Saturday, August 2, 2014

Military Convoys in Metro Manila - Not a Coup preparation but probably something better

An unannounced rumble of Army and Marine convoys of fully armed troops in military lorrys backed by a couple of armored vehicles along the main thoroughfares of Metro Manila last Tuesday until Thursday, July 29 to 31 2014, gave some jitters to a curious but weary public. An earlier announcement by former navy officer and now Senator Antonio Trillanes III of reports of an emerging plans for a coup d'etat against the administration of President Benigno Aquino III has been publicly circulating for days, and the convoy's appearance strengthened speculations from the public that the senator might be telling the truth.


A V-150 armored vehicle from the Philippine Army's Mechanized Infantry Division as seen along EDSA together with other military vehicles. Take note of the lorry in the background carrying what appears to be crates that are usually used for ammunitions. Photo taken from GMA News website.


The AFP was quick to dismiss the rumors even before the convoy rolled the city streets, saying that the AFP will not be involved im such actions. The AFP also announced that the recent sight of military convoys in the capital was just a normal logistical movements from Northern Luzon Command in Tarlac City and Southern Luzon Command in Lucena City, to military installations in Metro Manila. The Philippine Army's spokesman also confirmed that the convoy carried weapons and ammunition to Fort Bonifacio in Taguig. Eyewitness accounts said that the trucks were loaded with crates, possibly a cargo of arms and ammunition. But MaxDefense have reasons to believe that aside from a possible logistics run, there might be something else


A Philippine Army V-150 armored vehicle (foreground), and Kia KM450 utility truck (background) are among the vehicles in convoys seen along Metro Manila streets recently.
Photo taken from European Pressphoto Agency website.


This V-300 Fire Support Vehicle from the Philippine Marine Corps was also part of one of the convoys seen recently in Metro Manila.
Photo taken from European Pressphoto Agency website.

Some reports and eyewitness accounts spotted a joint Army - Marine convoy headed to the port area in Manila last July 31, and came out with cargo inside shipping containers and headed back to AFP Headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City. The AFP did not elaborate the said logistics run, but MaxDefense believes that the convoy picked-up a delivery of weapons or ammunition from the port area.


The joint Army-Marines convoy spotted in the Tondo district near the port area.
Photo taken from GMA News website.


MaxDefense have reasons to believe that the cargo was actually the first batch of Remington R4 carbine for the Philippine Army, wherein the first batch were expected to arrive by August 2014. The AFP and the DND has been vocal on this specific program of the AFP Modernization, and transporting a large yield of high powered firearms is a good reason for a need for such a large armed escort force from the military. It might also be possible that the convoys from NOLCOM and SOLCOM will also be carrying back the new rifles to their respective command headquarters when they head back within a few days, to distribute the rifles to line units. MaxDefense covered the acquisition of the Remington R4 as the next new rifle of the Philippine Army in a separate blog entry.


The Remington R4, their version of the M4 series carbine, was ordered by the AFP recently, with the first batch of deliveries from a total of more than 63,000 rifles expected to arrive on August 2014. Photo taken from Remington Defense website. 


MaxDefense is still confirming the results of the said logistics run, although it is expected that if the MaxDefense opinion in this blog entry is correct, the AFP and DND will happily announce it formally to the public very soon.

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UPDATES:
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August 4, 2014:
Philstar just confirmed what MaxDefense thought of the quick runs by the army and marines to the Manila port area. The first major shipment of Remington R4 (M4) carbines were delivered to the AFP.


The Remington R4, their version of the M4 carbine, as shown to the media by the AFP.
Photo taken from the Philippine Army c/o Philstar.com.

It is worth noting that based on the photo above, the rifle comes with a Picatinny rail for future mounting of rifle accessories, rail covers to protect the rails, a cleaning kit, and a rifle sling. MaxDefense suggests for the Army's investment on higher quality ammunition magazines, and gradual acquisition of optical sights to aid the Army's riflemen to improve their aiming time and accuracy when firing compared to the standard iron sights.

Aside from Philstar, Rappler has also confirmed the rifle deliveries and the use of heavy armed escorts in its latest news reports.

67 comments:

  1. I also sense that bro. Good news for our AFP. How about the PN frigates? Any update sir? I thought DND would tell the winner last july? Ty

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  2. ang hirap kasi satin masyadong malisyoso ang local media kaya madaming tao ang mis-informed.

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    1. From what I have gathered Trillanes attended a reunion and put bits and pieces of side remarks but without malice and hit the media and plaved some malice. Its for bice presidential purposes.

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    2. A coup d e'tat will probably take place if Binay wins the next presidential election and leaves the AFP modenization program rotting again.

