With the modernization of the country's military forces now underway, the Philippine Army has announced that its anti-armor capability will be getting a much needed boost with the delivery of 400 units of LRRs (light rocket launcher anti-tank weapons) before the end of 2014.
Capt. Anthony Bacus, Army spokesperson, said that the LRRs are meant to replace the 186 units of 90mm and 26 pieces of 57mm recoilless rifles currently in service.
He added the decision to acquire the 400 units of LRRs was done as the former weapons were too heavy to be carried by a single soldier alone.
LRRs are shoulder-fired weapons capable of firing anti-tank rounds or rockets which can penetrate a tank armor.
"One of the downside aspect for these old weapons is that they are too heavy to be carried by an individual soldier, that most instances, it impedes the movement of maneuvering troops," Bacus stressed.
Aside from these LRRs, the PA also has 12 units of 76mm guns and 300 25mm cannons for its anti-armor role.
PA anti-armor weapons are issued to elite and special operations units and the newly-created mechanized infantry companies which consist of 14 armored vehicles each.
Bacus also said that the PA has around 343 AFVs (armored fighting vehicles) in its inventory.
These AFVs are attached to the 10 infantry divisions currently fielded by the Philippine Army.
"Around 85 percent of these AFVs are on green status (fully mission capable) while another 10 percent are on yellow status (undergoing repair) and five percent on red (beyond repair)," Bacus added.
A total of 150 of these are the United Kingdom-built GKN "Simba," with the remaining AFVs consisting of United States-designed V-150 and V-200 APCs, M-113 "Bradley," Turkish-made ACV-300s and British Scorpion CVRT (Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance Tracked). (PNA)