Thursday, September 26, 2013

Main Battle Tanks in ASEAN Armies - Is there a Regional Tank Buying Spree?

Indonesia received its first delivery of pre-owned Leopard 2 main battle tanks from Germany, specifically the "A4" variant, together with pre-owned but upgraded Marder IFVs. This is part of their deal with Germany, which is a major breakthrough for Indonesia as they have been planning for this capability for a long time. 



Indonesia recently received their first Leopard 2A4 tank and Marder IFV from Germany as part of a larger deal.
Photo taken from Kaskus forums c/o Audrey.

Is there a main battle tank race in the ASEAN region? Well, from MaxDefense point of view, there is a spike of purchases and interests for main battle tanks in the region that started a few years ago, and a so-called race is probably only happening in a few member countries.

Within the Southeast Asian region, only the mainland states of Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia traditionally operate tanks heavier than 35 tons, although it is a very well known secret that Singapore keeps an arsenal of main battle tanks since the mid 1970s to avoid giving their perceived threats a reason to include main battle tanks in their arsenal.

Traditional Tank Users:
Vietnam:
Of all ASEAN armies, Vietnam has the largest tank fleet and has been a long time user of Soviet-era T-54/55 series and Chinese Type 59 medium tanks, with several units actually being Vietnam War veterans. Of the estimated 600 to 850 T-54/55 tanks in Vietnamese serivce, around 310 were modernized using Israeli technology into T-54/55M3 standards which involved the replacement of the original Soviet 100mm gun with a 105mm M68/L7 gun, installation of explosive reactive armor, smoke grenade launchers, a new German-made 1,000hp engine, a 60mm mortar and meteo-sensors technology. There were previous reports that Vietnam planned to purchase 150 T-72 main battle tanks from Poland, but did not materialize and budget was instead used to purchase naval assets.


A Vietnamese T-54/55 series tank, modernized by Israel to T-54M3 standard.
Photo taken from ttvnol.com 


Laos and Cambodia:
These two countries are also long time users of the Soviet-era T-54/55 series medium tanks, with around 30 and 300, respectively. Most of their tanks were also received as far back as the Vietnam War era. So far there are no tank upgrade programs or new tank purchases for both countries, except for the transfer of 50 used T-55 medium tanks to Cambodia following tensions with neighboring Thailand on disputed territory.


Cambodia recently received 50 used T-55 tanks after tensions with Thailand on a disputed temple.
Photo taken from Reuters.

Myanmar:
Myanmar is another country with a large standing army and a large tank force in the region, mostly made up of Chinese-made tanks like the T-59D reportedly numbering around 150 units, which it uses for several decades now; the Type 69 and Type 69-II main battle tanks reportedly at 130 units in service since 1990; and the Norinco MBT-2000, which China supplied several units in 2011.The Myanmar Army also reportedly possess 139 T-72 tanks, some purchased from Ukraine in 2002-2003 although the numbers are debatable due to absence of an accurate account of deliveries.


A screenshot from a Myanmar video of a Chinese-made MBT-2000 allegedly on trials.
Photo taken from China Defense Blog.

Thailand:
The Kingdom of Thailand has been operating around a hundred American M48 Patton medium tanks, with the first batch delivered to the RTA since 1979, and was reinforced by its first main battle tank, the M60A1 in 1991 and M60A3 in 1996, numbering a total of around 170 tanks. All are former US Army stocks and were sold to Thailand through FMS program. These tanks would soon be reinforced by a 2011 order for 49 brand new T-84 Oplot-M main battle tanks from Ukraine worth TB7.155 billion, although there are reports that Thailand used its option to buy as many as 200 tanks to replace the ageing M-41 Bulldog light tanks. There were reported criticisms on the government's decision to buy the Ukrainian tanks because of the auto-loader feature, while tank crews were said to prefer South Korean-made tanks.


Thailand's first T-84 Oplot-M being presented to the Thai delegation in Ukraine last June 26.
Photo taken from defence-blog.com (in Russian).

Aside from the traditional tank users, other ASEAN countries have also started getting main battle tanks as part of their army's arsenal. Originally believed to avoid tanks due to unfavorable terrain conditions, there countries have now accepted the need for tanks and integrated them to their doctrines.


Non-Traditional Users:
Singapore:
The small island nation is believed to be in possession of British-made Centurion main battle tanks, specifically 63 units of Mk. 3 and Mk. 7 reportedly obtained from India in 1975 and additional units coming fro Israel in the early 1990s. All were said to be upgraded with Israeli technology and are locally named as the Tempest. There are no credible proofs though of the tank's existence with the Singapore Army as there are no available photo or credible open sources to prove them except for some few publications, although the Singapore government did not deny or confirm their existence. But this is now moot considering that Singapore purchased 66 ex-German Army Leopard 2A4 plus 30 several spare tanks, together with 10 Bergepanzer-3 Buffel armored recovery vehicles in 2007-2008. Most of the tanks were recently upgraded to Leopard 2SG standard with advanced modular armor protection from IBD Deisenroth Engineering and ST Kinetics starting 2010. They are currently considered the most capable tank in ASEAN region for now.


A side-by-side comparative photo between Singapore's Leopard 2SG standard (left) and the Leopard 2A4 (right). Not all of Singapore's Leopard 2 are in SG upgraded standard yet though.

Malaysia:
The Federation of Malaysia procured its first main battle tank, 48 units of PT-91M Twardy from Poland plus associated support vehicles (6 WZT-91M armored recovery vehicles, 5 MID-91M engineering tanks, 5PMC-91M Leguan armored bridge layers, and 1 SJ-09 driver training tank) with the first unit delivered in 2005 as part of a contract worth $370 million. The tank is now locally known as the Pendekar, and are operated by the 11th Regiment, Royal Armoured Corps. It is interesting to note that as part of the contract between Malaysia and Poland, the tanks were purchased in exchange for palm oil which is one of Malaysia's main product.


A Malaysian Army PT-91M Pendekar during one of the parades in Kuala Lumpur.
Photo and commentaries from World of Malaysia Military Special blog site.

Indonesia:
The vast archipelago country is a latecomer in terms of acquisition of main battle tanks to its military, but it entered with a big bang. Under a $280 million deal with Germany, the Indonesians will be receiving ex-German Army Leopard 2 tanks with the following breakdown: 40 Leopard 2A4 tanks, 63 Leopard 2RI (upgraded to "Revolution" standards), 4 Buffel armored recovery vehicles, 3 Leguan armored bridge layers and 3 Kodiak armored engineering vehicles, plus 50 Marder 1A2 infantry fighting vehicles. They initially requested to purchase tanks from the Netherlands but their request was rejected by the Dutch parliament. The Indonesian Army continues to operate smaller tanks as well and these main battle tanks will supplement them.


An example of the Leopard 2 Revolution was displayed in Jakarta last May to showcase the tank as part of the deal with Germany.
Photo taken from Minsera.blogspot.com.

Brunei:
Due to it's small size, there are currently no plans for Brunei to obtain main battle tanks and this is projected to remain for many years to come.


So how about the Philippines?

