Is the M-113 Arisgator Ideal for the AFP?

The Philippine Army gets many M-113 armored personnel carriers in its arsenal. Having these APCs changed as an Infantry Fighting Vehicle already took place. With that raises the question of a floating kit that makes these APCs more amphibious than the way it used to be.

M-113 in the Philippine Army Arsenal

The Philippine Army since the Vietnam War already got these M-113 Armored Personnel Carriers. These are further increased when the United States delivered 114 of these units as an additional complement to its arsenal.

The army further enhances its M-113 by having changed versions of those gained from Elbit Company of Israel. It all started by having six RCWS-armed M113s in the arsenal. These are also further added by having three 30~40mm gun turrets in which it can complement with other changed M113s such as the repair version or the ones armed with scavenged Scorpion Turrets. 

Hence, these changed armored personnel carriers, called as infantry fighting vehicles, are an additive to the already-capable mechanized division of the Philippine Army with the chances of improving it to a more heightened level which adheres to the AFP's aim of a world-class army on 2028. Having these M-113 vehicles comes with the chance of having the Arisgator kit coming into play as a possible amphibious product for the Philippine Armed Forces, especially to its possible or say, presumably users Philippine Army and the Philippine Marine Corps. These kits for the M-113s have provided its worth in service in the Italian armed forces and the Indonesians are looking after it for their Army to deploy in Indonesia's swampy areas and deep rivers where such deployment is ideal.

This kind of discussion comes up with a question for a series of questions where these kits are possibly an excellent investment of the armed forces or there are more excellent alternatives where it comes to logistics, troop transport, and immediate deployment. These in which comes a good question that needs a good, technical and analytical question: "Is the M-113 Arisgator amphibious kit ideal for the AFP?

The same question has raised in the Defense of the Republic of
the Philippines, where such questions have already debunked in Timawa.

In order to solve this kind of question, let us have a kind of insight into where the planners are thinking about the ideal matter where in-depth technicalities may get explained thoroughly as the discussion goes on.

The M-113 Arisgator design have made out from the 1990s where the Italians purchased and gets such design. The Indonesian army is eyeing to have such amphibious craft in which accordingly will definitely help their army to deploy their infantry in swampy areas and deep rivers, somewhat an environment Indonesia have where the Philippines are also having as well.

In such case, here are the following variables where we need to answer these questions, which it provided them in the following list below:

1. Are these feasible for the AFP to get?
2. Is it ideal for the Philippine Marine Corps to have them?
3. Are there better alternatives for the PMC to have other amphibious craft other than this one, or complementary units coming onto it?
4. Is it ideal for the Philippine Army to get them since they have those large stockpiles or M-113s?
5. In connection to number four, citing Indonesian Army's interest to have them, is it good for the Philippine Army to adopt what the Indonesians are having?
The specifications of the M-113 Arisgator. Image Source.

According to Chris McNab's book Military Vehicles, the Italian company Aris developed a far cheaper floatation device or rather, a swimming kit, to an already-amphibious M-113 armored personnel carrier wherein itself have poor performance on the water. With these, the floatation device earned its name as The Arisgator, naming it from the Italian company who developed it.

With the information of its origin now is given, let us return to the question which will bear variable to the discussion in which the Pitz Defense Analysis will now give its answers based on other discussion matters relating to this topic as well as the analysis given from such discussions in which it bears logic.

1. Are these feasible for the AFP to obtain? Well, the answer to that is a clear yes since the swimming kit made by an Italian company made it become less expensive to obtain, not to mention that it was really meant that way since a fully dedicated amphibious vehicle is far more expensive when compared to this one.

Now, this is where the discussion gets deeper. It is an undisputed fact that it is affordable for the AFP to attain. Now another follow-up question sets in, which is "Which branch within the AFP will be the recipient of these vehicles assuming that we have them?" To answer that question, it has already given the series of questions and mentions earlier that two branches can have them. It is the Philippine Army and the Philippine Navy's sub-branch, the Philippine Marine Corps, which may get questioned to the number two regarding the ones who are really fond of amphibious landings.

2. Is it ideal for the Philippine Marine Corps to have them? Given the technicalities and the variables at play in this organization, it is possible for them to have such vehicles. But then again, back to the question, is it ideal? The answer is a big, big.....NO.

So, why not? The M-113 are so common in the AFP where compatibility is not an issue? And these things are affordable for the marines to have? The answer to these question is indeed technical in nature that the fundamental point of saying no goes to one, very important detail, somewhat a very important point for the marine corps to consider, which is the number of troops capable for an amphibious vehicle to carry.

