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The Philippine Army M-113 Armored Personnel Carrier

The Philippine Army mechanized division obtains this armored personnel carrier through the years where it guarantees the safety and protection of the ground troops in providing the fight and defense of the country against threats especially before insurgents such as the communists and Islamic secessionists. Currently, it obtains the fleet of M-113 Armored Personnel Carriers in which several of these assets have undertaken upgrades that increase its firepower and support that the troops needed in times of conflict - in getting the upper hand on exchanging gunfire against the enemy.

The Philippine Army M-113 fitted with Elbit's UT-25 gun turret.
Imagery obtained from Wikimedia Commons.
The Philippine Army, through the years, obtains these M-113 Armored Personnel Carrier of different variants in its inventory with several units having various upgraded components in which different combat roles are taken up and weapons of ranging calibers fitted on these vehicles. These APCs are operational within the service branch's Mechanized Division

It came first as the U.S. provided these armored vehicles to the country through a defense article which later on grew in numbers with several units already modified to different upgrades such as the one shown above in an image where it is fitted with a UT25 gun turret provided by Elbit Systems which were based in Israel. 

It is worth taking note that this Israeli company helped revolutionize the armored fleet of the Philippine Army Mechanized Division in a way that their expertise in fitting weapons on an armored vehicle such as the M-113 help improve the performance of what is to be an Armored Personnel Carrier originally designed to carry and protect the troops onboard the vehicle from incoming fire from the enemy that guarantee their survival which they may fight another day. 

The contribution to this development is significant for the scale within the Army service where this deserves a discussion given that it involves the legendary armored vehicles in service which breathes life once more, ready to serve actively as its crew for the interest of the country and its citizenry.

With this, let us provide the historical background and development that brought these armored personnel carriers into being in a way that it currently serves the Armed Forces of the Philippines up to the present date, now with improved firepower capabilities all thanks to the upgrade that it took which put the government forces at an advantage.


The M-113 that was made is the most widely-used and produced APC in the Western World where it employs in nations that have adopted the Western system of military assets such as the Republic of the Philippines. Such a commonality though explains the reliability of these units in service where there are many sources for the Armed Forces to obtain spares which in itself is essential to the operations of these armored vehicles within the organization.

The Armored Personnel Carrier, in its own being, was developed in the late 1950s as an improvement from M-59 and M-75 Armored Personnel Carriers where both of these vehicles are in service within the United States Armed Forces at that time. 

As we noticed, both of the aforementioned Armored Personnel Carriers obtain the attributes that have led to the development of the M-113 given that there is a resemblance between the three Armored Personnel Carriers. It is worth taking note that the M-113 was developed with the improvements incorporated from the shortcoming both of its predecessors have in terms of operation and performance as an APC. 

The production was initiated in the 1960s where it was manufactured by the joint venture of FMC Corporation and United Defense LP Ground Systems - USA. Since then, they produced different variants of the M-113 APC, and is currently in service across 60 countries on their respective armed forces - including the Philippines. In terms of variants, the Philippine Army obtains the M-113A1 which is a model from 1964, the variants in which the original units of 120 were delivered to the country under the United States Excess Defense Articles of 1967. 

Over time, other variants were produced such as the M-113A2 and M-113A3 variants where the former is an improvement over the M-113A1 variant in terms of engine cooling and suspension while the latter is an improvement of the former in terms of its enhanced hull and armor (link). 

Take note that some more derivatives and variants are based on roles and capabilities, which these are more appropriate in-service of other countries in a way that they may share attributes with the recently-upgraded M-113s that the Philippine Army obtains, only that the organization opted to retain its designation.

Here are some of the capability-derived variants where it's base armor and design is the M-113 Armored Personnel Carrier. (obtained from MilitaryFactory website, and Military-today website).