The last time the Philippines had at least medium tanks in its inventory was a long time ago, with ex-US Army M4 Shermans received during the late 1940s. Aside from a handful of M-41 Bulldogs light tanks received in 1965, there were no other tanks that were procured by the Philippine Army (take note that the British FV101 Scorpion is not a tank, but is a fast reconnaissance vehicle). Fast forward to present day, and there appears to be some plans to procure main battle tanks that will form future armored battalions of the already active Mechanized Infantry Division. MaxDefense sources confirmed that the DND was previously looking at used main battle tanks from European countries, but the project was not given priority right now. This plan may only be included in the 2nd (or even 3rd) phase of the revised AFP Modernization program if everything goes according to plan.


The heaviest tank operated by the Philippine Army was the M4 Sherman tank. This example appears to be have the insignia of the 1st "Tabak" Division". The Philippines remain as the only major ASEAN country without major tank assets in its army.
Photo from Smith & Wesson forum c/o jun225.

Looking at how the Philippine Army's proposed items for purchase in the 1st phase of the Revised AFP Modernization Law, it appears that main battle tanks have taken the backseat due to the limited budget allocation and the numerous needs to upgrade it current forces. For armored assets, priority was given to additional armored personnel carriers (APC) and infantry fighting vehicles (IFV) to fill-in the expanding mechanized units of the Philippine Army. This includes the expected delivery of 114 M113A2 APC from ex-US Army stocks within this year or early next year, plus additional requirements for new tracked APCs and IFVs, possibly based on the ACV-300 purchased earlier by the PA from Turkey. 

Contrary to most beliefs that main battle tanks are useless in the Philippine setting, MaxDefense believes that main battle tanks have a place in the Philippine Army's force structure. These assets are still the best defensive and offensive ground asset that any army could have, and are the spearhead of any army formation. Although the terrain in the Philippines is disadvantageous for tank operation due to fragmented land features, a combination of mountainous and river-rich terrain plus poor infrastructure, there are vast areas where tanks could be used, including the plains of Central Luzon and large portions of Mindanao. This was proven by the Japanese and Americans who maximized the use of tanks in Central Luzon and Manila area during World War 2. Recently, main battle tanks have even been included in urban operation doctrines as shown by recent experiences by foreign armies. All these perceived difficulties have already been considered by army planners not only in the Philippine Army but worldwide as well. 


Even as early as World War 2, tanks have demonstrated their usefulness on urban-environment warfare. Photo above shows a US Army M4 Sherman tank entering a devastated Walled City of Intramuros within Manila.
Photo taken from Wikimedia.

But of course, there will always be some setbacks to having main battle tanks. Not only will they cost much to purchase, these tanks are expected to have high costs with regards to upgrading, operation, maintenance, training and integration to the entire army force structure. It also requires several support vehicles for it to operate in the Philippine vegetation and terrain, like the need for armored bridge layers and recovery vehicles. These assets are expected to be procured all together with the main battle tanks once the PA decided to get some. 

The Indonesian purchase of Leopard 2s is actually something the Philippines can look at. They have the same problems as the Philippines in terms of infrastructure development and natural terrain, although they overcame the problem of financial capability which the Philippines has not yet reached. Although other analysts believe that Indonesia's purchase of tanks was because of strong pressure from the army high command and because of pride and prestige as the unofficial leader of ASEAN, MaxDefense believes that the Indonesian Army is at the right time to get such assets for their armored formations.


The Philippine Army must prioritize filling the requirements of the infantry units first, especially with the limited budget given to the modernization of the Army. PA troops must be given proper protection, new infantry weapons, better logistics and support equipment and better armored vehicles to support them first.


Although MaxDefense supports the need for the PA to have main battle tanks as part of their assets and capability, MaxDefense believes that the Philippine Army must give priority to upgrade its most basic fighting unit, the infantry squad, before going up the ladder where the main battle tanks sits on top. This is also what the current planners in the Philippine Army believe as well, which could be seen in their modest modernization plans as part of the first 5 years. This dilemma could only be settled immediately if more funds are made available to the PA where they can both take in main battle tanks and support equipment while also upgrading other spectrum of the force structure. 

Tank buying spree? Yes there is, but it's more of an improvement of capabilities by respective ASEAN armies rather than a race to outdo each other. As usual, the Philippines is late in the game but everything's not lost yet.

========
UPDATES:
========
March 5, 2014:
With the internal and external security issues confronting Ukraine, the T-84 Oplot tanks and other land vehicles ordered by Thailand may be affected. Delivery of the 1st batch of the tanks were completed a few weeks ago, but now the proceeding batches may be delayed. If a shooting war starts between Ukraine and Russia, or an ethnic civil war or war for independece of ethnic Russian areas starts, MaxDefense expects that the Thai orders will be cancelled indefinitely.

=========
July 1, 2014:
Indonesia is scheduled to receive the 1st major batch of deliveries of Leopard 2 main battle tanks and Marder infantry fighting vehicles. The Indonesian National Armed Forces (TNI) will receive 26 of each of the armored vehicles, which they expect to be available before its anniversary on October 5.

Singapore was also reported as the unnamed Asian country that will receive Kodiak armored engineering vehicles (AEV) before the end of 2014. No specific numbers were released in the report. The German Kodiak AEV is based on the Leopard 2 main battle tank. 

=========


166 comments:

  1. Max, if the PA were to buy a MBT, what do you think is the best choice? I'm not very knowledgeable about such things but I was thinking that the M60 Patton or similar previous generation tanks would be suitable at least when it comes to budget.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. YES THIS MUCH SUITABLE TO THE PHILIPPINE BUDGET AND MORE EASIER TO SUPPORT IN PARTS......

      Delete
    2. i think we can buy secondhand M1 abrams from US, it was fully armed and easy to operate, i just don't know about the maintenance, but it is possible US is one of our main ally, they will sell it to us if our govt. ask for it, i sure of that .
      better settle with US tanks than Russians

      Delete
    3. M1 Abrams with gas turbine is expensive to operate because of its fuel thirsty engine.

      Delete
    4. The Problem with Tanks in our Country is:

      1. We are a rugged land full of Terrains from Mountains to Hills. Tanks are difficult to manipulate through such altitudes.
      2. Our current roads does not support such heavy Machines
      3.The maintenance and Ammunitions for this kind of thing is gonna burden our government.

      It is just my opinion, but it wouldn't be bad to have some tanks of our own.

      Delete
    5. how about make our own, a cheapness and the reliability of the T-34, the lightness and the fastness of the Scorpion tank, the adequate armour that is used in the Abrams and the firepower of the Leopard one or the chieftain. heck why buy tanks? you could borrow some attributes of some tanks to make your own MBT. thats what i did when i create my projects for school, look at peoples things and collect the good things about them. or just upgrade our old Shermans and bulldogs like what the Israelis did to their shermans. problem is that the shermans are too old to be an effective tank. what my idea is a turret less tank that is compact and small enough and effective enough that it could obliterate a tank up today. like the Stridsvagin 103 its still as effective.

      Delete
    6. How about we will upgrade the upcoming M113 into a tank...And all our old equipments should be upgraded to....

      Delete
    7. Bang Baco, the M113 can never become a tank, even with all the upgrades.

