|An M113 fitted with Elbit's 25mm RWS. A similar configuration is being acquired by the Philippine Army with Elbit Systems Land & C4I.|
MaxDefense has kept quiet on this issue for some time, even if it was apparent that there are errors and inconsistencies in the report made by Mr. Tulfo. MaxDefense was clear on its stand that the project to acquire 28 refurbished upgraded M113s from Israel and 114 surplus M113A2 from the US are 2 distinct and different projects, with 2 separate project schedules, and 2 separate funding.
The Issue - Mr. Tulfo's Report:
According to the reports made by Mr. Tulfo, the Department of National Defense (DND) diverted funds donated by the United States government to ship 100+ units of surplus M113 APCs from the US mainland to the Philippines. The funds, said to be worth Php 800+ million, was instead used to acquire used M113s from Israel, which were sourced from Belgium, and refurbished and installed with remote weapons systems by Elbit Systems Land & C4I. The M113s are said to be 3rd hand, wherein Belgium bought the vehicles from the US, then was sold to Israel, and are now sold to the Philippines.
The point of concern is why did the DND forego the delivery of 100+ free M113s from the US to buy "28 3rd-hand, vintage, World War II era refurbished M113s" from Israel that are older than those coming from the US, when it was apparent that free is better than paid, and 100+ is better than 28.
MaxDefense sees many discrepancies on this report, at almost the same level as the report made by Manila Times recently regarding the Dornier UH-1D helicopters.
|An M113A1-B ARV formerly used by the Belgian Land Compnent, currently in use by the Indonesian Army and was supplied by Sabiex S.A. of Belgium, a subsidiary of Elbit Systems Land & C4I of Israel.|
Photo taken from arc.web.id.
MaxDefense separates the issues between the 2 distinct M113 projects for easy comprehension.
A. US Government Excess Defense Article Grant of 114 M113A2 to the Philippines:
In 2012, the US government awarded a grant to the Philippine DND involving the transfer of 114 surplus M113A2 vehicles for the Philippine Army. Being a grant, the Philippine government is not expected to pay anything for the vehicles themselves. In laymen's term: donation.
1. Is it true that the US government donated money to ship the donated M113 to the Philippines?
No. The US government only provided the M113A2 units to the Philippine government as part of the US Excess Defense Articles (EDA) grant, and it is up to the Philippine government to shoulder the shipping costs of bringing them from the stockyard in the US mainland to the Philippine Army facilities in the Philippines.
The US government normally do not provide donated money, but are actually in the form of US Military Assistance which the Philippine government annually receives.
To reinforce this answer, Mr. Tulfo reclarified in his later reports that the fund for the shipping was actually from the Philippine government, coming from the AFP Modernization Program. To be exact, the fund actually came from Republic Act 7898, which is the AFP Modernization Act of 1995.
2. Is the true that there is a Php 800+ million pesos budget intended for shipping of surplus M113 from the US mainland?
No. As early as 2010, the Philippine Army already requested for a budget to acquire tracked armored personnel carriers. A budget of Php882 million was allocated to acquire 14 brand new basic tracked armored personnel carriers, funded under the budget allocated covered by RA 7898 or the AFP Modernization Act.
But the plan was eventually scrapped as the Philippine Army believed that 14 new tracked APCs would not be enough to fill-up the planned Table of Organization and Equipment (TOE) of the Philippine Army's Mechanized Infantry Division (MID). The planned TOE involves several hundreds of additional tracked armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles to be placed under the command of the PA's MID.
From 2012 to 2013, the Philippine government tried to seal a deal with the Italian Ministry of Defense, wherein the DND decided to use the budget from the cancelled acquisition of 14 new APCs in favor shipping and refurbishing 100+ units of used VCC-1 armored vehicles (reported as M113) and 25 units of used FH-70 155mm towed howitzers, all formerly from the Italian Army. This was known in the DND and AFP as the "Italian Package", which includes the Maestrale-class frigates, naval helicopters, light combat aircraft, and other retired Italian military equipment.
With talks between the Italian and Philippine defense officials failed and the acquisition of the "Italian Package" cancelled in 2013, the DND and Army decided to use the Php 882 million budget to acquire refurbished but heavily upgraded M113s in a government-to-government deal under the supervision of the US Department of Defense.
|The Philippine Army almost got hold of 100 VCC-1 Camilino tracked APCs, which are actually Italian version, Italian license copy of the American M113 APC.|
Photo taken from Armyrecognition.com.
