Philippine marines to acquire amphibious assault vehicles
Patricia Lourdes Viray ( - May 10, 2018 - 10:47am

ZAMBALES, Philippines — The Philippine Marine Corps is expecting to acquire eight new amphibious assault vehicles (AAV) by April next year.

Philippine marines, together with their American counterparts, conducted amphibious landing exercises on Wednesday as part of the annual Balikatan exercises.

Lt. Gen. Emmanuel Salamat, Philippine exercise director, said that the exercise is important for the Armed Forces of the Philippines prior to the acquisition of amphibious vehicles next year.

WATCH: Philippines, US marines hold amphibious landing exercise in Zambales

Maj. Gen. Alvin Parreño, commandant of the Philippine Marine Corps, said that the amphibious vehicles might be deployed to Mindanao.

"Initially ang deployment natin is in Mindanao and other places kung saan ituro ng necessity ng Armed Forces of the Philippines," Parreño told reporters.

The US Marines used four of its AAVs belonging to the 3rd Combat Support Company Hawaii during the joint exercises at the Naval Education and Training Command in San Antonio, Zambales.

The vehicles carried a combined platoon of Philippine and US marines from the beach out into the ocean, maneuvered around the Philippine Navy's BRP Davao del Sur and landed back to the shore to allow the marines to simulate assault onto the beach.

"Amphibious training is an important part of Balikatan Exercise as it enhances the capabilities of both the AFP and US Armed Forces during operations from sea to land," Salamat said.

RELATED: Philippines, US marines hold drills near Scarborough

In 2016, Korean firm Hanhwa Techwin, formerly Samsung Techwin, won the bidding for the Department of National Defense's acquisition project in providing eight AAVs for the Philippine marines.

The acquisition of the eight brand new AAVs is worth P2.423 billion. It is among the multi-year contract projects that former President Benigno Aquino III approved.

The amphibious vehicles are designed to assault any shoreline from decks of Navy assault ships. They can also transport marines and cargo through hostile territory.

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