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Army to boost fire support with 14 APCs

American soldiers sit next to an M113 light armored vehicle at the Forward Operating Base Kalsu, Iraq in March 2007. US Army/Olanrewaju Akinwunmi

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Army will acquire 14 M113 armored personnel carriers in 2015 to boost its fire support capabilities.

Army spokesperson Capt. Anthony Bacus said the M113 vehicles will be installed with 76-mm turrets among others from decommissioned Scorpion combat vehicle reconnaissance (tracked) units.

"It will be fitted with modern fire control and thermal imaging equipment. Once it is completed, the 76mm cannon armed M113s will be quite lethal," Bacus added.

The Army is currently operating over 100 M113 units, and the would-be acquisitions are manufactured by BAE Systems Land and Armaments.

In the United States Army, the M113 series have been replaced as front-line combat vehicles by the M2 and M3 Bradley.

The Department of National Defense had said that more than P85 billion is needed for the modernization of the Armed Forces of the Philippines from 2014 to 2018.

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Last year, the Army commissioned excess M1114 Armored Humvees as well as M939 and M35 truck series from the US. The new fighting vehicles provided fire support during the Zamboanga siege last September.

Related story:  P85 B needed for AFP modernization

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