3. What are the physical condition of the M113A2 APCs from the US?
The M113A2 are formerly US Army armored personnel carriers. They are newer derivatives of the M113A1 being used by the Philippine Army, and were built starting 1979 up to 1986. The US Army heavily used these armored vehicles in deployment around the world, and were eventually replaced by the newer and more capable M2 Bradley AIFV starting in the late 1980s. Retired M113A2 vehicles are currently stored in desert open storage facilities in the US mainland, and are being sold or granted to friendly countries by the US government.
114 units were allocated by the US government to the Philippines, divided into 2 batches (100 and 14). According to MaxDefense sources, officials from the Philippine Army and DND were given a chance to choose the vehicles a few years ago in a total sample of more than 700 vehicles. Only 96 vehicles are still in working condition, but will require servicing, repair, and refurbishing in one way or another, and are not ready to use vehicles. The 18 other vehicles will need major spare parts and servicing before the PA can commission them, or they may just make them spare parts hulk for the rest of the fleet.
All 114 M113A2 do not include the machine guns and armored cupolas, which the Philippine Army will need to acquire separately.
|The M113A2s being inspected by Philippine Army officers in the US Army open storage in the mainland United States. Look at the condition of these armored vehicles.|
Photo taken from the Mechanized Infantry Division-Philippine Army website.
It will definitely cost the Philippine Army a significant amount of money and time to prepare these vehicles, although the DND received Php141 million from the US government as part of US Military Assistance to the Philippines, specifically allocated for the refurbishing of the said vehicles. But even so, it appears that the amount is not enough to repair and arm all 114 vehicles, and the Philippine Army must shoulder the balance should it decide to commission all vehicles. Estimates made by MaxDefense's source said the amount is only good to fully upgrade and equip around 25 units.
4. If the money for the shipping of M113A2 from the US is different from the money to pay for the upgraded M113s, where is the shipping money?
This is the tricky part. Originally the DND opened a bidding for the shipping of 114 M113 armored vehicles from Sierra Army Depot in Herlong, California to the Philippines. Budget allocated for this is from the cancelled project to re-engine and upgrade 18 FV101 Scorpion vehicles of the Philippine Army worth around Php 200 million. The bidding failed, and no shipping company was awarded a contract. Further delays required the DND to return the money to the Department of Budget Management (DBM). But when the DND again requested for the DBM to release the budget, it did not materialize due to technical concerns on the release of Special Allotment Release Orders (SARO), and was later on affected by the government's decision to scrap the SARO system in 2013.
Instead, the DND and Philippine Army decided to use part of the US Military Financing Assistance fund worth Php 141 million initially allocated for the repair, refurbishing and rearming of the 114 M113A2, with the approval of the US government. This Php 141,008,183.06 budget was actually among those included in the Revised AFP Modernization Program under RA 10349. But as Typhoon Yolanda / Haiyan struck in late 2013, the DND again requested the US government to allow them to use the budget for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations, which was approved.
Since the budget was already used-up, the DND then requested for a new budget allocation for the shipping from the national government, and is still being processed by the Department of Budget Management. So far, the requested amount has not yet been released.
But the budget release is currently the worry of the Philippine Army and DND, because another MaxDefense source confirmed that the US government already sent a communication early this year asking for a commitment from the Philippine government to ship out the armored vehicles from the Sierra Army Depot in California. If the Philippines failed to take the vehicles out as per the agreed commitment, the US government will offer these vehicles to other interested foreign governments. It was also confirmed by MaxDefense sources that there are already other military inspectors from foreign countries interested on the specific vehicles previously selected by the Philippine Army inspection teams.
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B. Acquisition of 28 refurbished & upgraded M113 from Elbit Systems Land & C4I:
5. Who are involved in the deal to acquire the refurbished & upgraded M113A2+ from Elbit Systems Land & C4I?
All acquisitions involving US-made or US license-built military equipment will require the involvement of the US Department of Defense (DoD). The M113, in all its form and licensed copies, is among those that need the US DoD's approval before any sale or transfer happens. This is true not only for the Philippines, but for any government or entity that acquires US military equipment.