   - M58 Wolf smoke generator carrier;
   - M106 107 mm self-propelled mortar carrier;
   - M113 AMEV armored medical evacuation vehicle;
   - M125 81 mm self-propelled mortar carrier;
   - M548 cargo carrier;
   - M577 command post carrier;
   - M730 launcher vehicle for the M48 Chaparral short-range surface-to-air missile system;
   - M901 improved TOW anti-tank guided missile vehicle;
   - M981 FISTV fire support vehicle;
   - M1059 Lynx smoke generator carrier;
   - M1063 Vulcan 20 mm self-propelled anti-aircraft gun;
   - M1064 120 mm self-propelled mortar carrier;
   - M1068 upgraded command post vehicle. It is referred to as Standard Integrated Command Post System or SICPS ;
   - XM1108 modular weapon system carrier.

The specifications are also provided with regards to the Armored Personnel Carrier itself, less the upgrades, and other capabilities.
To see this table in full, just kindly click on it. Data provided by
Military-today website.
So, here are the insights with regards to the development of this Armored Personnel Carrier which paved its way to become a more capable and useful asset for many armed forces that utilize it for their troop transport purposes across the world.

These are the Philippine Army's Armored Infantry Fighting Vehicles
or designated locally as AIFV-25, an M-113A1 variant with guns
fitted as provided in this image.
Media Source.
The M-113 Armored Personnel Carriers have a long time serving the Philippine Army in a way that spans decades where it experienced numerous conflicts especially against the communists and the Islamic insurgents that still pose the threat to the country's overall security and development up to the present date.

The introduction of the M-113 APCs to the Philippine Army traced back to 1967 where the organization acquired it through the United States Excess Defense Articles with 120 units delivered at that time. The variant that was purchased from this period in time is the M-113A1 ones which are among the first produced versions of the decade. The number of units purchased at that time though is a big addition to the capabilities of the Philippine Army at that time though where these units, for the troops of that period, may find these assets useful at the upcoming internal conflicts that the country was facing until the recent history.

This was to be followed later on by another batch of orders, this time it came with 51 units of FMC AIFV or Armored Infantry Fighting Vehicle in which it is this M-113A1 offshoot or derivative with a manually-operated machine gun turret at the top. These weapons fit existed well before the automated ones provided by Elbit on the present date for the Philippine Army to Utilize. Speaking of Armored Infantry Fighting Vehicles, the Philippines actually obtain a variant of such armament on its inventory. It is known as the AIFV-25 vehicle, a Philippine Army designation. The concept of the creation of the Armored Infantry Fighting Vehicle or AIFV revolves from the XM765 concept provided by FMC which is also the one who produces the M-113s which include the first batch that the Philippine Army received in 1967. The concept in its being is an improvement that the company provided to its M-113 product creation that came out from a failed bidding for what has been the MICV-65 project in the United States that would be the replacement for the M-113 as a result of Cold War competition of ware capabilities. These assets in Philippine service though are still being used by the Army's Mechanized Division and the Presidential Security Group or the PSG. In parallel with the AIFV-25s that the service branch procured in the 1970s, it is also worthy to take note that Turkey's FNSS provided the Philippine Army at least six units of ACV-300 Armored Personnel Carriers in which, by context, is more of a Turkish derivative of the AIFV-25s that the organization already have in service where it simplifies logistics across platforms of different M-113 variants that is in inventory.

In this decade before Elbit introduce its revolutionary weapons fit that will revolutionize the role of these Armored Personnel Carriers have within the Philippine Army, the delivery for 114 units of M-113 APCs took place in 2015 wherein the variant of these armored vehicles provided is the M-113A2 version, an improvement over the M-113A1s delivered from 1967. Like the first batch, the number of units provided may provide significant capabilities improvement for the Mechanized Infantry Division to accommodate more troops in combat deployment and support.

What comes after this is something that gets discussed recently across defense forums as far as this article's publishing date is concerned where, as mentioned, an Israeli company in an agreement with the Defense Department under the stipulations of the Procurement Law, provides the resources, skills, and effort to deliver the product which enhances the armored vehicle's way of fighting off the enemies, a more safe and automated way.


The Israeli military technologies company Elbit contributes significantly to the enhancement of firepower in several of the Philippine Army Mechanized Infantry Division's fleet of M-113 Armored Personnel Carriers, in which these sophisticated Infantry Fighting Vehicles are something that really puts the Government forces at the advantage, clearing the risk of manning the guns and leave it to technology to blast threatening targets out from the open.