Say, they are the Philippine Marine Corps and they will be the recipient to have such amphibious vehicle. Now, they have this doctrine which sets the standards as to what steps, procedures and ideal numbers, carrying capacity included, have written and have implemented strictly. 

So in their standards, larger carrying capacity has needed. Hence, that puts the Arisgator out of the picture considering that it is in their standards that it demands the immediate transfer of infantry, from ship to shore with sheer numbers that is needed to overwhelm beach defenses as well as reducing time for amphibious ships involved in the operations (Landing Craft Units, Landing Ship Tank, Landing Platform Dock) to get exposed from shore artillery which determines the victory of the operation. 

Hence, it is ideal for the marines to have a larger amphibious vehicle such as the AAV-7 (KAAV-7 are the Korean equivalents the Philippines at present may have) so that there will be shorter trips between ship and shore to deploy the whole Marine Battalion Landing Teams (MBLT). This comes up with another question related to this matter.

3. Are there better alternatives for the PMC to have other amphibious craft other than this one, or complementary units coming unto it? The answer is yes. There is a better alternative for the PMC to have other amphibious craft. In fact, it is already in the work-in-progress wherein some accounting and production have already taken place that it is the Hanwha Techwin (Formerly Samsung Techwin) will be the ones who produce the KAAV-7 which will complement the Tarlac-class LPDs the Navy obtain which is ideal for an amphibious operation. The reason for these things pertains to the marine's doctrine which was explained in answer number two.

4. Is it ideal for the Philippine Army to obtain them since they have those large stockpiles or M-113s? Technicality-wise, considering the compatibility and the logistical advantage due to the enormous number of these armored personnel carriers in its inventory, no doubt one can say it will be ideal so unto that. Moreover, the term "amphibious" that is defined here is so different from having it traverse a swamp or a river is different than the usual ones done by the Marines such as a shore landing in which it was given earlier. 

Although it was ideal for the army to have such vehicles to travel marshes, deep rivers and the like, a typical mechanized division, alternatively speaking, will be more opted to self-bridging or self-propelled pontoon equipment where alternative bridges are being built at places where already-made bridges are destroyed or the place renders no structured bridges at all. That will be possible by having the area air dropped by airborne infantry, then supplemented by reinforces through the transport helicopters, then that's the time the army engineers enter the scene by deploying the materials necessary to built a pontoon bridge for a mechanized infantry to passed by.

5. In connection to number four, citing Indonesian Army's interest to have them, is it good for the Philippine Army to adopt what the Indonesians are having? Well, considering the demands and requisites both forces are aiming, this kind of question cannot answered that easily because of the first and only the very reason there is to consider,  which is the doctrines of each of the nations have. 

Albeit the tropical climate that both countries have as well as having the same geography such as being an archipelagic nation does not detrimental than what has applied in Indonesia shall get applied in the Philippines. 

It is because that the different asymmetry of doctrines these nations have aimed for their different kind of interest and for different capabilities. Hence, the difference of these things have influenced by what are the threats prevailing in the environment plus the weapons these militaries think they suit the best for the operation. So, one cannot just simply adopt it.


Getting these KAAV-7s for the Philippine Marine Corps is the better decision rather than the M-113 Arisgator path. Got from Bemil Chosun Website.

Given the questions, we shed the light as about the good and the bad points about the Arisgator as an ideal amphibious vehicle to the AFP. With that comes a question of whether the Arisgator is ideal for the AFP? Well, with that, the ultimate answer here is that it can be ideal if the AFP is a cash-strapped organization where they resort to cheaper equipment so that they can conduct their mandate. 

But given the present stance of the armed forces, it can be seen as well as non-ideal vehicle considering that other alternatives will benefit the armed forces more than fully relying to these changed M-113s where its seating capacity is lesser than the KAAV-7 the Philippine Marine Corps will get as well as the good proposal of an ideal pontoon bridge like other armies would do. 

Overall, this vehicle is one, good amphibious machine that Italy gets for its armed forces where Indonesia is considering, while the Armed Forces of the Philippines is interested in something else rather than this one, it is a good thing that the alternatives in which they choose intends on benefiting the ever-increasing capabilities of the whole armed forces with its aim to become a world-class army by the year 2028.

(c) 2016 PDA. First edition 8-5-2022.


PinoyMakabayan14 said...

hi pit ijust get to know if pmc are really interested to this arisgator...agreed of your assessment though logically it is good for fsv like it can be mounted by a bmp3 turret of 100mm and 30mm gun or mortar carrier and recon vehicle or command ship for them just my though only....

Pitz Orpiano said...

To answer your question, the PMC is opted more to KAAVs that are soon to deliver from South Korea. It will also get embarked to the Tarlac-class LPDs as intended once in service.

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