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Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Philippine Army received upgraded M14 marksman rifles from Jordan

The assistance provided by the Kingdom of Jordan to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is expected to be very useful to its fight against terrorism and other threats to the Filipino people.

So far, the government has been able to declare two items that they received from the Jordanian government: the two Bell AH-1S Cobra attack helicopters, and an Al-Sater assault vehicle which MaxDefense reported last August 2019.

So far, another proposal from the Jordanian government was for the donation of up to 60 M113 armored vehicles, which until now has not been exercised.

But it turns out that there could be more grants that the Jordanian government may have offered to the Philippine government, as MaxDefense received information late last year of a grant that the AFP received.

In this case, the Philippine Army was said to benefit from the delivery of a few hundreds of upgraded M14 7.62x51mm rifles from Jordan, which are previously used by the Royal Jordanian Army.


Credits to original source of photo.

Upgraded M14 7.62mm marksman rifles

According to information received by MaxDefense from Philippine Army sources, they received several hundred units of upgraded M14 7.62x51mm NATO battle rifles from Jordan late last year.

The rifles were already upgraded to a configuration similar to the Mk. 14 Enhanced Battle Rifle (EBR) upgrade as previously used by the US Special Operations Command.

The Mk. 14 Enhanced Battle Rifle upgrade is essentially an M14 battle rifle with modifications made according to the requirements of the US Navy SEALs. Depending on the variant, either it uses the standard 22" barrel, or a shorter 18" barrel bolted to a telescopic chassis stock system made by Sage International.

Added with the telescopic chassis stock system were Picatinny accessory rails, a pistol grip, upgraded front sight, a bipod and a new flash hider.



The Mk. 14 EBR. Photo taken from Guns and Ammo.

The chassis is made mostly of lightweight alloy similar to those used in aircraft, reducing the overall weight of the rifle. The availability of the Picatinny rails allows the use of different optics including nigh vision scopes, or the use of two different optic systems.

Different builders made their own variants of the EBR, with changes on the chassis design, pistol grip, butt stock, flash hider, barrel lengths and brands, front and rear sights, optic systems, and many others. But the design remains similar to the base model.

Several manufacturers have introduced their own version of the Mk. 14 EBR, which even includes US-based FERFRANS which is owned by Filipino Americans, calling their variant the SOPMOD M14/M1A EBR.


Even FERFRANS has its own M14 EBR-type upgrade called the SOPMOD M14/M1A EBR. Photo taken from Defense Review.

Other countries also adapted an M14 upgrade program similar to the Mk.14 EBR model, with the Jordan among those who took interest to upgrade their existing inventory of M14 battle rifles.


Jordanian M14 EBR Rifles:

The Kingdom of Jordan received thousands of used M14 7.62x51mm battle rifles as excess defense articles from the US government. Most went to the Royal Jordanian Army (RJA) and used for a variety of purposes including as designated marksman rifles.

Like the M14s used by the Philippine Army and Philippine Marine Corps, the M14 has become too old, heavy and cumbersome compared to most modern assault and marksman rifles. Thus, the RJA turned into converting their M14s into something similar to the Mk. 14 Enhanced Battle Rifles.

No quantities were confirmed but apparently the RJA converted a few thousand of their M14s into something similar to the Mk. 14 EBR. These were used as marksman or sniper rifles within the RJA, until they were ultimately replaced by the DPMS Panther Arms LR308 5.56x45mm marksman / sniper rifle.


With the rifles just stored, a few hundreds of them found their way to the Philippines, after the Jordanian government offered them to the Philippine government as a grant, with approval from the US government being the original source of the weapons.





According to sources, the rifles arrived around 4th quarter of 2019, and will still be undergoing processes before distribution to frontline units.This would allow the Philippine Army to build up its division sniper companies, while taking out the old M14 rifles being utilized for DMR functions to undergo rehabilitation and upgrade.

Issues on the Mk.1 4 EBR:
While these assets would be useful, it would best noted why the US armed forces replaced these rifles with AR-10 based rifles like the Mk. 11 7.62mm rifle.

Apparently they are prone to shock due to the lightweight chassis, which could affect accuracy. But these rifles are not expected to be used roughly, considering most marksmen would be operating at a different tempo than regular infantrymen.

But this won't be an issue for the Philippine Army considering these are still far better than what they have, or than nothing at all.

As a temporary measure, the Mk. 14 EBRs would be able to fill up the marksman requirements while more newer rifles like the SIG716 G2 are acquired in the future.



Photo taken from Wikipedia.
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The arrival of a huge amount of 7.62x51mm Mk.14 EBRs will definitely improve the Philippine Army's infantry and small unit capabilities, considering it is short on designated marksman rifles despite the recent arrival of new SIG Sauer SIG716 G2 7.62x51mm marksman rifles. A lot of the Philippine Army's existing M14 rifles will be given the necessary improvements or eventually retired from frontline service.

It remains to be seen though on when the Philippine Army would be able to show these newly acquired rifles, as it appears that they have not distributed it to frontline units yet despite word that some units are being tested by AFP Special Operations Command (AFPSOCOM) units.


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First posted and released on 11 March 2020
Copyright MaxDefense Philippines


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