Their weapons upgrade comes with different types and variants where it obtains different range in firepower and capability which go down to its use in combat alongside other Armored Personnel Carriers that the service branch obtains like the V-150 Cadillac Gage Commando 4x4 APCs and GKN FS100 Simba APCs as well as the remaining Albis FV101 Scorpion Light tanks which are still in the Philippine Army Inventory.

First of the contributions that Elbit provided to the Philippine Army is the service of fitting the turrets of several decommissioned FV101 Scorpion Light Tanks to the M-113 Armored Shell where it obtains now the capability of carrying troops and crew as designed while providing that fire support with its gun turret derived from a light tank. That composition though is ideally a nice multipurpose decision which simplifies the operations taken by the troops in eliminating enemy threats while ensuring their safety through the fight so that they can fight another day and eventually securing that volatile portion of the country where eventually, they can meet their families once again in one piece. These enhancements involving Scorpion turrets are part of the 28-unit upgrade program of the company, with 14 units of M-113A2 vehicles being fitted by these light tank turrets with the rest being provided with more capable weapons enhancements on hand which is essential to the composition of these Armored Personnel Carriers in the fleet. To know more about the FV-101 Scorpion turret specifications, let us provide a table below originated from the Military-today website.
Here are the details about the FV-101 Scorpion Light Tank Turret.

After the FV-101 Scorpion Turret modification, here comes now the more modern and sophisticated weapons fit which may render these assets more significant in taking up support missions especially in combat against the enemy on the ground.

Taking out the first 14 units aforementioned which were fitted with Scorpion Light Tank turrets, the remaining 14 units were fitted with their respective weapons fit in which these components are divided into three: infantry fighting vehicles, armed armored personnel carriers, and armored recovery units. These types of M-113 roles came up with the units of 4, 6, and 4 again, respectively wherein these assets were fitted with 25mm unmanned turrets, 12.7mm remote-controlled weapon stations (RCWS), and fire control systems (FCS) for 90mm turrets.
To the left: the Elbit ORCWS-fitted M-113A2 Armored Personnel
Carrier alongside UT-25 turret-fitted M-113A2s.
Image courtesy
to the late John Chua.
The 12.7mm weapons fit seen on the left portion of the image provided is the Elbit Dragon ORCWS which at that time the image was covered, is the first version of such Overhead Remote Controlled Weapons System provided by Elbit wherein a succeeding variant is seen on other M-113 batches which are seen on the next image below, this time with the position of the ORCWS fit being in the middle of the M-113 shell as opposed to the previous fit as installed on the frontal right portion of the armored vehicle.
This is an improved variant of the Dragon ORCWs that was just delivered
recently to the Philippine Army, participated in securing elections
turnout when the image was captured at that time.
Image courtesy
to the Twitter account of news reporter Raffy Tima.
To provide an idea with regards to these Overhead Remote-Controlled Weapons System, kindly check the brochure of Elbit on a PDF file in a link here.

The other weapons fit to be discussed with regards to the M-113 upgrades that the Philippine Army's Mechanized Infantry Division has is the UT-25 gun turret. UT in this designation stands for Unmanned Turret and the 25 refers to the 25mm ORCWS inside the Unmanned Turret shell. This means this is a further enhancement over the 12.7mm ORCWS with larger ammunition rounds in a larger gun barrel involved and better protection of its components in a way that it also improves weapons support needed for the troops on the ground to keep on fighting. See a minor discussion about it on this Reddit thread here.

Take note that the M-113s involved for fitting also include armored recovery vehicles which in itself is essential to retrieve armored units that are either stuck on the ground, inoperable or battle-damaged that may still have the chance to be refurbished and get back into action once again. Hence, these vehicles aren't limited to just deploying troops or to support them with sheer firepower to attain the objective of eliminating threats to peace and security.

As part of the deal, the Philippine Army also opted for converting five (5) M-113A2 Armored Personnel Carriers to Armored Mortar Carriers wherein these assets provide small artillery support while getting it some improved mobility over the usual mortars carried in combat. The type of mortars will be fitted to these modified M-113A2s is the CARDOM Autonomous Recoil Mortar System (see specifications on the link for details) which is the key product of Elbit Systems for this weapons fit.