When the DND and PA decided to acquire refurbished and upgraded M113 vehicles, it was initially coordinated with the US DoD which gave approval of the planned acquisition. It was actually the US Army's Infrastructure Modernization (IMOD) office that recommended to award such contract to Elbit Systems Land & C4I, with the approval of the Israeli Ministry of Defense and its Defense Export & Defense Cooperation (SIBAT) office.
6. Are the M113s sold by Israel are 3rd hand, World War II vintage vehicles?
A strong No. Elbit Systems Land & C4I of Israel is supplying the armored vehicles for the Philippine Army in a government-to-government contract entered by the DND last year. The M113s to be used are former Belgian Land Component (Belgian Army) M113A1-B vehicles.
The M113A1-B is the Belgian version of the M113 armored vehicles, with the "B" denoting "Belgium". They were made in Belgium by the Belgian Mechanical Fabrication (BMF) Company. Although designated as an "A1", they are actually very much more similar to the US M113A2 version than the older M113A1. Modifications made by the Belgians include using the same suspension as the US M113A2, and nuclear-biological chemical (NBC) protection, among others. They were built from 1982 to 1988, which means that these vehicles are actually newer than the US-made M113A2. And since World War II ended in 1945, or 37 years after the first M113A1-B rolled out of BMF's factory, these are incorrectly and outrageously termed as vintage World War II era vehicles!
7. So if they are not vintage, is it true that the vehicles are dilapidated and "bulok"?
No. After the Belgian Land Component reduced its TOE size and replaced older vehicles, the M113A1-B were among those retired from service. The specific M113A1-B units to be sold to the Philippines passed through the Belgian defense company Sabiex International S.A., a subsidiary of Elbit Systems Land & C4I.
Elbit Systems through Sabiex now has the retired Belgian M113A1-B for the PA and are now doing the refurbishing works in Belgium. But it does not mean the M113A1-B were bought by the State of Israel, as they were acquired by a Belgian company (Sabiex) to be sold to other interested governments or entities. No other military used these vehicles after the Belgians. If 28 of these vehicles are transferred to the Philippine Army, it may seem that they are already the 3rd hand owner, with the Belgian Land Component as the 1st owner, Sabiex S.A./Elbit Systems as the 2nd owner, and the Philippine Army as the 3rd. But since Sabiex/Elbit does not use the vehicles for military operations, Sabiex and Elbit are similar to sales agents, retailers or consignees in commercial terminologies. So officially, the Philippine Army is the 2nd owner.
Aside from being newer than the US-sourced M113A2, the Belgian M113A1-B are actually far better in terms of condition and usage. A MaxDefense source confirmed that the M113A1-B units chosen by the Joint Visual Inspection team from the DND and Philippine Army are actually very much new, with only more than 1,000 kilometers mileage!
How is that possible? It appears that the vehicles chosen by the DND and PA were used by the Belgians only for military and royal parades, displays, and training exercises within Belgium, and were not used in NATO deployments across Europe. They were also among the last units retired by the Belgians before being replaced with the MOWAG Piranha IIIC 8x8 armored vehicle. The Belgians never used the chosen units in any minor or major armed conflict, military operation, or peacekeeping mission. Add to that the fact that the refurbishing includes zero-timing the vehicles. So in effect, these vehicles are practically new!
|A Belgium Land Component M113A1-B.|
Aside from that, as part of the deal between the DND and Elbit Systems, Sabiex will refurbish these M113A1-B vehicles to M113A2+ standards, undergoing a complete refurbishing and overhaul of the body and engine, new Allison TX1001A transmission system, a new fuel system, hydraulic steering system, and an improved suspension.
|The M113A1-B will undergo a refurbishing and upgrade to M113A2+ standard by Sabiex S.A., as shown on the photos above.|
Photo taken from Sabiex's website.
After refurbishing to M113A2+ standards, the vehicles will be fitted with the advanced remote weapons systems (RWS) made by Elbit Systems, and 76mm gun turrets from decommissioned Philippine Army FV101 Scorpion combat recon vehicles, converting these APCs into armored fighting vehicles. They won't be just bringing in soldiers to the combat zone like what standard M113s do, but because of the advanced weapons systems, they will be with the soldiers in combat in a similar way that other modern IFVs are used by foreign armies.
Once in service, the 28 upgraded M113s are actually the most modern armored vehicles in the Philippine military, being the only one equipped with these advanced features.
|Elbit Systems will provide the Remote Weapons Systems for the M113A2+, 4 are 25mm chain guns and 6 are 12.7mm machine guns.|
Photo taken from Elbit Systems website.