      Delete
    8. A combat walker is much reliable but there are no invention as of today.

      Delete
    9. I'd suggest PA should get some light tanks first, which it gives much more protection than apcs and recon vehicles, yet they're inexpensive, small, fast, easy to repair and maintain, and consume less resources, tho the only downside are that they're weaker than MBTs, which it won't really matter to PA as Philippines itself is tropical and has a lot of vegetation.

      Delete
    10. Nope, Light tanks from the British and German are well equipped to deal with Heavier Armor unlike WW II light tanks, and even IFV are being equipped with MBT cannots which are far more cheaper. They are selling it as bundles which I presume the Philippines can buy easily.

      Nope combat walkers are bad, it is fragile, getting hit by a heat round on it's legs can cripple it and if we try it. It's been acknowledge by many countries that combat walkers are not a main stay in battles unless we developed a better leg for it.

      Making a MBT is hard, because you need to test it by making prototypes, and composite armor is classified so the Philippines will be forced to buy it to make their own MBT or they will be forced to have bigger and slower tanks like WW II variants.

      Delete
    11. i think japanese type 90 kyu maru or the sokor k1, or bettet if we have enough money buy german leopard 1 or 2 would be good, due to the archeological terrain, american mbt is to heavy for our terrain i think..

      Delete
    12. i think our mbt's should be the old japanese type 90 kyu maru or the korean k1 or the german leopard 1 or 2 due to its versatility ameracan tank tanks are too heavy to operate in our terrain in would easily bogdown. plus if we have the japanese, korean are cheaper but almost or equal in technology compare to its western counterpart or even the german leopard have readily parts available due to the numbers of country operate in it,

      Delete
    13. If you are talking about MBTs it's better to choose leopard 2a4 or 2a5, they can perform in any terrain in the country.. plus it is an upgradable tank.. or we can choose K1E1 tank of S. Korea.. it is also good and also the same components of M1 Abrams.

      Delete
  2. as expected from MaxDefense nice info BTW , what about russian tanks ? are PA interested in it ?? but if i were the DND i will go for German tanks , they better armor and stable price .. plus they give a nice package for indonesia with complete set of IFV , APC , MBT etc . .

    Renzo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The PA is looking more on traditional sources like Western, Israeli, or friendly Asian arms suppliers instead of Russian or Eastern European.

      Delete
  3. If PA is ever looking for a MBT, my best bet is to look at getting a good deal on a used MBT. They can follow Indonesia and get the same deal that Indonesia got on their MBT's. I would think a Used M60 Patton, Leopard 1 & 2 or the Merkava MBT would be perfect for PA. For the Philippines, the Merkava is their best bet for an MBT because it can operate in all areas including Urban areas.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. merkava is an expensive piece of tank.it is the reason why it is only limited to israeli forces.

      Delete
    2. I recall the Philippines had the M41 Bulldog, which I believe is a big step higher than the Sherman. That would be the heaviest tank we had, rather than the Sherman. I would believe lighter, faster vehicles are enough for Philippine needs, which are mainly focused on counter insurgency. A very heavy tank seems tempting to vote for, but would be a logistical nightmare for the Philippines in its current state.

      Delete
    3. Hi Carlos, the M-41 was not considered as MBT even during its service with the PA. And there were only 7 tanks, not enough to be considered a major asset. So it doesnt matter if its heavier than the Sherman.

      Delete
  4. Max in my opinion the US Army's Stryker is much more suitable for the Philippine terrain. It is fast and agile with comparable fire power with the tanks you mentioned above. Though the armour is not similar with the tank but it is sufficient for the present condition. However, I haven't heard of any other country using it besides the US.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Stryker is actually very expensive for its size, there are other suitable and similar platforms in the world market that are cheaper. However, getting them within a good deal is acceptable, if you know what I mean.

      Delete
  5. I just can't understand why our APC couldn't push block by block especially in Lustre St.

    ReplyDelete
  6. how do you transport MBTs from one island to another?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You transport it with amphibious vessel

      Delete
    2. And that's where the SSV comes in. Even the Bacolod City-class LSVs can handle main battle tanks if needed.

      Delete
  7. instead of tanks, why not mraps instead? compared to tanks, mraps have a higher survival rate compared to tanks as shown during the iraqi war.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Let's wait for the full implementation of the rotational of presence of US forces in the Philippines. As far as I know, MRAPs are not impossible for the Army in the near future.

      Delete
    2. Hey Max. Had you seen this article.
      http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/06/20/193978665/u-s-army-to-scrap-7-billion-in-equipment-in-afghanistan

      US will spent Billions of US $ to scrap these entire fleet vehicle. I hope there is a way that our Government could work around and get some of these MRAPs and etc. instead of scrapping them to tin plate.

      Delete
    3. They're stuck in Afghanistan, and it won't be cost effective to bring them out, it would cost equal or more than the vehicle price to take them out of the landlocked country.

      Delete
    4. I do agree with you they should negotiate with the US government to get those MRAP's it's very much suitable here.

      Delete
    5. You can get Thai made ones cheap like Malaysia are testing it and looking to buy 200 units

      Delete
    6. Thai made armored vehicle have been tested in Southern Thailand and the army has ordered 250. They used to buy them from South Africa for USD300k per unit. http://icy2527.livejournal.com/727.html

      Delete
  8. buy Swedish tanks or and few abrams for the Capital region

    ReplyDelete
  9. Max wouldn't it be better to have AIFV's armed with missiles (M2 Bradley)?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Missile-armed IFVs and tanks complement each other in an armored formation. Although the chances of geting AIFVs is higher than a tank in the Philippine setting due to costs, practicality and requirement. But the PA has not yet totally forgotten its requirement for tanks, it's just temporarily placed in the back seat for now.

      Delete
    2. So what tanks do you think the PA should considering the weight limit of the roads and terrain in the Philippines?

      Delete
    3. It would be a very long discussion if we talk about roads and axle load limits. But several areas in the Philippines do actually have tank-country terrain.

      Delete
  10. abrams is gas guzzler. its engines are aircraft engines

    ReplyDelete
  11. How about himars or guided mlrs instead? These can be deployed as coastal defense against ships or aircraft working with coast watch systems.

    ReplyDelete
  12. ..sir max i"ve heard that the philipine marines have lvth-6.. what is that?? what's its main armament?? tnx.. waiting for your answer..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The LVT-5 series (which includes the LVTH-6) are amphibious tracked vehicles used by the US Marines in the 1960s to 1970s until being replaced by the latest iteration the LVTP-7 (now known as the AAV7). The LVTH-6 is a fire support version of the LVT-5 with a 105mm howitzer. Type LVTH-6 in Google to see the photos. If you are near the Philippine Marines HQ in Fort Bonifacio, you could see one along the main road gate.

      Delete
  13. If we are receiving those M113A2 why not start are own program to refurbish and add additional armor . I have seen some of these with scorpion turrets with their 76 mm gun. These are good fire support platforms.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. People in the MID have already some ideas in mind, from what I have gathered.