With the weapons array - from the original ones to the modified ones provided by Elbit and the number of M-113 units ordered by the Philippine Army for its Mechanized Infantry Division are something that provides the service branch additional capabilities for them to carry out their usual duties and responsibilities as mandated by law which is to ensure the peace, security, and integrity of the Philippine territories on land, in respect to the Philippine Navy's mandate of protecting territorial seas and the Air Force's protection of the airspace through its aspired Philippine Air Defense Identification Zone or PADIZ.

As discussed before in one of our articles regarding the Philippine Army Mechanized Infantry Division, these assets may be seen as a sign of resurgence to the specialties that such capabilities provide in a way that it shows the desire of the service branch organization to Modernize its forces in line to the Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Program. Take note that several of the projects regarding the M-113s were funded under the Horizon 1 process with several more provided under the original Republic Act 7898 before the revised Modernization today with different horizon plans and several more purchased long before these laws on modernizing the Armed Forces took place. This goes with the desire of the whole Armed Forces to provide the minimum or at least that enhanced deterrence that the country obtains against its enemies, whether it may be another nation or local bandits and terrorists that have wreak havoc on the citizenry that affects the peace, security, and development of the country in its entirety. 

The M-113s, as these details were provided, may continue to be relevant within the Philippine Army service for years to come, getting more service along the line similarly as several units sought action against rebels and terrorists before where many lives were saved especially the troops that were inside the armor that these vehicles provide. It will continue on serving the country, providing the best support ground troops and crew will have in a way that the fight is guaranteed, and they will survive to fight another day until the war is over for them to return back to their families and cherish the hard-earned freedom that the Armed Forces has provided for the country, its sovereignty, and citizenry.

The Philippine Air Force Combat Utility Helicopter Project

The Philippine Air Force obtains these multiyear, platform-building procurement projects which are seeking to improve its overall capabilities such as for Close Air Support, Airlift and Supply Chain, and for enhancing the Philippine Air Defense Identification Zone or PADIZ. This development includes one of the procurement projects that are essential for the missions, duties, and responsibilities of the 205th Tactical Airlift Wing. This is about the Combat Utility Helicopter Project which is meant to complement existing platforms such as the UH-1 Huey and Bell 412. 

A conceptual outcome of an S-70i Blackhawk Helicopter for the
Philippine Air Force.
Courtesy to the Facebook Page
"MRF for Philippine Air Force"
The Philippine Air Force for Horizon 2 includes the procurement of these Combat Utility Helicopters which will further improve airlifting capabilities of the organization with regards to mission objectives such as troop deployments, airlifting of the wounded troops and munitions in battle, and in case of Humanitarian necessities, supplanting relief goods on areas that badly need immediate concern on basic goods.

The necessity of procuring these airlifting rotary aircraft is primarily due to the incurring service life of the UH-1 Huey helicopters that comprises a significant portion of the Philippine Air Force helicopter fleet. At present, its operations are being compensated by maintenance and supplanting of spare parts such as the ones offered by Japan for the UH-1H variant. 

These said helicopters were supplanted by first, the PZL Sokol Helicopters and eventually, the first sets of Bell 412EPI wherein the former serves under the 505th Search and Rescue Group (with 3 written-off after the series of crashes) and the latter still in service with the 205th Airlift Wing, contemplating to other assets in line to the group's airlifting requirements. 

Hence, this article discussion will deal with the primary workhorse of the Philippine Air Force wherein having the knowledge and understanding with regards to the variants of combat utility helicopters they have is correlated to the capability that they obtain ranging from rapid troop deployment to having an effective supplies and logistics chain, especially on basic supplies that the ground troops need in turning the tide of the war.


The Philippine Air Force currently obtains a sizeable fleet of Combat Utility Helicopters in which these assets have seen combat through the years of their service wherein they were seen action recently in the Battle of Marawi or the Zamboanga Siege years ago where ammunition and supplies are provided to the ground troops. Not to mention that they were also sought action in HADR or Humanitarian Assistance / Disaster Response where relief goods for the affected ones were provided as they badly need basic necessities like food and clothing. Notable examples were the disaster-ravaged areas in the Visayas affected by Typhoon Haiyan or locally known as Yolanda.

