As part of the deliverables for the Revised AFP Modernization Program under Horizon 2, 15 units of M125A2 Armored Mortar Carrier (AMC) with 120mm Mounted Mortar System (MMS) were delivered by Elbit Systems of Israel on December 29, 2021. The fleet of armored vehicles with improved mounted arsenal under the Mounted Mortar Acquisition Project of the Philippine Army will be part of the firepower upgrade for the Mechanized Infantry Battalions and soon to be reactivated Tank Battalion of the Armor Division, Philippine Army. The Armor “Pambato” Division is one of the primary units of the Philippine Army stationed at Camp O’Donnell, Brgy. Sta. Lucia, Capas, Tarlac, Philippines. The Armor (Pambato) Division is a combined arms organization composed of tank, cavalry and mechanized infantry.
Major General Efren P. Baluyot, the Commander of Armor Division, Philippine Army said, “This self-propelled firepower upgrade is an added game-changer in land warfare because it provides close and immediate indirect fire support for maneuver units while allowing for quick deployment in tactical situations. More modernization projects are in the pipeline such as the Wheeled Armored Personnel Carrier Acquisition Project, APC Firepower Upgrade with Enclosed Weapon System (EWS), and the Light Tank Acquisition Project, all contributing to a credible defense posture in land domain.”
For its firepower, the Cardom 120mm recoil mortar system mounted on the M125A2 Armored Carrier is an autonomous, computerized system that has a range of 7,000 meters and a maximum fire rate of 16 rounds per minute operated by four (4) crewmen. The Cardom (English: Hatchet) is an Israeli 81 mm/120 mm Recoil Mortar System (RMS), developed by Soltam Systems (now Elbit System). It is used by the US Army, the Israel Defence Forces, NATO countries, and others. The Cardom is an autonomous, computerized system for mounting on light and medium armored carriers. The system provides accurate and effective fire support.
The M125A2 Armored Mortar Carrier (AMC) with MMS is used by the US Army, Israeli Defense Force, and NATO countries. The deal will also include Elbit’s Combat NG Battlefield Management System, which is already in use with the Philippine Army. Elbit Systems will also provide conversion 120mm barrels for five Cardom 81mm autonomous recoil mortar systems the Philippine Army ordered in January 2018. The 81mm mortars are part of the Philippine Army’s M113 Firepower Upgrade project that also includes the supply of 44 remote controlled weapon systems (RCWS) for the Philippine Army’s fleet of M113A2 armored vehicles scheduled to be delivered this year.