      Delete
    2. Main battle tanks are still the main components of an army . It's a spearhead of an assault in modern conventional warfare. However due to the changing tides of war in asymmetrical warfare it has shown its vulnerability to IED and not to mentioned ATW . But because of this everchanging need of troop protection and fire support it still remains an essential part of the army . That is why during the Zamboanga crisis it has shown it's ever pressing need . There are several reasons that may limit its area of operations but in urban and CQB it has find its reason of importance. The current inventory of armored track vehicle should be the core of its direction in acquiring its first MBT. We can start developing our own fire support platform by up arming and armoring on our existing vehicle. The scorpion tanks can be modernize from its engine ,armor and gun as well as the M113A2 . From this point we could find out what particular MBT is right for our type of terrain considering the weight , armor and firepower . With this said , a true bonafide attack helo would be a perfect combination of a one two punch .

      Delete
  14. .tnx.. actually i"m from iloilo so i can't see that vehicle.,

    ReplyDelete
  15. .sir what's the current location of brp ramon alcaraz and brp del pilar respectively??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. BRP Ramon Alcaraz is still in drydock. BRP Gregorio del Pilar is active and moves once in a while.

      Delete
  16. ..sir max.. us marines has donated 6 SURCs to the philippines..

    ReplyDelete
  17. Sos Diyos ko po....wala pa ngang final decision sa new frigates, sa FA50 at radars sa tanke pa kaya.. censya na max ha..masyado lang kasi akong concern sa AFP natin..kasi subrang bagal bagal talaga ng modernazation ng ating AFP di ko alam.. with just almost 7 years ko na palage tong ina abangan pero wala talaga.. only sokols helicopter lang ang na accomplish the rest drawing pa rin.... alam mo yung sa wikipedia na profile ng PAF, PN at coast guard parang papel lang at lapis na sinulat..wala kasing kasiguruhan.. halimbawa lang ha yung sa 2 frigates na sinabi i Pres. Pnoy sa speach nya sa SONA last year..nabanggit nya na may paparating daw na dalwang frigates from europe within this 2013 e asan na? God Bless the philippines

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The frigates from Europe that he stated before should have been the Maestrales, which were cancelled to make way for new frigates. Read earlier blogs here at MaxDefense so you could understand. We have already discussed these issues before.

      Delete
    2. ok max many thanks for the info..

      Delete
    3. e tulugan mo na lng bat mag hihintay ka pa the focus here is fruitful discussion not a waiting game. definitiley the internal protection is much more important,external too, than salivating for jets for 7 years. those corrupt officials are mollusks.

      Delete
  18. Hi max, today I have read the news that Pres. Pnoy will go to South korea this October... Do you have an idea if it is one of the reason for the final procurement of 12 FA 50 and the Incheon Class frigate? Lem1

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I posted it this morning at MaxDefense @ Facebook. The Incheon is definitely too premature as DND announced before that the frigates will undergo bidding. So it's not even sure if Incheon is the future frigate of the PN.

      Delete
    2. ok max thanks for this info...well appreciated..lem1

      Delete
  19. Kung meron sana budget perfect timing because of budget cuts nagbebenta ng surplus ang Netherlands ng leopard a6 tanks, cv-90 IFv pati anti tank fennec helicopters

    ReplyDelete
  20. Max, we saw some glaring needs in the Zambo siege the PA was lacking of. Some heavy armor like tanks could have been used to spearhead and punch through instead of a protracted constriction. Attack helicopters w/ flir could have change the hide and seek scenario also. A few CV-90 armadillo with self protection could negate the feared RPG's. I think a tank is perfect for CQB scenario like Zambo. the Israeli's are unloading their Merkava-3's. Although I don't recommend that in the central plains of Luzon, I think in an urban setting like Zambo it will be perfect. Luv your blog!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The MBTs are actually best in Central Luzon and parts of Southern Luzon, and in several parts of Mindanao.

      Delete
  21. I think is a fool report.... i read this a long time ago and hoping that this will push through for sometimes but until now its still drawing for Philippine Air force... Can someone update me for this? lem1 please see the website below
    http://rpdefense.over-blog.com/article-paf-to-acquire-air-defense-radar-philippines-83703719.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wrong thread. This is about tanks. But just to answer your question, the PAF wll be getting new radars, probably active by 2015.

      Delete
  22. Main battle tanks are great max, but in my opinion, APC's are much better, I believe instead of MBT, I would suggest anti-tank/armor weapons like the TOW or the better Javelin..

    US and Canada has upgraded there M113's, they equipped them with TOW,.. I hope the PA would also upgrade our M113's like that.. Better than MBT's, anti-tank missiles are much more precise than cannons of Main Battle tanks..

    Main battle tanks are not effective in Southeast Asia, that's why the US lost to Vietnam,.. especially in the jungles.. off-course except if used in urban. but in actual combat, tanks are large targets..

    anti tank missiles are much more cheaper i think and much more precise...

    ReplyDelete
  23. i hope PA would manufacture our own tanks,.. like the WWII T-34.. better if we upgrade our m113's with BGM 71 TOW, and anti-aircraft like the stingers..

    or small arms like javelin..

    ReplyDelete
  24. CHINA, there doing this military equipment hoarding. and its a bad bad neighborhood.

    ReplyDelete
  25. anyone knows the tanks, projecting shooting equipment are the last line of defense. vietnam knows this, north korea. they collect plenty of missiles for an effective detterent. philippines is covered buch by water. ships ships ships.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. russian tanks are better of all. they're already more experience in war..

      Delete
    2. wow.... i salute to thailanders for giving their air force some priority.. hope Filipino's do... To President Pnoy... please please please fast track the modernazation of our Armed Forces just a sort of missile..a missile please... please read the website below..

      http://thediplomat.com/asean-beat/2013/09/13/thailands-air-force-a-leading-power-in-asean/

      Delete
    3. So you're saying Russians have more war experience? Can you please tell me what did they do in the past decades? Yes the T-72s saw some action but every other Russian next gen tank like the T-90 are stuck in Russia for goodness sake -.-

      Delete
    4. Well actually, Anon, the Indians have T-90 tanks. Even the Vietnamese are planning to buy T-90 tanks.

      Delete
    5. Since our geography consists of small islands and different forms of Terrain, it would be suggestible to buy several Sprut-SD Tank Destroyers.

      Yes, the armor is thin, but it's fast and amphibious.

      Delete
  26. We could make our own tanks and APC's.. we have the MX-1 and MX-7 kalakian and gagamba of the PA..
    just equip it with anti-tank missile like the US BGM 71 TOW or, for air defence, the stinger.. or buy from SAAB.. they have missiles too..

    Our government lacks brains, all they think is there pockets,.. We have the budget but our DND is not doing well.. All they do is Press Con's, (We will buy that and buy that),, but there is no results.. BRP RA first Philippine missile firing frigate? where is the missiles? Israel missiles? where is it Mr. Gazmin? is the PNOY admin all talk??

    We could be a superpower is South East, but the Government lacks fangs.. or even teeth..




    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. very true. the government is basically inutil or idiot. they don't care about national defense or defense buildup, its been like this for 2 decades now. it was better during the Marcos regime, we had the SRDP and santa barbara missile project and hummingbird project. this government now is typical filipino culture of crab mentality, pulling down and destroying local industries and instead buying foreign made. thats why we will never progress. we will remain the banana republic of ASEAN. exporting maids, caregivers and seafarers. what a shame.

