Opus224's Unofficial Philippine Defense Page




United Defense AIFV (Armored Infantry Fighting Vehicle) during Independence Day parade. The AIFV is essentially an improved M113, with better firepower, mobility and armor.

Main armament is a 25mm Oerlikon KBA cannon with a co-axial 7.62mm machine gun. The US did not adopt this vehicle, instead adopting the much heavier and more complex (not to mention expensive) Bradley series of infantry fighting vehicles, also built by FMC, now United Defense. In service with the Netherlands (850 vehicles), Belgium (514 vehicles, license produced) and Turkey (variant, 650 AIFVs, 1350 other vehicles based on same chassis). Other users include Bahrain and Egypt. Daewoo of South Korea produces a vehicle called the KIFV which looks externally similar to the AIFV except that it has the old M113 armored ring-mounted .50 cal machine gun instead of the 25mm turret. The KIFV uses a MAN V8 diesel (280 hp), vs the AIFV's Detroit V6 diesel (264hp).

The Philippines received a total of 85 vehicles per US Library of Congress records.

AIFV on EDSA during the December 1989 coup.

Philippine broadcast media used to often refer to the AIFV as the Chaimite, which it is not. The Chaimite is a Portuguese copy of the V100 wheeled 4X4 APC which Marcos ordered 20 of during the martial law years.

M113 APC
M113 with Cadillac Gage (now Textron) 1-meter turret during Independence Day parade. Most M113s in the Philippine Army have the old armored ring-mounted .50 cal MG. The PA also uses M113s mounting surplus Scorpion tank turrets as fire support vehicles.

The M113 series of armored vehicles is the most widely produced vehicle of its type. As of 1999 over 76,000 units of all variants have been produced. The first vehicle was completed in 1960 and it is still in production. There are too many variants to list. The latest model is the M113A3 which introduces several improvements such as a more powerful engine, spall liners, external fuel tanks and optional applique/standoff armor. Standofff armor provides extra protection from HEAT rounds (such as an RPG) by detonating the charge far enough away from the actual armor for the explosive gas jet to have its desired effect. Several upgrade packages are available for countries with existing M113 fleets.

At least 100 M113s are targeted for upgrading with the AFP's modernization program.

Alvis Scorpion
Alvis Scorpion light tank.

The Scorpion was designed in the late 1960s as a tracked, armored reconnaissance vehicle. By 1999 over 3500 had been produced. The armor is of all-welded aluminum construction and provides protection from 14.5mm rounds over its frontal area and 7.62mm armor-piercing rounds over the rest of the vehicle. It is powered by a militarised and de-rated Jaguar 4.2 liter engine, although vehicles in British service are having the engines replaced with Cummins diesels. Standard armament for most vehicles, including those in PA service, is the 76mm L23 gun. Later export versions (bought by Malaysia, among other countries) have a 90mm Mk III Cockerill gun mounted - the same gun as in the PMC V300 FSV. British vehicles no longer mount the 76mm gun and instead mount the 30mm Rarden cannon (Scimitar).

The Philippines received a total of 41 Scorpions.

V150 Commando
The Cadillac-Gage (now Textron) V-100/V-150 series APC was the standard light armored vehicle of the AFP until the adoption of the Simba. Over the years the Philippines has received about 165 V-100/V-150s from the United States.

Typical armament for Philippine V-150s is one .50 cal MG and one 7.62mm MG in a one-meter turret. V-100s have a smaller turret with twin 7.62mm machine guns. The Chaimite is a Portuguese copy of the V-100. I am not sure if any are still in service but they can be distinguished from V-100s by their flat top (as opposed to the V-100's rearward sloping top) and their flat, angled rear end.

There were two Hari-Digma prototypes developed by a local company (I forgot which - it specialized in bank armored cars). I believe this was the first. The second was supposed to have had a more conventional layout, with the turret in the hull center. It lost out to the Simba APC.

Simba APC with standard one man .50 caliber MG turret. The Simba 4X4 APC was developed by GKN as a private venture and was adopted by the Philippines as it's new wheeled APC. A total of 150 were ordered with most being assembled from kits in Subic. Total cost of the deal was $46 million. GKN supplies many of the armored infantry vehicles used by the British Army, such as the Warrior MICV, the FV432 APC and the Saxon wheeled 4X4 APC. GKN has since merged with Alvis, the producers of the Scorpion series of light tanks and other armored vehicles.

PA Simbas are normally armed with the .50 caliber MG turret and are also sometimes seen with a pintle-mounted 40 mm automatic grenade launcher from CIS of Singapore.

Only the Philippines uses the Simba, though Malaysia did mention a passing interest in it at one point.

Kim Jae-Wan/AFP
Presidential Security Group Simba APC
PSG Simba APC in striking urban camouflage leaving Malacanang during the January 2001 mass protests that led to President Joseph Estrada's downfall. This pattern works really well in built-up areas. The outline of the vehicle disappears into shadows and whitewashed walls in the background. I was told some Dutch armored vehicles are painted in similar fashion.

Simba 25mm
Photo from Newsmakers Photojournalism page. Shows Simba APC with enlarged turret and 25mm cannon, as opposed to the more common .50 cal turret.

106 mm Recoilless Rifle
Jeep mounted M-40A1 106 mm recoilless rifle. The 106mm RR actually has a caliber of 105 mm but the 106 mm designation was adopted to minimise confusion with other 105 mm caliber rounds in service. It has a magazine fed .50 caliber spotting gun attached to aid in aiming the weapon.

90 mm Recoilless Rifle
The primary infantry anti-tank weapon in Philippine service is the M-67 90 mm recoilless rifle, developed in 1967. It was replaced in US service by the Dragon anti-tank guided missile after only a few years in service and has since been supplied to the Philippines and US allies such as South Korea and Taiwan.

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