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  3. I do not believe that the military will betray Pres. Aquino after all the efforts to modernize the AFP.

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  4. Yep for the good...But you cannot blame them for thinking of such things.Perfect timing of delivery hehehe...

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  5. it is the shipment of R4. First batch was 100 then this one 27k plus

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  6. As the r4 shares with the m4 a lower muzzle velocity than the long barreled m16, I hope the military also bothered to get new ammo that makes up for the lower muzzle velocity. The US military found that out the hard way in the blackhawk down incident

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    1. uhh.. duh? the R4 is basically an M4A1 carbine with some additional goodies on it.

      and yes, M855 62-grain is already being manufactured by the GA.

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  7. Kind of unnecessary show of force. Pasiklab lang. Don't need those fire support and armored vehicles to pick up the M4 shipment. Some high ranking officers just does not use their heads.

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    1. can't blame them for being extra cautious this time.

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    2. Then if the convoy get ambushed and the cargo lost you will say that why did the AFP failed to provide the necessary security required for the transport? It was a multi million worth of rifles, it was proper that the army and the marines give the best security they could provide. It was a good exercise of diligence on their part.

      Please stop blaspheming the officers. They are well trained and they know how to handle such situations. They have big responsibility on their shoulders. If I was on their shoes, I would have even requested for a helicopter escort to do overwatch if possible. :

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    3. Eto ang isang halimbawa ng talangka

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    4. So when you get ambushed you fire the 90mm? what if you missed and blow up a couple of buses? put around heavy security but not a fire support vehicle. Kadami ng hagad dyan.

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    5. Talangka? Ungguk! Armed forces don't go to civilian population centers in full battle gear just to pick up cargo, especially using a V-300.

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    6. Blasheming? Are the officers God? So if the convoy gets attacked by a bunch of motorcycle riding goons, what do they do they start firing their 90mm? Where's the police escort to keep the traffic at bay? Do the V-300 and V-150's bully their way of traffic? Do you think it is prudent to have the police assist in the flow of traffic with these cargos? What about Helicopter? Won't it be nice to have an air cover to see everything going on? Yeah, go ahead. Have your V-300 pick up the cargo. Christian Cruz is right.

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    7. psychological factor.

      i mean, what fucking retard in the right mind would ambush a cargo convoy with a AFV armed with a 90mm Cockerill? they'd be intimidated as hell.

      some people sometimes, jesus.

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    8. You're right Christian. It's all for show. You've got pea brains running around both, officers and the populace.

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    9. Denden De la CruzAugust 7, 2014 at 6:50 AM

      That's not fear factor nor psychological factor. That's borderline stupidity. You should have sent the ACV-300, AIFV and FV-101 then.

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    10. Fucking CRABS! May I ask you wiseguys what are your contingency plan if you're the commander that is task of picking up this cargo?

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  8. The Senator is spreading false rumors and that is a disservice to the nation. He needs to be quiet and not alarm the population. Official announcement ought not to come from him even if he is in charge of the armed services committee of the Senate. Why? Because he's been involved in two coups already. Is our memory this short?

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  9. I pray the AFP has a robust inventory tracking system. Heard stories about officers selling rifles to terrorists. Such system should ideally be handled by an outside private contractor to minimize inside jobs.

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  10. New generation have bigger posture than old generation. The current armored vehicles in the pictures are cramped for the new generation soldiers. There's even a fat driver in the third picture. This posture problem also exist in many armed forces where their new generation soldiers are better fed than the old ones. I'm sure AFP is making plans replace those small armored vehicles with bigger ones.

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  11. http://www.angmalaya.net/nation/2014/08/02/2770-jas-39-gripen-will-meet-air-forces-multirole-combat-aircraft-needs

    Another good news if this is true,,

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    Replies
    1. unless maxdefense or timawa confirms this with the necessary information included, i won't hold my breath over it.

      it IS possible though.

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    2. Even if the fighter aircraft manufacturers position themselves, if the PAF does nor open a requirement for such, then it doesn't matter. Important thing is for the PAF to start a MCA/MRF requirement first, just like the SAA/LIFT a few years ago

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    3. Sir Max can we have a comprehensive table of what is on order and what is on the books to be ordered there is so much going on plus those 10 patrol boats fron Japan we never hear on

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  12. I would still prefer the M16A4 over this M4/R4 variant which in my opinion is only good for urban and CQCs setting. When you get pinned down by M1 or M14 fire and you will find your M4/R4 outranged and useless. D na tayo natuto sa shortcomings ng Baby ArmaLite.