      Delete
    2. yeah its been 2 decades since then.. the santa barbara and hummingbirds are very good developments for the AFP, but as usual it was cancelled.. If our government pursued it, we may be in the map of the weapons exporters already.. damn them,, every month we pay our taxes and this is how we re-payed?

      Delete
  27. Hopefully for the philippine sake and its people you are wrong. The Marcos regime was a different time & era . He was a dictator he needs the support and control of the military for the furtherance of his existence. It was the Cold War era we have both US bases to support the military hardware of the PAF and the PN which at the present time does not exist. This was also mentioned in this blog regarding why the PAF is at its current level of strength plus other factors which have influence its state. Perhaps instead of putting them down we could encourage and give them ideas on how to resolve the current issue the philippine defense infrastructure . You have said about the Filipino culture of "crab mentality" and all those discouraging words, hasn't it occur to you that you may have made an example of yourself for the very least. I have high hopes that there would be a spin off of the SRDP program and a more resilient approach by the current administration regarding the current defense initiative.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yeah, he is a dictator, but I much like him than the crocodiles in our government now.. Our government does not have a spine.. they just keep on using the media, having press cons and saying the DND will buy that and those for the AFP.. China is bullying us, and we cannot fight back because of there strong military..

      In case of war, China cannot win against us unless there ground forces reached our ground, that is why we need a strong Navy and Airforce.. We need missiles and other hardware for stronger defense..

      Right now our AFP is not on the missile age unlike our neighbors... if we pushed through with that sta barbara project, then we dont need to buy anymore expensive missiles of other countries...

      Delete
    2. Wasn't President Marcos regime were it all started when we talk about corporate level of corruption via cronyism. He started good with his benchmark "Bagong Lipunan" but after that he lost control of his people around him. With the current Administration there are more accountability ,"check and balance" of corruptions . People are reacting everytime corruption is exposed and the people are a lot smarter than before perhaps because of exposure to this type of a problem.
      Right now it's more of a defensive posture rather than a conventional war with China. In a real sense we are not in a position to win even if we reach the military strenght level of Singapore.what we can do is a protracted type of engagement . Which is costlier to the dominant opposing force and buys you time without totally commiting your entire force . At this point the other party are not likely to explore because there are direct consequences and too much at stake .

      Delete
  28. how can you encourage them when the politicians who rule the country does not listen and does not consider defense a priority. but their pork barrels as we all have seen. We had FVR as president before and did nothing, then Senator Biazon was against buying MRFs, these 2 idiots are former military officials. we have many inept officials, is the problem, we cannot even solve the 2 oldest inusrgency in world.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Don't blame why we have are so many corrupt official today. Ginagaya lang naman nila si Marcos. Don't steal a few thousand but Millions or Billions of pesos. Hired an expensive and bad lawyer pag na buking. Then patagalin ang kaso sa korte. Woola! You have the righ combination. Marcos era is still the best in corruption and human right violation.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Pagaaksaya lang ng pera ang pagbibili ng mga MBT's para sa Philippine Army. Sira lahat ang mga tulay natin pag ginamit mo iyan. Pwede siguro mga CV90 AIFV na may mga surplus ngayon sa Europa, pero hanggang dyan sa bigat na yan na lang.

    Mas angkop mga well equipped ATGM and SAM teams in motorcycles and armored light vehicles. Mas marami at nakakalat sa maraming lugar.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You won't necessarily cross a tank in any bridge. But you have a point.

      Delete
  31. Why are these asean countries arming themselves? They are all looking at the west phil sea situation and realising that china is flexing its military might. While Phils taking china head on, they are in the sideline quietly improving their military defense capabilities, while our politicos continue to bicker about their pork and neglect to channel necessary funds to upgrade our defense just like our neighbors. AFP is in a sad state trying to find funds to support modernization program, it should change its minimum credible defense slogan to credible defense.

    ReplyDelete
  32. The Canadian army want to retired their Leopard C2 tank by 2015, so any possibility to acquire some of these tank asset?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If the PA is going for tanks, the possibility of getting used rather than new is high. But it would rather get something newer than the Leopard 1/C2.

      Delete
  33. it will also help if our leaders both military and civilians will modernized their heads and not just thinking of pwede na iyan, and go for donations, refurbished, upgrades, etc. when they say there is no money, that is just baloney. there is money, just look at the amount of money they stole from PDAF, DAP, Mampalaya, and other kickbacks, you add this all up and it totals trillions of pesos or even dollars. good thing they have not discovered oil yet in the country. ha, ha. or else that too will be stolen. these bastards should be charged for treason and be executed.

    ReplyDelete
  34. sana ang gubterno natin ay mag bili ng mga kagamitan nang hindi naman dihado ang mga sundalo natin sa labanan kaya nga A-10 II para sa P-air force kahit 20pcs at m1A1 abraham 50pcs na tanke at makabagong baril gaya ng m4 at nigh vesion para pang gabi na patrol

    ReplyDelete
  35. PA do not need MBT, what PH only need are IFV or AFV like Stryker from US for lightning fast deployment. MBT's wont fit in bridges and can not operate in the jungle of Mindanao. PA needs heavy anti tank weaponry and tactics as defensive stance. No one would dare attack PH anyways.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yea and when they buy strykers they go bankrupt?

      Delete
  36. PA need MBT to complete and spearhead the mechanized infantry battalion, remember the Italian package there's a lot of used Leopard 1A5 in their stock the latest variant of leopard 1 series wt 42 tons slightly heavier than our own LVT6 wt 38 tons, still used by Brazil, Chile, Ecuador,Greece etc. so why wouldn't make a deal.

    ReplyDelete
  37. I prefer to have a stingray II upgraded LBT/IFV for PA of its firepower, mobility, add on external armor, ideal for bridges and current road network of our country.

    ReplyDelete
  38. The PA should just get T-72/80/90 instead of second hand m60 and leopard 1-2 because comblock Russian made tech is cheaper and easier to maintain easier to get trained on and more importantly cheap to export

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The PH has poor ties with the Russians and other former Soviet-block countries. That is one of the stumbling blocks. Another is integration of Soviet-Russian equipment into the Western-patterned AFP.

      Delete
  39. Max, our country Indonesia need a main battle tank is urgent not for a respect but for strategies. We can look our nation have awake problem are rebels make a chaos our security and defense, so with existing MBT to back-up our army they morale will increased

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you read that part of the blog, I was actually saying that this specific point of view (out of pride and prestige) comes from other observers. MaxDefense believes that the time is right for Indonesia to get MBTs for its army, especially that it has the financial capability, maturity and need for them in the near future.

      Delete
  40. sir max update naman sa fa-50 na balak na bilhin ng pinas?

    ReplyDelete
  41. My bet is used K1A1 of ROK and used Type 74 tank of Japan, but i don't know if we can handle the life cycle of K1A1 and the Type 74 is 1970s era tank. . the other possibility is the Megach 6/7 of Israel, i choose these tanks because of weight and range that suit for our land terrain, but the megach and type 74 is the only tanks who fit in our roads specially in mindanao..

