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Philippines Receives 15 New Armored Mortar Carriers from Israel

The Philippine Army has taken delivery of 15 new M125A2 armored mortar carriers (AMCs) equipped with Cardom 120-millimeter mounted mortar systems developed by Israeli defense manufacturer Elbit Systems.

According to Philippine Army chief Lt. Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr, the arrival of new mortar carriers is part of the country’s efforts to improve the capabilities of its ground forces amid continuing security threats.

“These new armor assets will bolster the Army’s capability to deal with constantly evolving threats,” he said, adding that the service is on track to becoming a “formidable and adaptive force” capable of addressing a variety of challenges.

The 120-millimeter recoil mortar system mounted onto the AMCs is an autonomous system that can hit targets at a distance of up to 7 kilometers (4.3 miles). It has a maximum fire rate of 16 rounds per minute and can be operated by two to four crewmen.

The newly delivered AMCs will undergo technical inspection in the first quarter of 2022 before deployment to army field units.

With the arrival of the new military equipment, the Philippines has become one of the few countries that use AMCs with the Cardom mortar system along with Israel, the US, and other NATO countries.

Providing Immediate Fire Support

The AMC’s Cardom recoil mortar system features a design that enables improved operation of its 120-millimeter barrel, decreasing collateral damage in urban areas and when firing on sensitive targets.

Its state-of-the-art fire control system also provides a direct digital link to the weapon’s modern target acquisition sensors used for tracking enemy targets, including unmanned aerial vehicles.

The Philippines’ acquisition of the armored mortar carriers is part of a continuing military modernization program to strengthen its defense posture against internal and foreign threats.

Armor Division commander Maj. Gen. Efren Baluyot said the new equipment would provide close and immediate indirect fire support to field units during operations.

In addition to the AMCs, the southeast Asian nation will purchase and upgrade other wheeled armored personnel carriers and light tanks.


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