Ground Warfare

Philippine Army Received First 5 Guarani 6×6 Armor Personnel Carriers and 9 Additional Sabrah Light Tanks

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Philippine Army Received First 5 Guarani 6×6 Armor Personnel Carriers and 9 Additional Sabrah Light Tanks

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Philippine Army Received First 5 Guarani 6x6 Armor Personnel Carriers and 9 Additional Sabrah Light Tanks
Philippine Army Received First 5 Guarani 6x6 Armor Personnel Carriers and 9 Additional Sabrah Light Tanks

The Philippine Army Commanding General Lt. Gen. Roy M. Galido graced the blessing ceremony of newly-acquired assets of the Armor “Pambato” Division at Camp O’Donnell, Sta. Lucia, Capas, Tarlac on March 5, 2024. Lt. Gen. Galido, who was joined by the Southern Luzon Commander and concurrent Armor Division Commander Maj. Gen. Facundo Palafox IV, led the blessing ceremony of five 6×6 wheeled Armor Personnel Carriers, nine ASCOD Sabrah Light Tanks, one Command Post Vehicle, and one Tractor-Head. Likewise, the Army Chief also led the unveiling of markers for the Mess Hall, Armor Museum, and Maintenance Depot Facility. The newly-acquired assets will bolster the Armor Division’s capabilities in terms of operational readiness towards attaining a world-class, multi-mission-ready, and cross-domain capable armor force.

9 additional ASCOD Sabrah light tanks
9 additional ASCOD Sabrah light tanks. (Photo by SSg Cesar P. Lopez, OACPA/Philippine Army)

The VBTP-MR Guarani is a 6×6 armoured personnel carrier developed by Iveco. Other Brazilian companies also participated in the program, such as IMBEL (Communications), Elbit (Armaments), Usiminas and Villares (development of national ballistic structural steel). Elbit Systems won the Philippine Army Wheeled Armored Personnel Carrier Acquisition Project of the Philippine Army and is set to deliver 28 units of the Guarani 6×6 APC The contract was signed for USD$47 million and is intended to be complete within a three year period. On September 27, 2023, the Federal Office of Economics and Export Control agreed to end restrictions for German defense components to be used for Guaranis made for the Philippine Army. Most of the components range from ballistic plating to its transmission system.

Blessing ceremony of first five Guarani amphibious 6x6 APC
Blessing ceremony of first five Guarani amphibious 6×6 APC. (Photo by SSg Cesar P. Lopez, OACPA/Philippine Army)

The Sabrah Light Tank is a light tank or tank destroyer designed by Elbit Systems. Weighing 30t, the Sabrah light tank series has a modular design. It is equipped with a common 105 mm manned turret for both tracked and wheeled configurations. The vehicle’s fully-electric turret drive provides stabilization in both elevation and traverse. The dual-axis high-performance turret provides hunter-killer capability. The tank provides an optimal combination of firepower and maneuverability. The Sabrah is fitted with armour protection systems to provide ballistic protection up to NATO STANAG 4569 Level 4. The vehicle can be integrated with active protection systems. It includes the company’s TORCH-X battle management system. The combat-proven armoured vehicle is also installed with electro-optical (EO) sights, fire control systems, and life support systems.

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