    ReplyDelete
  42. The Indonesian would be happy to supply the Philipines with their Scorpion tanks (modified and retrofit), or even with their latest local made Anoa IFV, which was based on their experiences in Timor and Aceh. It's suitable for urban warfare as well as for jungle fighting against insurgence.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is a standing offer for Pansir Anoa from PT Pindad. But priority is now given to tracked IFVs and APCs.

      Delete
  43. The Philippines could just buy a couple of super heavy tanks that was built in in WW2 or in the Cold War that was still fully operational and the Americans would handle all the maintenance (well America and Philippines does have a relationship and I think they'll do the dirty work for them) 10-20 tanks are good enough, there have been urban fights in Philippines and a couple of tanks will be handy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do you mean the M1 and M60 main battle tanks? They are not called "super heavy tanks" as you just did. The M60 was actually being considered for a possible buy of a battalion or 2 of main battle tanks.

      Delete
  44. I suggest Philippines aquired Korean K1 tanks. Western tech with asian price.

    or T90s also great. Im a huge fan of T90s btw

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Koreans are already bent on exporting their newer K2 Black Panther tank rather than the old K1.

      Delete
    2. Hello mr max, is there a possibility that the PA will try to acquire these K2 tanks in the future, say before 2020? Also, if the Philippines should buy MBTs what do u think is the most cost efficient and combat-effective model that the government should consider? i hope u get to read this, im interested in knowing your opinion. Thanks!

      -electric_eye13-

      Delete
    3. K2 is still under some problems with engine transmission, so the possible one is K1.

      if you want a cheap but formidable, buy the Leos from European nation stock. just like Indo did

      Delete
  45. Sir Max.. can MTB's use to fight against NPA's, ASG, BIFF?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, but not a logical platform to fight them. Do you think these groups would fight in areas where MBTs can operate like plains and flat areas? The hilly jungles where these terrorist groups operate are not friendly land features for MBT.

      Delete
  46. I have a question, is the m109a6 paladin tank suitable as a main battle tank / self propelled howitzer for the philippines?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The M109 is not a tank, but a self-propelled 155mm howitzer. It just happen to look like a tank, but its not.

      Delete
  47. We should negotiate with Israel, Merkava Mk1's is the best choice, they are just in the graveyards being scrapped. 105mm cannon, crew survivability, plus, can also serve as an APC

    Or we could also negotiate with Japan (Patton) and South Korea (K1a1) which is nearer in reality.

    ReplyDelete
  48. The M41 Walker Bulldogs can still be upgraded to meet modern day warfare. From what I read Thailand is ready to replace its old M41 with newer assets. The Philippines can either buy them at a very cheap price or Thailand can donate them like they did with their old OV-10 Broncos. I don't know how much it will cost per unit but here's my take:
    - Replace the old 500 hp engine with a new 650 hp or better. Whichever engine that will fit.
    - Replace existing turret and gun system with a new redesigned turret similar to most turrets of modern MBT's but proportioned to the size of the chassis.
    - Install new gun system with a rifled 105mm and fire control system.
    - Install reactive armor plating around the turret and at both sides of the chassis to protect the wheels.

    I don't know if the budget spent above will be cheaper than buying a second hand MBT and later on upgrading it.

    The original M41 weighs about 24 tons, but with the upgrades mentioned above the tank can easily weight between 30 to 35 tons and with its new powertrain, it can probably run at 45 to 50mph.



    Just my 2 cents.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Phil at least require 100-200 Mbt's to protect such wide nation. Even Indonesia has considered to aquire more 300 tank to replace its Cold war era AMX-13. Yes. ATGM are capable to destroy a tank, but not in one shot, and mbt's are usually move in column with many other mbt's, biggest enemy of a tank is another tank.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Sir Max.. How many tanks in one battalion?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It depends. Usually a tank platoon or troop has 4 tanks. A tank company or squadron around 3 to 4 tank platoons/troops plus an HQ section of probably 2 more tanks plus some support vehicles/APCs. An armored battalion may have at least 2 tank companies/squadrons, and possibly a mechanized infantry company plus support units. So probably you'll have around 30 tanks plus other armored vehicles. Im not sure if this can be followed in a Philippine Army setting though.

      Delete
  51. so it means one armored battalion is not solely mtb's but with a mix of other armored vehicles. I though it is all mbts.. thanks for the info sir Max it helps a lot in understanding how many tanks in one battalion. it is better than guessing what it is all about. By the way, do you think that US excess stocks would grant us if PA will request their M60 patton? do they have any restrictions of acquiring those mbt's? especially us?

    ReplyDelete
  52. how about the CV90-120T LIGHT TANK DESTROYER,DIESEL ENGINE and hald ton lighter than those mordern tanks lots of security measures and has a RWS...

    ReplyDelete
  53. 1. Buy a 100 secondhand T-72 or T-64, maybe less than 500.000 dollars each
    2. upgrade the the T-72 as the T-72B/BU or T-64 incorporating with ukraine tech

    USA wont have problems with secondhand mbt's doesnt she?

    ReplyDelete
  54. Sir Max can the philippines buy a main battle tank or invent one? i mean they have a kinda strong economy i think?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i have been designing small scale model of my own version that is made of card board that includes multi role and ground attack aircraft and a main battle tank. but unfortunately i have no authority towards the government so that i cannot suggest to them the designs i made.

      by: A-10 warthog

      Delete
  55. What about the Swedish CV90 - 120 or the Polish Anders. Firepower of an MBT with the weight if an LT. Modular armor in different levels for various threats and operational environments.

    ReplyDelete
  56. The Philippine army should just buy Strikers and Bradly tanks from America. There cheaper than a heavy, there high tech, reliable, and they come from america. I am pretty sure america wants to help us modernize so they can sell it below the origunal price range. These tankscan kill heavy tanks and it can also carry troops. Problem solve.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Strykers will be a good idea, considering this are wheeled based vehicles and carry the same punch as an MBT, for a budget plagued operator must be the best idea

    ReplyDelete
  58. I think the most suitable MBT for the Philippines is the Ukrainian T-64bv(bulat).The price tag is under a Million Dollars even with Zaslon (active protection against RPGs and ATGMs).With the NPA/MILF/BIFF and Abu Sayaff using IEDs,RPGs and even .50 Cal machine guns, we could use a good number of tanks to go places where there are heavy firing.Just like what happened to the SAF troopers who were killed recently,The Army is even hesitant to approach the field where the troopers were getting murdered. The department of defense should consider prioritizing such vehicles for troop maximum protection and of course unrivaled offensive power.

    ReplyDelete
  59. If PA would acquire such MBT, they should consider the South Africa Olifant Tank https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9rm5fEhgj8

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In addition if PA or Philippine Marine Corps would acquire such MBT another option is the Rheinmetall Defence - Leopard 2 MBT Revolution from Germany where as discuss on this from forum that the Indonesia bought Leopard 2. This MBT Revolution modification be use on rural warfare, urban warfare and low-intensity conflict where there are numerous threat from IED, Tank Round, RPG's and Anti-Tank Missile. Here's the link (^_^) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pwLvWo9G46w

      Delete
  60. What a load of BS Singapore have no MBT in the 70s it was just propaganda the only MBT were recently purchased 2nd hand Leos

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Its difficult to say especially if there are several sources including Janes can't confirm or deny such existence. If it was pure propaganda, then it worked on Singapore's favor. True or not, it is now moot and academic considering that Singapore now has the Leopard 2.