The Combat Utility Helicopter fleet currently consists of different variants of Bell UH-1 Huey Helicopters with several traces itself back to the Vietnam War era and the newer Bell 412 Helicopters previously purchased before the cancellation of additional orders from Canada given that the President decided to stop it upon the Canadian review of the deal which cited as a potential usage of it on Human Rights Violations which by nature looks absurd from that point of view. Additional read regarding that matter can be seen in an article we wrote entitled "Military Hardware Sales vs. Imposed and Planned Arms Restrictions" dated April 05, 2018. Such an asset is seen to be effective and cost-efficient in a way that it shares attributes with the UH-1s given that they obtained several similarities in design and was produced by the same manufacturer which is Bell Textron. This goes with the idea back then to how ideal will it be for the Philippine Air Force to reconsider the Bell 412 deal which in itself an idealistic streamlining of logistics as well as obtaining and retaining that interoperability across platforms which streamline personnel training in terms of operating the combat utility helicopter platform together which the same applies with maintenance.

Given the age that the portion of the Philippine Air Force CUH is at present, there are calls that it may get replaced eventually with newer assets if the numbers get sufficient in the long run. Nevertheless, the roles that these old Vietnam War haulers have continues to play on as it is still operational and is being maintained all thanks to new spare parts coming from Japan. Not to mention that newer-purchased ones will more likely to complement the existing assets rather than replace them, with the numbers helping the service branch ease the logistics chain it provides to the rest of the Armed Forces.

The South Koreans at one point offer their locally-produced KUH-1 Surion
Combat Utility Helicopter to the Philippine Air Force.
Image Source.
The Philippine Air Force is currently on the process of procuring additional units of Combat Utility Helicopters which will help improve the existing logistics fleet that the organization obtains in a way that this enhances the capability of the organization to deploy its troops in additional numbers as well as providing additional supplies especially in case of humanitarian assistance where basic necessities will be carried by these rotary assets where it will be addressed to the affected ones.

The partial offer for helicopters is at ten units slated in a project, only to be increased up to sixteen (16) units upon a sweetening offer from a participating supplier. This pertains to Sikorsky's S-70i Black Hawk Helicopter which is currently the preferred candidate for the procurement process in which these units will be produced in their subsidiary in Eastern Europe which is Poland's PZL Mielec. Take note that the Philippine Air Force already obtain several units of Black Hawk Helicopters which were once assigned to the 250th Presidential Airlift Wing and eventually transferred to the 505th Search and Rescue Group.

See related: Knowing the Details About the S70i Black Hawk Combat Utility Helicopter - PDA,  dated December 15, 2018.

In this project, Sikorsky isn't alone about the desire of having that contract where other competitors also seek out in getting this project while showcasing their products and getting the profit in the process.

Other competitors include South Korea's KAI or the Korean Aerospace Industries who is also the one who delivers a squadron of FA-50PH Lead-in Fighter Trainer/Light Combat Aircraft to the Philippine Air Force. Their product is the KUH-1 Surion Combat Utility Helicopter which, in partnership with Eurocopter, is currently in service with the Korean Armed Forces in which this company desires to have the Philippines its first exporter of the helicopters they produced. However, this helicopter is plagued with issues such as the one regarding its rotor blades which caused the fatal crash of a South Korean Marine Corps Helicopter which is the MUH-1 "Marineon", a modified variant of the KUH-1 Surion.

There are also other competitors about this project which are the Leonardo/AgustaWestland AW-139 and the Russian Mi-171 Hip helicopter in which the Philippine Air Force also considers.


We have already provided sufficient information regarding the S-70i Blackhawk Helicopters and KUH-1 Surion in this website through the separate articles we published before this one where their respective development and other technicalities are being discussed therein.

This one will discuss the other two candidates aforementioned where the participating bidders have offered to the Philippine Air Force where there is worth the consideration with regards to this discussion. Like the Blackhawks and the Surions, we will tackle the details that are worth discussing regarding these remaining candidates.

Leonardo/AgustaWestland AW-139 Helicopter

This helicopter is produced by the manufacturer who provided AgustaWestland AW-109 Light Attack Helicopters to the Philippine Air Force where its action was proven in the Marawi Siege which helps to turn the tide of the conflict. The service branch though does not limit themselves in light helicopters alone as they are also seeking more sophisticated and more dedicated attack helicopters to do the job.