8. The Philippine Army will provide 76mm turrets from decommissioned FV101 Scorpions?
Yes. That is part of the deal. The Philippine Army has several British-made FV101 Scorpion "light tanks" that are out of action for some time due to lack of spare parts. After several failed attempts to repair and re-engine these Scorpions, the Army decided to retire them for good. Instead of leaving them in the army's storeyards, it was decided that the L23A1 turrets, with its 76mm low pressure gun, are still worth using. As part of the plan, 14 of these turrets will be removed from the Scorpion vehicles.
|Unfortunately, the Philippine Army's fleet of Scorpion CRVTs are declining fast. And with the turrets still working, the Army decided to transplant them to the M113A2+.|
9. The M113A2+ are in Belgium. The RWS, FCS, and other components are in Israel. The 76mm Turrets are in the Philippines. So how will they be put together?
The 76mm gun turrets from the Scorpions will be repaired and refurbished locally by the Philippine Army with assistance from Sabiex personnel, using components provided by Elbit Systems. Once upgraded, Elbit Systems will check and accept these turrets and then integrate them with their new Fire Control System, as the RWS and FCS from Israel will be shipped to the Philippines separately from the M113A2+ from Belgium.
Once the vehicles, weapons systems, and other components are here, they will be integrated by Elbit Systems in the Philippines, under supervision by the Philippine Army. Elbit Systems being the contractor of the project will make sure that the entire system will be in accordance to the standards required by the client (DND/Army), and will be in charge of warranties, integrated logistics support, and product support.
There might be questions on why the Philippine Army will do the repair and refurbishing of the L23A1 turrets when Elbit Systems is already part of the project, but it appears that this decision to have the Army do the work with only assistance from Sabiex/Elbit was made even before the contract was signed. Aside from these, the contract between the DND and Elbit Systems includes the provision of 4 free armored recovery vehicles by Elbit Systems.
10. What, free Armored Recovery Vehicles?
Yes. The contract between the DND and Elbit Systems actually cover only 24 vehicles. These are the 4 units to be installed with 25mm RWS gun system, 6 with 12.7mm RWS gun systems, and 14 with the refurbished 76mm gun turrets from the Scorpions. As part of the deal, Elbit will give 4 refurbished M113A2+ in armored recovery vehicle configuration. This was even reported previously by the media.
|Photo taken from Sabiex's website.|
11. So is 100+ free M113A2 better than 28 refurbished M113s from Belgium-Israel?
Neither. The Philippine Army both needs quantity and quality. Its TOE requires hundreds of tracked armored vehicles in its inventory, and even if the 114 M113A2 from the US and 28 M113A2+ from Israel comes, the PA will still need more. While 114 M113A2 seems better than 28 M113A2+, many fail to consider that the 28 M113A2+ to be delivered by Elbit Systems are fully refurbished, almost new, technologically superior, and heavily armed variants as compared to those from the US grant. If you put the 28 M113A2+ to combat against the 114 M113A2, MaxDefense believes the upgraded units will definitely hold its own even if they are less in numbers.
In the end, the Philippine Army needs both projects to be implemented and delivered. And the PA will need to request more funding to acquire more armored vehicles, which inlcude the future plan to have Main Battle Tanks in its arsenal.
12. Is there anything wrong with buying second hand, refurbished military equipment?
No. Our lawmakers, decision makers, and the public must understand that the military's modernization program requires tens of billions of dollars to fully implement and transform it to first class, modern armed forces. Tens of billions of dollars that the government does not provide, and instead only a few million dollars are made available every year. If we insist on buying new equipment everytime, until when can the AFP realize its required number of equipment then?
In its current plans, the Philippine Army may require up to 700 tracked armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles to fill its TOE. Currently it only has less than 150. Add the 114 surplus M113A2 from the US and 28 M113A2+ from Belgium/Israel and we now have less than 300 units. So the Army is still lacking 400 units! Another example: the Philippine Air Force requires around 100 serviceable combat utility helicopters at any given time. So it means they need at least 135 helicopters, considering maintenance and servicing for other units. Currently they have 40 units combined for working and non-working aircraft. They are buying 8 new Bell 412EP, so that brings 48 units. If the PAF bought more new Bell 412EP instead of refurbished Dornier-Bell UH-1D, the budget allocated by the government cannot even buy 3 new helicopters! So when the can the PAF get their 135 helicopters?