      Delete
  61. philippines only have a mano mano style of warfare we are good on that but in military technology and warfare we are poor

    ReplyDelete
  62. how about modernized/modified/upgraded T-64 or T-72 tanks from Ukraine?Those are very cheap to have less than a million dollars each.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is no plan to buy tanks from now until 2017. Let's wait for the 2nd phase of the AFP Modernization where tanks are included.

      Delete
  63. The OPLOT is the most advanced tank in the region according to experts

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Although I don't disagree, I don't agree either. It is difficult to assess which is more advanced and a better tank. Singapore has been keeping secrets of its Leopard 2 upgrades, and so is Indonesia.

      Delete
    2. An expert told me that if it was the Leo 2a5 than it would be on par with the OPLOT. Sing Leo upgrade http://www.military-today.com/tanks/revolution.htm OPLOT test armor with Kornet-E http://www.thaifighterclub.org/webboard/18124/%E0%B8%81%E0%B8%B2%E0%B8%A3%E0%B8%97%E0%B8%94%E0%B8%AA%E0%B8%AD%E0%B8%9A%E0%B8%A3%E0%B8%B0%E0%B8%9A%E0%B8%9A%E0%B9%80%E0%B8%81%E0%B8%A3%E0%B8%B2%E0%B8%B0%E0%B8%9B%E0%B9%89%E0%B8%AD%E0%B8%87%E0%B8%81%E0%B8%B1%E0%B8%99%E0%B8%82%E0%B8%AD%E0%B8%87-%E0%B8%A3%E0%B8%96%E0%B8%96%E0%B8%B1%E0%B8%87%E0%B8%AB%E0%B8%A5%E0%B8%B1%E0%B8%81-OPLOT.html

      Delete
  64. Why not buy the M41 from Thailand they are all in good condition are regular taken out to fire there guns, Taiwan still has M41 in operation. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W9NcXEeuL6U and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePvDHMZ91IM and Inside Thai M60 tank firing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mflnQv_wzCM and inside Thai Stingray firing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SSOQn3h5nAA hope you enjoy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Too old. Larger tanks will be among those to be acquired on the next phase of the Army's modernization program.

      Delete
    2. Not if you use against rebels for fire support and some can be used for city protection. Most M41 in Thailand are in Bangkok

      Delete
  65. You have to understand the logic that Thai Army chose the OLOT because it is 51 tons if they go Leo or K1 it is to heavy if you have seen M60 in Thai Army during rainy season you will understand it sinks to the belly of the tank when they are running around in the mud

    ReplyDelete
  66. OPLOT testing in Thailand https://youtu.be/SCpPfT1PBWU Thai 4th cavalry if I'm correct https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZ7-NDoliPs

    ReplyDelete
  67. Thai REVA hit by IED everybody survived but I think the truck is a write off https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ve44wO8GkeM&feature=youtu.be

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Heard that the REVA was actually repaired after 10 days and put back into service, if that is the case than it is worth it.

      BTW I like the Japanese Type 10 and I think it is only 45 tons very good for terrain in this region. Hope Thai Army would consider it but I don't know the cost I think OPLOT cost is USD5 million per tank.

      Delete
  68. Malaysia confirm first lot of 20 First Win AV-4 First Win 4×4

    Read more at: http://defence-blog.com/army/malaysia-sign-the-contract-procurement-of-20-av-4-first-win-4x4.html and http://jakartagreater.com/malaysia-beli-20-kendaraan-av-4-first-win-4x4/#comment-638733 ope Philippines will follow suit and get it assembled in the Philippines to reduce the cost

    ReplyDelete
  69. Video of M1 and French tanks being destroyed by ATGM " A Saudi-led ground operation in Yemen, involving US-made Abrams M1 tanks, immediately resulted in the loss of armored vehicles.

    Read more: http://sputniknews.com/middleeast/20150831/1026381040/fagot-abrams-missile.html#ixzz3kQvQEZV0" https://youtu.be/a2GR-g9777k

    ReplyDelete
  70. The statistics quoted for Singapore are outdated. At the present moment, Singapore has 196 Leopard 2SG main battle tanks (30 being kept in reserve for spare parts). Its Centurions were previously based in Taiwan.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the corrections. Anyway, the myth of the Centurions are still lingering. If Singapore really have them, why not declassify its existence since the presence of Leopard 2s already render them moot and academic? Singaporeans themselves do not agree if they even existed or not, what more for us foreigners.

      Delete
    2. I reckon it is the same old story false information from my research there has been no additional Leo bought than the first batch. The only source the the number is 196 is in Wiki which we all know is useless. The Centurion tanks are 100% fake news there has been no mention by Singapore government,, no pictures, no news about tank crews attached to them and would't it be funny stationed in Taiwan that means the entire tank crews would have to be stationed there also. There is no news from Taiwan you can't just simply hide 200 Centurion tanks. Singapore is only 600 sqkm they should have been seen or seen during national parade before Leo there were only shown AMX13 and even the number of tanks has also been faked at 350 tanks. From my investigation all these false info have been released through blog sites and other channels.

      Delete
    3. The thing I find it ridiculous is that Singapore has only 30,000 professional soldiers that number is in itself restricts any expansion of large numbers of Armor I would think that all these numbers are cooked up by the government. Look at the number of armor including IFV and APC you will get shock they number 2,000-3,000 where do they get the crew to service and man them

      Delete
    4. Why ridiculous? They have conscription.

      Delete
    5. Thailand has conscription but the ratio is less than regular soldiers averaging 100,000 per year (limited number), therefore at all times there are 200,000 but the regular army is about 300,000. Singapore even with conscription the percentage of soldiers used for armor is ridiculous which a small army cannot maintain

      Delete
  71. In my country which is 100 times larger than Singapore you often see tanks being moved around https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StW7QESt0DE and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pnOVBgHXm5w In Singapore with so much armor where are they? I used to study in Singapore and even visited their army camp it wasn't big and usually only had small arms.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If I'm not mistaken, Singapore's tanks are stored in several locations like in Germany, Australia, and Taiwan.

      Delete
    2. They are sent for training in Australia because they cannot fire their guns for more than 800 meters in Singapore. Why than they never send their tanks to Thailand as you can fire all you want I've only seen a couple of Terrex.

