The Philippine Army has taken delivery of two armored vehicle-launched bridges (AVLB) from Israel.
The delivery comes as the southeast Asian nation continues to upgrade its fleet of military vehicles.
According to army spokesperson Col. Xeres Trinidad, the two AVLBs were procured through a government-to-government deal.
The delivery is part of the Philippine military’s Horizon Two modernization program, which includes Sabrah Light Tanks.
“The assets will boost the capabilities of Army engineer combat battalions in supporting maneuver units by providing mobility during operations,” Trinidad said.
Before deployment, the newly-delivered AVLBs will undergo a post-delivery technical inspection by the Department of National Defense.
Two armored vehicle-launched bridge units for the Army’s engineer combat battalions are due for post-delivery technical inspection after they were shipped to the Batangas Port, Batangas City on July 12, 2022.
— Philippine Army (@yourphilarmy) July 14, 2022
The AVLB combat support vehicle quickly transports tanks and other armored vehicles across rivers.
Developed by Elbit Systems, the tank bridges use an armored vehicle platform based on the Merkava IV main battle tank.
The Philippine Army required the vehicle to have a maximum operating weight of 60 tons (54,431 kilograms/120,000 pounds) and a bridge span of at least 18 meters (59 feet).
Signed in 2019, the contract for the two AVLBs cost $27.7 million.
According to the Philippine Army, the new vehicles are a “game-changer” for the service.
“These past 125 years, we have seen the Philippine Army grow into a professional and capable Army for our country,” Army commander Lt. Gen. Romeo S. Brawner Jr. said. “And as the Army’s modernization program progresses, we are looking at a very bright future for our land force.”