Refurbishing of old military equipment is a normal trend around the world that has becoming more prevalent with the defense cuts faced by even the richest countries. Service Life Extension Programs (SLEP) is a refurbishing and upgrading program that involves overhauling the entire equipment, replacing damaged or old parts with new ones, restoring the body and other non-moving parts, and installing upgrades to improve the vehicle's performance. This is what was done to the 28 M113A1-B from Belgium to become the M113A2+ the Philippine Army specified.
|Singapore refurbished their M113 fleet by installing new technology and replaced old parts. It also included the installation of a RWS system as shown above.|
Photo taken from tanknutdave's website.
Aside from the Philippines, the latest country to have bought refurbished M113A1-B from Belgium and supplied by Sabiex is the Indonesian Army. Some of the M113s were even delivered in time for the 69th Anniversary of the Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI) last year.
Even the richest countries with defense budgets several times higher than the Philippine military gets acquire second hand and refurbished equipment depending on the urgency, schedule, and budget flow they are facing. Several examples: Singapore bought 100+ used Leopard 2A4 tanks from Germany, and with refurbishing, they are now the most modern and most capable main battle tanks in Southeast Asia. Indonesia with a military modernization budget of US$15 billion in 5 years (the PH is less than US$2 billion in the same timeline), also recently acquired 100+ refurbished Leopard 2A4 tanks and 50 refurbished Marder IFVs from Germany, and upgraded most of them to become as capable as Singapore's Leopard 2SG. They also recently acquired 24 mothballed F-16C/D from the and upgraded them to become one of their top fighters in their Air Force. Japan bought used refurbished C-130H Hercules transport aircraft from the US recently, which they used in the recently concluded Cope North Exercises. Australia bought second hand refurbished M1A1 Abrams tanks from the US. Thailand's entire tank fleet, with exception to their new tanks from Ukraine, are actually used surplus US Army stocks. Taiwan is a regular buyer of refurbished naval ships from the US, with recent procurements include the Kidd-class destroyers and Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates. Chile is the best example of a capable military using refurbished equipment, with used missile frigates from UK and the Netherlands, used fighters (F-16AM/BM) from the Netherlands, and used tanks and armored vehicles from Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and the US (Leopard 2, Leopard 1, Marder, YPR-765, M113), they are now one of the most capable armed forces in South America! Even America, with all its power and money, recently bought used AV-8B Harrier jets retired by the British Royal Air Force and Royal Navy! So what the Philippines did is nothing wrong, but just being practical and realistic.
13. Finally, what do our lawmakers and government need to do to modernize the Armed Forces of the Philippines?
If our lawmakers really desire that our soldiers get the best equipment available, all they need to do is increase the annual defense procurement budget. Recently, AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Pio Catapang stressed the need to increase the annual military modernization budget to at least 1% of the annual national government budget. That request is a very modest one, but still the government is having problems granting that practical request. If the government is really serious to improve the country's armed forces, then provide what they need.
Another important matter is that the procurement process for defense equipment must be changed immediately. Not only does tendering enable certain entities of learning a lot of details on the military's requirements, but it also stops the military from getting the best product they require due to the process of having the cheapest product win. It also delays important projects, which is a very crucial factor especially that the country is facing a lot of internal and external threats, as well as environmental ones.
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There might be a possibility of corruption and illegal activities brought up by Mr. Erwin Tulfo with regards to his report on the acquisition of M113s. But the way the report was made showed lack of understanding on the product being demonized. It appears now to be no different from the false accusations made by another reporter regarding the capabilities and history of the Dornier-Bell UH-1D.
Like what MaxDefense pointed out in its previous blog on the Dornier-Bell UH-1D, reporters should not make baseless statements and reports against the equipment involved just to create a foundation for their accusations. There's no need to do that! And the worst part is, they are feeding the general public wrong information when it is the media's responsibility to look for the truth! If the truth is what they are searching for, then they must start from a strong foundation of truth as well.
There is nothing wrong with the calls for investigations because it is for the benefit of the Filipino people to know the truth. But if certain individuals, media, or organizations accuse DND and AFP officials of corruption, all they have to do is go directly to the issue, show evidence that there are indeed irregularities on the deals. No need to blow out the issue by making made-up stories and erroneously tainting the product's image with untrue or incorrect information, which can be debunked by people who knows their military equipment very well or even by simple research.