      Delete
    3. No Max, you're not mistaken.

      i don't want to come across as defending Singapore - just that i happen to be very interested in military developments in this region and what i see, from work experience, from friends and foreign observers, is that this country takes its defense very seriously and this has given them a different kind of international profile.

      but perhaps you'll allow me to elaborate...

      there is usually a lot more to a military's force readiness than what u can read off the internet and find out through "google-fu"... this is in no way an indication of anyone's ignorance, or the internet's inadequacy, but simply the fact that secrets (barring wikileaks) will not be found online in the first place, and while some things are not secret, they are also far from common knowledge.

      not making information about the "Tempest" public is probably paranoia on the part of their government, but the issue is now irrelevant since the Leopards had already been officially announced. in this case, what's the purpose of issuing a press release about an obsolete platform?

      as for visiting army camps, u'll be surprised about what you won't see. one also need to be trained to look out for the tell-tale signs. every concrete structure looks almost the same - the external facade tells u almost nothing about its intended function.

      there is no need to park tanks in the open, exposed to the elements (oxygen + rain = rust). this is a bigger concern than security imo and provides a good reflection about how expensive military assets should be stored and maintained. that's why, beyond the training units that u'll see rolling around their training areas in the west, u won't see them at all.

      also, it is very common in many countries that military vehicles are not transported in broad daylight - not just due to secrecy, but to avoid traffic disruptions and hazards relating to heavy traffic.

      imo, the numbers have to be understood in terms of:
      - having equipment available for local training;
      - having equipment available for overseas exercises;
      - having equipment available for a fully mobilized citizens' army;
      - having equipment available for spares / parts-donors.

      that gives u an indication of the numbers needed, and why there seem to be "so many".

      force ratio is also something to consider: why assume that only a "small percentage"of troops can be equipped with tracks and wheels? better mobility, better protection, heavier firepower, aren't these factors important in the battlefield?

      the issue here, is not whether small country has X number of tanks or not. it is irrelevant to their overall defence posture - their capabilities are serious enough to keep the bad guys out, regardless.

      viewed in context, this is nothing more than the honest effort of a small country to take care of its own security.

      Delete
    4. I don't mind the usual BS here and there but when it comes to Singapore it takes BS to another level (don't mean to be rude) but I can't take the lies anymore, they have been doing that since 1970s.

      Delete
    5. Just tell me where you park 3,000 armor in a 600 sqkm country. I lived there for 6 years never saw one armor except some old army trucks. National only a few AMX13 and light armor that's about it. Why not roll out 100 AMX13 just for show as it is no secret you stated you have 350. Maybe also a few Centurion. The only thing they don't lie about is things that can't be hidden like ships or military air craft.

      Delete
    6. In order to be "not rude", it is necessary to be specific about the "BS" u're referring to.

      I'm nobody's cheerleader so if u have info that u'ld like to share that sheds new light on things, I look forward to hearing them and forming my own conclusions.

      Delete
    7. All indications point otherwise if true proof it. If they have 3000 IFV and APC it must be getting rusty or maybe we don't see it because bushes and trees have grown on them. Strange with all that asset but when you go for live fire training overseas you bring 8 Leos and 14 IFV?? Huh???? What are the rest doing????? At that pace you need a couple of centuries to rotate all the IFV for live fire because you do it only a few times per year. Don't need to be a genius to figure that out

      Delete
    8. all indications point to the fact that you have no idea what you're talking about.

      why would they be getting "rusty" if they were properly secured in climate controlled facilities? why would bushes be growing on them if it is intended that they should never be exposed to the elements because they are so expensive, and so important? no decent armed force leaves precious equipment to rot in the open, exposed to sun and rain.

      what is the training intent of a live firing exercise? is bringing "8 Leos and 14 IFVs" to an overseas exercise contrary to this intent? does it make sense to wear out the moving parts just for training? how is training carried out? how are troops and equipment rotated / cycled to maximize their experience on the equipment, and to ensure comprehensive coverage of the training curriculum? bearing in mind that they have 2 yrs conscription and a 10 yr reserve cycle. you don't know any of this. u simply assume that just because you had not seen it, it must be false.

      now, to be honest, many of these things are not public info so naturally, i don't know either - but i know that you're making the wrong assumptions and asking the wrong questions. u seem to to imply that it is impossible for a smaller country to do better than the PH.

      well, lets be honest now - there are many other small countries punching way above the weight class that the PH is capable of. Brunei is more credible than PH now. Oman and Qatar are more than the PH now. Greece, their financial troubles aside, has much better capabilities than the PH now.

      none of this matters of course - other pple having better capabilities does not help the PH, casting aspersion on other countries' capabilities also don't make the PH more powerful.

      if we must get to the crux of it - let's explore a hypothesis - in realpolitik, the only currency that matters is credibility and strength.

      would anyone try to invade Singapore and the islands that it claims?

      Would anyone try to invade Philippines and the islands that it claims?

      get my drift? they have nothing to prove to the PH. the PH needs to start covering its own ass or its going to find itself in serious butt-hurt.

      Delete
    9. Your comment is to long not worth reading give us the meet not the soup as a Thai saying goes. Your AMX13 guns must be rusty they've never been fired as that needs to take place outside Singapore according to your own rules, but no AMX have traveled outside Singapore. No Centurion that is 100% sure. For a small country you guys a damn good at hiding a couple of thousand armor! Wait you got cloaking tech for your armor! Even APCs and tanks roll out in Bangkok once in a while and Bangkok is 5 times the size of Singapore Island so you need to present hard evidence such as pics with a hundred AMX or Leo. Down town Bangkok https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-oikrsZcEo

      Delete
    10. I always wonder why Singapore have to build and buy their own armor it does not justify the economy of scale but when you go check out shareholders of ST Engineering if is very evident that there is something fishy 30% own by nominees??? Who are behind the nominees?

      Delete
  72. Stingray tank target practice after upgrade FCS https://youtu.be/BQ4ZbIEm84Q and M60 after FCS upgrade near the end you see the tank move and sink into the soil that is why Thailand cannot operate 60+ ton tanks https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9E2QsK7FCW0

    ReplyDelete
  73. Your comment is to long not worth reading give us the meet not the soup as a Thai saying goes. Your AMX13 guns must be rusty they've never been fired as that needs to take place outside Singapore according to your own rules, but no AMX have traveled outside Singapore. No Centurion that is 100% sure. For a small country you guys a damn good at hiding a couple of thousand armor! Wait you got cloaking tech for your armor! Even APCs and tanks roll out in Bangkok once in a while and Bangkok is 5 times the size of Singapore Island so you need to present hard evidence such as pics with a hundred AMX or Leo. Down town Bangkok https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-oikrsZcEo

    ReplyDelete
  74. Oh how cute. The old "TL/DR" response.

    Any further I make will be trolling so I'm signing off from this discussion.

    I'm rather amused that u think it makes sense to roll out 100 tanks to show off (that's only done in countries like Russia and North Korea), or to do a lot of live firing to prevent rust (reflects poor planning for training and even poorer maintenance practices imo).

    Good for u that u get to see tanks causing traffic jams in BKK. Living in Western Europe, we seldom see them and parades are quite infrequent.

    ReplyDelete
  75. Sir Max, is the government considering the acquisition of at least new tank destroyer vehicles? Like AFV's with BGM TOW's . Did the Philippines ever have dedicated tank destroyers back in the 50's to 60's?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Army used to have M10 Wolverine tank destroyers. That was the last it ever had. New TDs using missiles or guns are among those considered for Horizon 2 & 3 phases of the RAFPMP.

      Delete