    Pang jeproks lang to tamang sikat sa video games. Mark my word sooner or later lalabas mga reklamo dito and the common sundalo will ask his old reliable and proven M16A1/A2 back.

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    1. Sir, may I ask whats your basis for your assumption?
      If I can remember it correctly, M4 is also a shortened or derivative of the M16A1/A2 family of rifle with a shortened barrel and additional upgrades.

      Now, the basis of buying the M4 is based on the experience and findings regarding jungle warfare. In Jungle warfare that range is really short, as in 35 meters or less and a maximum of 600. In urban warfare the distance can be as much as a couple of hundred meters down to 2 or 3 meters depending on how much damage has been done to the structures. The more damage, the more hiding places. Desert warfare, unlimited. Woodlands again, depends on density.

      Our Marines developed the MSSR based on this finding of shorter ranges of encounters. Here's a link about the MSSR: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marine_Scout_Sniper_Rifle

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    2. How can you be so sure that the M16A4 is much better than the R4? M16 is a technology since the 1960's and it is a gun that is so sensitive. R4 of the M4A1 vesion of Remington is the improved version of the M16A4. It is much shorter and lighter than the M16. Most of the problems of the M16 is eliminated on the M4.

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    3. you do realize that the M16A4 and the M4A1 belong to the same family of rifles, right?

      the AR-15 family.

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    4. matagal nang gamit ng special forces ng army ang m4 carbines kaya subok na yan ng army ang kaibahan lang ngayon halos lahat na ng soldiers mabibigyan nito

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    5. Yeah we know that it came from the AR-15.. Don't act like you are intelligent. Everybody here knows that.

      My opinion here is, the M4 is the improved version of the M16.

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  13. Afp never abandon long barrel they just task it to the afp sniper.

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  14. http://www.angmalaya.net/nation/2014/08/04/2788-lrpa-to-be-fitted-with-a-variety-of-weapons-sensor-systems-dnd

    Oh, so the LRPA are for ASW and Anti-surface too... Can you confirm this Sir Max?

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    Replies
    1. I believe I discussed this several times before.

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  15. http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/08/04/14/what-coup-military-vehicles-transported-rifles

    it's riffles indeed!

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    Replies
    1. You can also check the updates section of this blog entry.

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  16. i can only say "WOW"!!!

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  17. Am so happy for our soldiers. Finally they are being taken cared off. On the other hand we should prosecute or even execute the gun runners selling arms to our enemies.

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  18. The other good news is that 2015 defense budget increased by 29% and that means an increase from 1.5 to 2.0% of GNP. That's terrific! Hope that this will continue.

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  19. What we need is missiles, it's quite ridiculous Hamas builds but no one even sells to Phils a soverign state

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  20. Can regular readers sign up for confidential handle to reply or ask questions?

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  21. OT, just want to share this photo:

    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-t9W7YLJcV5I/U-K4shs-hgI/AAAAAAAAfmU/HtkCeLHAhDc/s1600/10458544_321099071389620_8107656447389734606_n.jpg

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  22. Typical officer who needs to attend a few anger management sessions. You need to calm down Officer Anonymous. Don't you be putting your finger in my behind by spewing four-letter words.
    I'm in agreement of show force with you but using more of civilian force, SUCH AS POLICE, whether its a hundred I don't mind, but not using useless fire support vehicles. I'm also suggesting to use helicopter cover whether from the AF or police its fine. Now you can have maybe a few fully laden Kia trucks of Army/Marine soldiers which is fine also. But not your V-300's even a V-150 is also an overkill. Show some professionalism, instead of yabang!

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  23. Don't mind them Christian.
    Very simple answer. Instead of V-300 I will give them a bunch of L-300 (Police Vehicles) Kung mayroon kang sampu at another 20 hagad plus 10 Kia army trucks. Sapalagay mo may-aabush pa sa kanila.? Shows you the officers disregards the civilian population. Eh, ang mamamayan ang nagsusuweldo sa kanila. Kayabangan lang yan.

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  24. So what you guys are saying is that the reason we got screwed by China in Scarborough Shoal is because we sent a warship rather than a Coast Guard Ship? Does Army/Marines have Police powers? I think you guys are right. Those officers under the cloak of Anonymous can probably refute our answers. They're fuming mad for being criticized for sending their V-300 rather the L-300.

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    1. Sir with due respect, the AFP officers knows better than you (unless you're an officer too) on how to manage logistical runs. These rifles are for the afp not for pnp so security would be in the hands of afp. And as to china bully us, its because we don't have enough vessels to patrol the Wps. We could have sent an aircraft carrier if we have one. But what can we do? Only gdp is capable of doing so.