MaxDefense will be closely monitoring this projects and will be posting updates later on should more information arrive.
September 22, 2015:
The Philippine Army conducted a demonstration in from of the press, involving the newly acquired M113A2+ armored personnel carriers armed with a 12.7mm machine gun mounted on a remote controlled weapons system. 6 Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) units were presented, which were all delivered by Elbit Systems Land & C4I. The demonstration was held on 21st September 2015 at Mechanized Infantry Division's Camp O'Donnell in Capas, Tarlac. Among those who attended were DND Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, and AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Hernando Iriberri.
|Some of the M113A2+ APCs involved in the said demonstration.|
Photo credits to Ms. Julie Aurelio of the Inquirer.
During the presentation, the MID's spokesman also confirmed that the rest of the vehicles will be delivered next year, which includes 14 Fire Support Vehicles armed with 76mm guns, 4 Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) variants with a RCWS mounted 25mm autocannon, and 4 armored recovery vehicles.
Also discussed with the press was the ability of the upcoming IFV version to be used for limited air defense, using the 25mm Bushmaster gun with a "bursting" munition, which MaxDefense confirmed as the High Explosive Incendiary round acquired by the Philippine Army. MaxDefense believes that hitting aircraft in the IFV's planned form will be difficult, since they won't be guided by radar and fire control systems.
|MaxDefense believes that Elbit Systems may be using their UT-30 RCWS system for the 25mm IFV variant.|
Photo taken from Elbit System's website.
In addition to these information, the MID also confirmed that the 114 impending M113A2 from the US will arrive in the Philippines by November this year. According to Philippine Army sources, these vehicles will undergo refurbishing and upgrade soon, probably after they are delivered to the Philippines, as the vehicles were acquired in "as-is, where-is" condition.
MaxDefense will be monitoring this development, especially with the upcoming arrival of the EDA M113s.
August 26, 2016:
The Philippine Army's latest update on the status of Capability Upgrade Program projects under the AFP Modernization Program, included the status of the Upgraded M113 Acquisition Project, which involves the acquisition and upgrade of 28 refurbished M113 armoured personnel carriers from Elbit Systems Land & C4I of Israel.
What was missing in our previous updates is that the project was actually divided into 3 lots, with
- Lot 1 involving 14 Fire Support Vehicles with 76mm Turrets;
- Lot 2 is for 4 Infantry Fighting Vehicles with 25mm Turrets;
- Lot 3 includes the 6 Armoured Personnel Carrier with 12.7mm RCWS, and 4 Armoured Recovery Vehicles
As of our last update last September 2015, we could confirm that Lot 3 was already completed. All 10 M113A2s were already commissioned with the Philippine Army and were reportedly already used in military operations.
As of August 2016, the status report from the Philippine Army confirmed that:
- All M113A2 for Lots 1 & 2 are already in the Philippines, and were delivered as of first week of July 2016;
- It also included the 25mm turrets for the IFV versions, which were installed to the M113A2 in the Philippines, and will undergo testing and acceptance by middle of August 2016;
- The Philippine Army is only awaiting for electrical kits from Elbit Systems for the Fire Support Vehicles, which are actually not included in the contract.
Based on these information, MaxDefense believes that Lot 2 will be completed by between late August and September 2016. Although MaxDefense currently do not have photos, the Philippine Defense Forum (Timawa) has a photo released since mid-July 2016 that can confirm the information we have gathered. The photo can be seen on the link provided below, as MaxDefense does not have the liberty of posting it on this page:
LAD M-113 with Elbit Systems 25mm unmanned turret - dated July 13, 2016
There were previous information provided by MaxDefense sources indicating that there were problems encountered by Elbit and the Philippine Army with regards to the Lot 1 of the project. Based on the information, it was found out by Elbit Systems that the turrets to be used, which were from retired Philippine Army Alvis FV-101 Scorpion tracked reconnaissance vehicles were in poor condition, and there were suggestions to instead acquire new or refurbished turrets from other sources. So far, MaxDefense cannot confirm what path did the Philippine Army and Elbit Systems take, and its best to see that once they publicly show the vehicles so we can make our visual analysis.
More updates later on.