Read more: Understanding In Detail the TAI T-129 'ATAK' Combat Attack Helicopter for PAF - Dated December 27, 2019.

Just last year in ADAS 2018, Leonardo is positioned to get an additional percentage to the local Philippine market especially on military projects where they also offer the AW-139 Combat Utility Helicopter to the Philippines alongside AW-109s and AW-159s which the country purchased for its needs. 

Take note that the Philippine Navy will soon obtain the AW-159 Anti-submarine helicopters in its inventory, making it the most sophisticated asset that the service branch will handle as it may get assigned later on to the Jose Rizal-class Frigates currently in construction in a South Korean shipyard with the leading ship of the class scheduled for launching within this month. 

It shows the hope for the people working in Leonardo that like the AW-109s and AW-159s that the country purchased, the same may go to the AW-139s they offered where it doesn't go good for them, unlike the first two helicopter products that were purchased.

The development of Leonardo/AgustaWestland AW-139 started with a joint venture of then-Italian company Agusta and the US-based company Bell way back 1998. Take note that Bell (Now Bell-Textron) is the one who provided UH-1s and Bell 412s that form a bulk of the current Philippine Air Force inventory of Combat Utility Helicopters. 

The AW-139 Combat Utility Helicopter is one of the reasons behind the joint venture alongside the Bell 609 civil tilt-rotor where its development was materialized, with the designation of the helicopter assigned as AB-139. Years later, a military variant of the AW-159 was debuted in February of 2011 for the U.S. Air Force’s Common Vertical Lift Support Program.

Currently, the AW-139 is operated by numerous military and civilian aviation companies and government agencies wherein it provided its performance to the needs these organizations need in achieving their primary objectives or mandates as either a combat utility helicopter or for law enforcement/rescue operations.

Russian Mi-171 Hip helicopter

Aside from the western-oriented military hardware that was mentioned in this article, it is also worth the discussion that a Russian-oriented helicopter such as the Mi-171 is also being provided on the table, while not getting as much exposure as the S-70i Blackhawk Helicopter from Poland through a Sikorsky subsidiary or the KUH-1 Surion Helicopter from South Korea.

It is worth considering that aside from the aforementioned candidates of this deal, this Russian-made helicopter is mentioned in several articles about the Combat Utility Helicopter Project of the Philippine Air Force such as this one here that highlights the sweetening of deals that the Korean Aerospace Industries provide on their Surion Helicopter Products.

This product is an improvement of the Mil Mi-8 helicopter where it was developed during the Soviet era which its age goes almost at par with the UH-1 Huey Helicopters produced by Bell for the United States in which both produced somewhere in the late 50s and the early 60s. 

Take note that the Mil Mi-8s along with the Mi-171 which is considered a variant of this line of helicopters are some of the most-produced units where these are currently in production and servicing multiple armed forces across the world, with Russia obtaining a bulk in its inventory. Most of the countries obtaining them are lenient on the Russian military ecosystem of assets with several civilian companies operating these helicopters.

For specifications, kindly check this information link here.

While this is being offered to the Philippine Government especially in the improvement of the relations of both Russia and the Philippines in diplomatic areas, it will be less likely for them to end up getting the local Philippine military market, at least in terms on purchasing Combat Utility Helicopters such as the Mil Mi-171. 

It is worth the note that the United States is at a full-throttle implementing CAATSA law that poses sanctions against Russian arms companies especially on huge purchases where it affects other projects that a buying country obtains with the United States. Take Turkey as an example where T-129 "ATAK" helicopters are in danger (at least on this deal with Pakistan), wherein the Philippine Air Force also considers it for its Attack Helicopter Project. (This will be provided in a separate article to be written later on).

Nevertheless, it might be nice for the Russians to just keep on improving relations between two countries in a way that it helps things much vibrant in terms of diplomacy, trade, and development. However, with CAATSA on hand, things will definitely go slim for the Philippines to get its hands on Russian tech such as the Mi-171 combat utility helicopters. 

