The Philippine military has taken delivery of a new tank gunnery simulator for training armored vehicle operators to use 105-millimeter main guns.
The delivery comes ahead of the much-anticipated arrival of the country’s newly procured fleet of light tanks.
The simulator was acquired for $705,000 from the joint venture of Singapore-based defense firm Wolfberry Asia and Indonesian company PT Indocertes under the Philippines Modernization Program.
“The tank gunnery simulator would enhance the skills and capabilities of our Army personnel in the performance of their given tasks or unit missions,” Philippine Army spokesperson Col. Xerxes Trinidad said in a press release.
Trinidad revealed that the simulator system would have to undergo a technical inspection before deployment to ensure that the delivery meets all specifications. “It is only after the final technical inspection that a decision to accept a delivered item is made,” he stressed.
Although the simulator has already arrived in the Philippines, Trinidad explained that the technical inspection might encounter further delays due to the escalating number of COVID-19 cases.
Arrival of Sabrah Light Tanks
Last month, the Philippine military announced that it would be receiving Sabrah Ascod light tanks and Pandur II armored personnel carriers from Israel defense manufacturer Elbit Systems as part of an ongoing effort to modernize the country’s defense forces.
The 20 Israeli-made armored vehicles include 105-millimeter guns, 105-millimeter cannons, and automated 120-millimeter carrier mortars.
The new tanks will be deployed under the Armor Division’s 1st Tank Battalion, which will be activated as the first modern light tank fleet of the Philippine Army.
‘Steady’ Military Upgrade
Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said late last month that the country has made steady progress in upgrading its military equipment and the skills of its personnel.
Earlier this week, the country received 15 new M125A2 armored mortar carriers equipped with Cardom 120-millimeter mounted mortar systems from Elbit Systems.
The Philippines is also set to acquire the BrahMos shore-based anti-ship cruise missile system from India after receiving a long-awaited budget to bolster the country’s maritime defenses.
“We have not only continued to upgrade the equipment of the Armed Forces and the other Bureaus but also developed and raised their skills, expertise, and knowledge,” Lorenzana said. “The future we are facing will not be easy but with our concerted efforts we can overcome whatever challenges come our way.”