Your 1st for Philippine Defense

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Philippine Army to receive 12 more upgraded M113A2 with Elbit 12.7mm RCWS this June

As part of the Department of National Defense's (DND) deal with Israel's Elbit Systems Land & C4I, the Philippine Army's Mechanized Infantry Division (MID) would be receiving another batch of upgraded M113A2 tracked armored personnel carriers (APC) this June 2019, fitted with the Elbit Systems 12.7mm overhead remote controlled weapon stations (ORCWS).

12 newly rehabilitated and upgraded M113A2 tracked APCs equipped with Elbit's 12.7mm ORCWS. Photo shared exclusively to MaxDefense by a source.

The deal is part of the Philippine Army's M113 Firepower Upgrade Project, which is a Horizon 1 Phase 2nd List Project of the Revised AFP Modernization Program. The projects aims to deliver the upgrade for 44 M113A2 tracked armored personnel carriers that include installation of the Elbit Systems 12.7mm ORCWS and other systems, and conversion of 5 M113A2 to armored mortar carriers and installation of the Soltam Cardom 81mm Recoil Mortar System.

More details can be found on an earlier blog entry posted specifically for this project, which can be accessed through the link below:

"Elbit Systems Wins Contract to Upgrade Philippine Army M113A2 with RCWS and Mortars" - first posted on 14 June 2018

For this batch for delivery this June 2019, twelve (12) units are programmed. These are former US Army M113A2 tracked APCs that underwent rehabilitation works with the Mechanized Infantry Division's maintenance battalion, and were modified to allow the installation of Elbit Systems' 12.7mm ORCWS on the commander's hatch, replacing the manually-operated armored open mount usually found on standard PA M113s.

M113A2s armed with the 12.7mm ORCWS will be undergoing Technical Inspection and Acceptance Tests prior to handover to the Philippine Army. Photo exclusively shared by a MaxDefense source.

Aside from up-arming, these vehicles were also installed with Elbit Systems' Combat NG Battlefield Management System (BMS) allowing them to be integrated into a network with other similarly-equipped units of the Philippine Army.

While the electronic and mechanical systems like the weapon mounts and computers were all imported from Elbit Systems, the rehabilitation and modifications of the M113s, as well as the installation works of the RCWS and computer systems were all made by the Mechanized Infantry Division with technical assistance provided by Elbit Systems. This means the MID now has the know-how and capability to not just install, but also conduct maintenance works of these complicated systems.

Originally, Elbit Systems was supposed to deliver 17 units for the first batch, but the Philippine Army requested for an initial 5 units to be delivered earlier in April 2019 to allow the vehicles to be deployed to Jolo, Sulu before the 2019 Mid Term Elections last May.

The examples above are the first batch of M113A2s that received the new 12.7mm ORCWS and vehicle upgrades. They were set to Sulu last May 2019 to provide security during the 2019 Mid Term Elections. Photo shared to MaxDefense by a community member who wish to remain anonymous.

The vehicles underwent the Technical Inspection and Acceptance Tests a few days ago. Once they are rated by the project's Technical Inspection and Acceptance Committee (TIAC) as passed, the vehicles will then be prepared for official hand-over to the Mechanized Infantry Division.

This would mark the delivery of a total of 17 upgraded vehicles with the 12.7mm ORCWS under this M113 Firepower Upgrade Project.

In total, the Philippine Army already has 11 units of M113A2 tracked armored personnel carriers equipped with a 12.7mm RCWS system (if one would include the delivery made by Elbit Systems in a separate project in 2016), and the delivery of 12 more will make the total go up to 23 units.

The difference between the M113A2 tracked APCs that received upgrades to install 12.7mm RCWS:
Left photo shows those delivered by Elbit Systems in 2016 using a ex-Belgian Army M113A2+ and an earlier model variant of Elbit's 12.7mm ORCWS. The right shows a US-made M113A2 equipped with the latest variant of Elbit's 12.7mm ORCWS. 
Photo provided by a community member based on photos from other sources.

MaxDefense was informed that aside from the 12 units for delivery this June, another batch of upgraded M113s are scheduled for acceptance tests and hand-over this coming July 2019, and it would include some of the converted Armored Mortar Carriers armed with the Soltam Cardom 81mm Recoil Mortar System.

Rehabilitation, upgrade and installation works were all done in MID's facility in Camp O'Donnell in Tarlac, allowing MID to gain experience in the process. Photo shared exclusively to MaxDefense by a source form the PA.

More updates will be coming in probably by July once the next batch of deliveries are ready. Meanwhile, our readers can also access our resource portal for this project which can be found on the link below:

"M113 Firepower Upgrade Project (Horizon 1) of the Philippine Army" - continuous updates ongoing.

Project Summary:

M113 Firepower Upgrade Project

Note: Edited as of 22 June 2019.

* End User: Philippine Army (Mechanized Infantry Division)

* Quantity: to upgrade 49 M113 tracked APCs.

* Modernization Phase: Horizon 1 2nd List Projects of RAFPMP

* Project ABC: Php1,051,650,000.00

* Acquisition Mode: Government-to-Government (G2G) Procurement with the Israel Ministry of Defense-SIBAT

* Source of Funding: GAA Funds through AFP Modernization Program Trust Fund, to be paid via Multi-Year Obligatory Allocations (MYOA).

* SARO Release: SARO-BMB-D-17-0022354 dated 28 November 2017 worth Php1,051,650,000.00 (full amount), released 29 November 2017.

* Winning Proponent: Elbit Systems Land & C4I (Israel)

* Product for Delivery:
    - Modification of 49 M113A2 tracked APCs to accommodate upgrade
    - Upgrade of 44 M113A2 with installation of Elbit Systems 12.7mm ORCWS and other systems
    - Upgrade of 5 M113A2 with conversion to Armored Mortar Carrier with the Soltam Cardom 81mm Recoil Mortar System

* Contract Price: Php1,051,650,000.00

* First post by MaxDefense: 31 October 2016

* MaxDefense Searching Hashtag: #PAM113FirepowerUpgrade

* Status: Delivery ongoing, 1st batch of 5 units delivered April 2019, 2nd batch of 12 units for delivery June 2019.


First edit and release: 22 June 2019
Copyright MaxDefense Philippines


  1. sir max still 81 mm? I thought you mentioned before that the Israelis gifted the MID with 5 free 120 mm tubes to match the 15 120 mm soltam mortars for that acquisition.


Philippine Navy Modernization Projects

Philippine Air Force Modernization Projects