS) for 90mm turrets.
The Philippines Department of National Defense (DND) had previously confirmed that the contract payment would be made in three tranches.
Philippines DND spokesperson Dr Peter Paul Galvez told The Manila Times that the first payment will be fixed at PHP405m ($9.2m), while the second and third tranches will be valued at PHP335m ($7.5m) and PHP142m ($3.2m), respectively.
Elbit has withheld information on the vehicle type, but IHS Jane’s has reported that the vehicles in question are the BAE Systems-built M113A2-tracked APCs.
Four M113s are scheduled to be upgraded to infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs), armed with 25mm automatic cannons, while the others will be fitted with additional .50 calibre heavy machine guns, according to the news agency.
In addition to the M113A2s, the Philippine Army’s inventory includes different variants of Simba, Cadillac Gage Commando and Bravia Chaimite APCs.
The vehicles are organised into a 14-vehicle mechanised infantry companion for deployment with regular units, and offer armour capability to the army, The Manila Times reported.