Indonesian APS-3 Panser Anoa 6x6 Armored Personnel Carrier for the Philippine Army?

The Philippine Army, along with other branches of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, is in its process of having its procurement projects getting materialized as the tools they needed are something that will help them uphold their duties and responsibilities as they are now coping with both threats inside and outside of the country with respective military weaponry and units being utilized to get the job done.

PT Pindad Panser Anoa Philippine Army
Indonesian-made Armored Personnel Carrier offered to the
Philippine Army.
Obtained via Wikimedia Commons.
It is known that the Armed Forces of the Philippines is working with the greatest effort to Modernize the organization on a higher level, of which military branches like the Philippine Army is doing what it can to form new units, add more manpower, and most of all pouring resources on several procurement projects which help uphold their duties and responsibilities in the process.

Moreover, it is known that the Philippine Army currently has a handful of Armored Personnel Carriers in its inventory, coming in the form of V-150 Chamites, GKN Simbas and the numerous M-113 Armored Personnel Carrier which has come with various weapons fits wherein the recent ones include upgrades on weapons systems and firepower as provided by Elbit Systems of Israel coming in the form of UT-25 gun turrets and remote-controlled weapons systems (RCWS).

Given the age of several of those aforementioned armored personnel carriers, especially to the wheeled variants, it will be not surprising for the Armed Forces especially for the Philippine Army to take that approach of modernizing such a fleet of military platforms to effectively augment the numbers needed for these units to be employed in combat and eventually getting them replaced along the way.

It is worth taking note that this discussion will involve a neighboring Southeast Asian country wherein its military-industrial self-reliance comes with the story which will help them bolster their entry on the weapons export market in a manner that improves this industrial field which in the process improves their economy and their desires of getting a firm foothold on this market.

This neighboring Southeast Asian manufacturer is also the one that is marketing this armored personnel vehicle in which it is also in service in the country of origin wherein it complies with the qualifications needed in terms of considering this offer for the procurement process covering this project for the Philippine Army.

PT Pindad Panser Anoa's production line. Take note that it is
with this vehicle that they pitch on for the Philippine Army
Armored Personnel Carrier (wheeled) program.
Courtesy to Deutsches Asienforschungszentrum's website.
PT-Pindad (Persero) is an Indonesian State-owned military enterprise in which it goes reminiscent to the Philippine's Government Arsenal, only that the former specializes its manufacturing capability to the production of armored vehicles like the Panser Anoa (as seen in the image of its production line) as well as being operated as a form of a Government Controlled Corporation and the latter specializing itself on the production of firearms ammunitions and refurbishment of government-issued firearms with its management primarily under the Department of National Defense.

Its history started with the Dutch Colonial Era which was governing Indonesia which was known at that time as the Dutch East Indies wherein in 1808, it's Governor-General William Herman Daendels established a workshop which is intended for procurement, maintenance, and repairs of the Netherlands Colonial Forces' military arsenal wherein it is called as the Constructie Winkel, which was renamed in 1851 as the  Artilerie Constructie Winkel (ACW), wherein these workshops are situated in Surabaya.

Throughout the colonial period, it served as an instrument for the Dutch Colonial Government to produce military equipment and munitions of which it will be utilized by its forces as part of their operations in the East Indies wherein they decided to transfer their workshops to Bandung during the First World War wherein the Netherlands involved.

After the Japanese surrender in 1945 (of which they utilize these workshops/factories throughout the Second World War as part of their occupation in Indonesia), the factories are compiled together which became the Leger Produktie Bedrijven (LPB), wherein its organization setup remained until the Dutch recognition of the Indonesian Independence in 1949 in which they subject to turn-over colonial assets to the newly-formed government of which it includes the LPB.

At the first organization of the Indonesian Government, the Leger Produktie Bedrijven (LPB) was renamed as the Pabrik Senjata dan Mesiu (PSM) or the Weapons and Ammunitions Factory, then to Pabal AD and eventually to Pindad, under the management of the Indonesian National Army or the Tentara Nasional Indonesia - Ankatan Darat (TNI-AD) wherein it produces military equipment and munitions for the Indonesian Military.

Those periods of being under the Indonesian National Armed Forces go reminiscent of the operations of the Philippine Government Arsenal of the current date where weaponry and munitions are being produced and refurbished as it provides the needs of the Philippine Armed Forces as well as those for the Philippine National Police.