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  25. SOKOL COPTER DOWNED
    http://www.mb.com.ph/sokol-helicopter/

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  26. Sir Max this is OT but i have a question.

    Is there a chance that the Frigate Acquisition Program will fail?

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  27. whatever happened to the RPG-7USA, any deliveries?

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    1. soon my friend I will tell you after deliveries, as of now let's keep silent for security purposes.

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  28. Looks like frigate acquisition is in messy position. PN change rule in the middle of the game

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    1. This is not really new considering that the ABC for the frigates included the ammunition and weapons systems, and these are internally separated within the acquisition.

      The main issue on this is it would delay the entire acquisition as the shipbuilders need to revise their bids to fit on the separation. Weapons systems acquisition should actually be the responsibility of the PH government as foreign governments don't usually allow transfer of these weapons without negotiations with the end user government. This is very applicable on American and Western systems where the government of the weapons source evalutate the end user government's human rights standing and policies, the effects on balance of power in the area, the integrity of the armed forces using it, the leadership itself, and many other political factors, and also the strength of the PH lobbying.

      It is still a good thing that his formal separation happened before the 2nd stage bid submission, and although the shipbuilders are free now from the burden of shouldering the weapons negotiations, the separation may further delay the bidding and awarding, and delay the delivery of the ships further. The DND appears to be at fault for not realizing this early on during the 1st stage bidding.

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  29. Max can you move on with your next article if you have one... this aricle you have now is more fitting to politics category than military.

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    1. If you've been reading MaxDefense from the beginning, it was originally meant to be a military-semi political blog, which was the reason it gained popularity early on. It was only decided recently to stay a bit away from politics and focus more on defense because of not having enough time to focus on everything. This is the same issue why the number of blogs per month dropped to an average of 2-3 now, from 5-7 in the first few months. Remember MaxDefense is non profit and ads free, and I don't get any financial benefitd on this. For those asking, the highest rated blog entry here is the Taiwan saga issue, which until now was not beaten by any MaxDefense blog entry in terms of number of reads.

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    2. Also, defense is closely related to politics and policies of the government. MaxDefense also has the need to hit on government issues that affect the AFP's welfare and modernizaton, as well as any negative impact on the morale and image of the AFP. But doesn't mean the AFP is always right, we'll also have to check them once in a while.

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  30. The military has reasons to keep news on the delivery of the M4 carbine rifle tight for confidentiality & security reasons lets keep it that way. Rumors of coup etc has no place in your blog, its fitting to be in blog about politics and the military.

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    1. Rumors of coup affects the image of the military, especially when it is not true. MaxDefense was made to help the AFP in giving the public the right information of what their AFP is all about. If you allow rumors to spread and damage the AFP's credibiluty and image, then it's not helpful to MaxDefense's existence as well.

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  31. Sorry if out of topic. Latest news on frigate bidding. Hope you can update your blog about this.

    http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2014/08/10/1355874/dnd-spend

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    1. I added an August 10, 2014 update on the blog entry here:

      maxdefense.blogspot.com.au/2013/12/updates-on-philippine-navys-frigate.html?m=1

      You may also want to read my earlier comment on another reader just a few comments above yours.

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    2. So this would be a different acquisition of weapons and munitions.. Are we going for American or Korean Munitions?

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  32. Our foot soldiers are getting refitted with new and better armament, what about personal body (vest) protection?
    How many rounds does a magazine of these Remington R4 can contain? and how many mags will be issued to our soldiers?
    Good Job from PNOY.
    Congrats AFP.
    More power and more project to materialize.

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    Replies
    1. Extra ammo magazines will be acquired separately. The R4/M4 can use the same magazines that the M16 uses, although there is an ongoing project to replace most of them with more durable types.

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  33. we need to project ability to resist and counter attack ability.
    just my opinion:
    1. can we ask japan for gov't assist purchase/donate 10-15 Hayabusa-class missile patrol boat - i think its better than buying old US coast guard cutters and use it as frigates (without missile weapons)
    2. should we buy from european nations like sweden or norway or germany for corvetts? (with anit-air/ship/submarine missiles)
    3. will A-10 serve as anti-ship platform with its 30mm gutling cannon?
    can't understand why the two cutters we bought from us coast guard doesn't consist of missile....( if i am correct, we are the only nation in asia without missile capability)
    another topic: TA-50 is untested. can we buy the Type 88 Surface-to-Ship Missile from japan?

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  34. Is it just me or are the armored vehicle crews wearing the wrong kind of helmet.?

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  35. Phil army and phil marine are the only user of this type of m4......this remington r4 or remington gpr.....this rifle enter ls in 2010.....no other user. I cant find extensive test and costumer review on this rifle on internet even in youture nothing

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