The Russian Mil Mi-171 is being offered to the Philippines, but it is
less likely to be chosen due to CAATSA, and of course to the sweet
offers that LM-Sikorsky offered on their S-70i Black Hawks.
Image Source
The Philippine Air Force is set to increase its capacity in numbers especially in terms of obtaining Combat Utility Helicopters that is set to augment the Bell 412s and the different variants of Bell UH-1 Hueys that the service branch currently obtains.

Among the candidates presented for this project intended for aerial rotary logistics works, the Lockheed Martin/Sikorsky S-70i Combat Utility Helicopter which will be produced by a Polish Subsidiary is currently leading in a way that the Department of National Defense shows the desire of obtaining these US-developed assets for the Philippine Air Force inventory to have later on. 

With 16 units planned for this project, it is ascertained that the service branch may enjoy the increase in capacity in terms of carrying troops and material needed either in a battlefield or in an area concerned in terms of natural calamities. 

Hence, this will mean a lot for the operations of PAF especially in the immediate deployment of necessities that determine the best outcome of a situation whether it is the tides of conflict or immediately addressing the needs of the affected civilians in terms of basic necessities such as clothing, shelter, and food in a Humanitarian crisis.

So, this project goes with the hopes and dreams that will surely help improve the capabilities of the Philippine Air Force wherein this goes the assurance that their deployment will get the government forces in the upper hand in addressing humanitarian and security issues in such a way that this sets a precedent on the eventual victory in terms of deployment of troops and supplies as well as providing an immediate recovery to the affected ones with relief goods being provided as resources are gathered to restart a new way of living once again in the light of a humanitarian disaster, both natural and man-made. 

These assets once materialized and in service, comes the best aspiration for the organization to have in improving its duties and responsibilities as mandated by law which is for the best interest of the country, its sovereignty, and its citizenry. 

In Photos - The BRP Andres Bonifacio off the Coast of Palawan

The current capital ships of the Philippine Navy comes either with the largest ones such as the Tarlac-class Landing Platform Docks or the largest combatant-oriented ones such as the Del Pilar-class ships that are being proposed on changing its naval designation from a frigate to offshore patrol vessel given its current capabilities on firepower (FF to PS). While there are many times that the Del Pilar ships which were the former U.S. Coast Guard cutters discussed on this website, this article will be focused more on the third ship under the class together with the corresponding images and videos compiled together as all of these things were provided all throughout by our Main PDA Data Source in which actual camera gadgetry is used to scoop up the visual content.

One of the photos captured the ship's deployment in the area.

The main combat mainstay of the Philippine Navy consists of Rizal and Malvar-class Corvettes which are both World War 2 vessels, the Jose Rizal-class Frigates being built in South Korea, the incoming Pohang-class corvette in the form of BRP Conrado Yap (PS-39) and the Del Pilar-class Frigates wherein the BRP Andres Bonifacio belonged to that category.

Named after the revolutionary, the BRP Andres Bonifacio is the third of its class of ex-Hamilton-class cutters of the United States Coast Guard that were provided to the Philippine Navy under the Excess Defense Articles and Foreign Assistance Act. Being the former USCGC Boutwell, the BRP Andres Bonifacio already provide its capability in service wherein at the present date, this ship is being deployed on different parts of the country where it is continuously providing a bit of defense it provides as well as the presence needed that signifies its desire of defending the country regardless of its lack of armament that is being addressed through the upgrade that is being made for these class of ships as well as the newer ones like the Jose Rizal-class Frigates that is still currently built in Hyundai Heavy Industries shipyard in South Korea. Apparently, it was reported that it may get reclassified as an Offshore Patrol Vessel or OPV (it was already reclassified, apparently) where it may reduce the number of what is classified as a frigate from three to zero at least until the arrival of the Frigates being built in South Korea. The reasons pointed more to its current capacity as a vessel is carrying the firepower or heavy weapons that will consider it as such. The upgrades it currently undertakes may prevent it from falling down to that category given that its size provides the space for upgrades that will render it a more capable asset in carrying out a combat-related kind of task.

