Israel has delivered a second batch of ASCOD 2 Sabrah light tanks to bolster the country’s defense capabilities. Maxdefense reported that the delivery took place on October 27, with the vehicles being unloaded from a commercial cargo ship at Subic Freeport. This marks a key milestone in the Philippine Army’s Light Tank Acquisition Project. The Department of National Defense (DND) had previously announced its expectation to receive a total of 20 ASCOD 2 Sabrah light tanks, along with support vehicles, as part of this project. Observers spotted a convoy of trucks carrying what appeared to be at least 9 ASCOD 2 Sabrah light tanks on a highway in Luzon. It is possible that more tanks were in the convoy, as the video recording didn’t confirm the total number of tanks present.
The main contractor for this acquisition is Elbit Systems, a renowned defense manufacturing company based in Israel. The Sabrah Light Tank is designed to complement the existing fleet of armored fighting vehicles used by armed forces around the world. It is available in two variants, one based on the General Dynamics European Land Systems ASCOD platform and another based on the General Dynamics European Land Systems Pandur II platform. Weighing 30 tons, the Sabrah light tank is a modular design equipped with a common 105mm manned turret suitable for both tracked and wheeled configurations. This vehicle offers enhanced firepower, maneuverability, and armor protection, providing up to NATO STANAG 4569 Level 4 ballistic protection.
The armament of the Sabrah light tank includes an Elbit Systems Land 105mm gun and a 7.62mm coaxial machine gun. It is also equipped with eight 76mm smoke grenade launchers and two optional anti-tank guided missiles. The 105mm gun, with its advanced features and ammunition options, ensures a high hit probability and low collateral damage. The tank’s observation and fire control systems are state-of-the-art, featuring day and night-vision EO sensors, a high-definition color camera, thermal sight, and dual-axis line of sight stabilization. These capabilities enable the Sabrah to engage both fixed and mobile targets effectively.
The Sabrah light tank also boasts a robust communication system, including the E-LynX software-defined radio, and advanced sensors such as a laser range finder and optional meteorological sensors for improved ballistics. Additional systems, such as a laser warning system and see-through head-mounted display technology, can be incorporated to enhance its capabilities further. The delivery of the second batch of ASCOD 2 Sabrah light tanks is a significant step in strengthening the Philippine Army’s capabilities, reinforcing the country’s defense posture in the region. The acquisition of these modern, versatile, and highly capable light tanks will contribute to the country’s defense preparedness and security.