While those current events about the ships is something with regards to the role and capabilities of these former Coast Guard cutters now serving as part of the Philippine Navy fleet, the images we will provide in this article shows the symbol of the nation's desire of protecting the country even in a way that it still lacks the heavy weapons it needs that may be provided later on.


Here are the images and film media that were captured in association with the BRP Andres Bonifacio that was deployed in a known attraction in Palawan at the time when the data was gathered through the use of a camera. The ship's sight from the surrounding as well as the setting is astounding on its own worth, giving a nice addition on the view in a way that they also provide a bit of security in the area.
A ship can be seen on the horizon, at a beach filled with tourists.

In the first photo, the BRP Andres Bonifacio can be seen from afar along with the islands that consist of the setting of the shoreline where the ship's shape and design reflect from a sun setting scenery. Take note that this was taken from a sandy shore that obtained the number of tourists from different nations.
The crimson color of the sunset makes the shape of the ship a bit clearer.

In the next photo, the sun setting on the horizon makes the backdrop clearer for the ship's shape especially its superstructure and its array towers where the radars are fitted. If this was taken from a more sophisticated camera, it will make the scenery more appalling in a way that the ship provides a nice addition aside from its intended role of protecting the country's waters.
This image was shot on board a boat.

This image was provided on the following day, on board a small vessel while traveling to another island that was being visited also by tourists. The BRP Andres Bonifacio can be seen afar, and the following photos that will be provided here will get the closer shot of the ship until it was reached on the point that the closest shot possible was captured in-camera.
The ship's detail gets clearer as the vessel gets closer - in clear weather.
The bow section of the ship is seen, with details of the bridge
and its radar mast, as well as the Fire Control Radar, can clearly be seen in detail.

As seen here, the craft that the photographer gathered about the vessel passed to its bow section or the front of the ship wherein its shape from the front, from the bridge up to the mast, can be seen clearly. The following photographs that will be posting here will be the nearest one that we can provide where the ship and its shape against the background gets detailed.

The clearest thing we can get in gathering the photos of the ship.
To take note, folks, the horizon at the background of the ship is already the West Philippine Sea where the Kalayaan Island Group is situated, currently facing threats coming from the Chinese Maritime Militias and Coast Guard vessels wherein, as far as Filipino fishermen are concerned, are not favoring them as these elements keep them from getting their livelihood that is a necessity to keep feeding their families. 

As time progress throughout the day, tourism-related activities have been done wherein the enjoyment of being in a summer paradise gets along. It was not until the afternoon where other sets of images are provided on still, a similar vessel that was deployed on its position since the first images were provided in this article. The following, like the first set of images, are once again puts a nice scenery over the ship as the sun sets by the horizon.

The ship is in the foreground, with an island in the background.

The foreground and the background in the following images show the shade of both the ship and the island as it is against the sun. The ship is still deployed in its area throughout the day which helps capture these remaining images.

The ship's appearance in this part of the country is something that comes with amazement and appreciation that the crew onboard are doing their duties and responsibilities and the vessel is clearly deployed in various places such as the one captured in images where we can see that they are keen on sailing and continuing their duties and responsibilities as mandated to them being the maritime component of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.


The images simply have shown what is usually not being provided at times regarding their whereabouts which at sense define their duties and responsibilities in line with their mandate, wherein there goes the idea that patrolling the waters is for the best interest of the country's maritime setup.

It definitely goes to its role as an Offshore Patrol Vessel wherein it provides presence and ensuring the security of the territorial waters, much in line to the mandate of the Philippine Coast Guard, although the Navy has it more with the military application of showing that the country is ensuring its sovereignty, safety, and peacefulness among the citizenry which in itself is commendable on its own worth. The images provided are something worth showing with regards to their duties in which they are still on that resolve of doing the mandate especially on this particular coast which is at a proximity to the nearest hostile outpost in the West Philippine Sea controlled by China.

Hence, this may go to the necessity for the Philippine Navy to provide more vessels, especially offshore patrol vessels and combatant ones like Frigates and Corvettes which are all slated in various timeline plans of the AFP Modernization Program in its entirety although there are uncertainties as these setups may change from time to time. The point is that here is the resolve for the country to provide more floating naval assets in a way that seeing them on the horizon provided somewhat some peace of mind for the country's maritime security.




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