PT Pindad became a limited company which is its current composition in 1978 as the government seeks transfer of technology wherein it goes with their own desire to have an indigenous military industry as well as to advance further self-reliance in providing more sophisticated military platforms from just basic weapons and munitions in which its stocks are majority controlled by the Indonesian Government (which is their own form of a Government-Owned and Controlled Corporation).

French VAB Panser Anoa Indonesia
Anoa's design seen semblance to the French VAB, of which
it is utilized currently by Indonesia. Obtained via Wikimedia Commons.
The Panser Anoa is indeed an armored personnel carrier proudly made in Indonesia, although its story will not be completed without giving an ideal picture regarding its design and development before getting in service within Indonesia's National Armed Forces, especially to its Army.

Its inspiration may be seen in another armored personnel carrier which is currently in service with the Indonesian Armed Forces wherein this was produced by a country situated in Europe, by a country that is also known for exporting valuable military equipment of various types to countries that has an interest in obtaining them in the same way as to how the United States and other countries do arms export.

Coming into this picture is the French VAB or known as Vehicule de l’Avant Blinde where was produced by France's Nexter Systems which was formerly the Giat Industries with its production units of VAB Armored Personnel Carriers currently in service in at least 15 countries which includes France itself and Indonesia where they get the cue for the Panser Anoa's design.

As for the development of the Panser Anoa, or APS-3 as it is designated by Pindad, it all started in 2003 when the Indonesian government laid down the framework for a new armored personnel carrier in which the PT Pindad, being a Limited Company with stocks owned by the Indonesian Government initiated its development for such a unit needed by the Indonesian National Army.

Three years later, the APS-3 was unveiled by the manufacturer followed by its production wherein the first 150 units have delivered to the Indonesian Armed Forces, validating along the process its current qualification in the standards that the Philippine Defense Department seeks on military procurement in terms of being utilized by the manufacturer's country of origin.

It takes three more years for the Indonesian Government to utilize these indigenously-built armored personnel carriers in combat operations which shows the capability of an Indonesian Defense Industry like PT Pindad in producing such a platform on a massive scale that provides that assured self-reliance that the country needs, something that provides the Philippines some example for its own Self-Reliance Defense Posture or SRDP.

Now, they are expanding it up by selling these proudly made in Indonesia military asset in which they set sights on its neighboring Southeast Asian Country which have set precedent to the interest of getting this topic discussed in the first place, which this move goes reminiscent to another Indonesian defense industrial component that has successfully sold their respective products to the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

PT Pindad Panser Anoa Specifications
The PT Pindad Panser Anoa's Specifications.
Click to enlarge.
Image Source.
The specification of the PT Pindad product Panser Anoa is provided in an image above as resourced from the Military Factory Website in which its primary user the Indonesian National Army (Tentara Nasional Indonesia - Angkatan Darat or TNI-AD) obtains around 308 units of such platform and remains the sole user of these armored personnel carriers to date.

Its production numbers provide the capacity that PT Pindad obtains in producing these armored personnel carriers in which they are up to the challenge of marketing its products abroad given its prominent use within the Indonesian Armed Forces in the hopes of getting an export customer as they have the desire of getting a fair share of the international defense market.

Its service alone in the Indonesian Armed Forces satisfies the procurement requirements that the Armed Forces of the Philippines obtain where one country of origin or at least two countries have such platforms actively used as opposed to the other candidate that PT Pindad also pushes which is the Harimau Hitam (also known as the Kaplan MT) for the Army's Light Tank Acquisition Project - Tracked tank portion.

Its size goes reminiscent of the known armored personnel carriers/infantry fighting vehicles that were discussed here such as the original ASCOD Infantry Fighting Vehicle (with the ASCOD II MMBT being a candidate for the Philippine Army Light Tank Project - tracked variant) and the Pandur II Infantry Vehicle (with its fire support variant being a candidate for the same Light Tank Project for wheeled variant) where the size range comes at a length of 5.7 (Pandur 1) up to 7.5-7.6 m (Pandur 2/ASCOD - Austrian ULAN) with the width of 2.5 (both Pandur and Panser Anoa) up to 3.4 m (ASCOD - Austrian ULAN).

Its powerplant is a French-made Renault MIDR 062045 diesel engine which is also can be found on the French-made Vehicule de l’Avant Blinde or VAB that the APS-3 Panser Anoa was derived upon which produces 320 horsepower which is more powerful than the Cummins ISC 350 diesel that powers the Pandur 2 IFV while it is lesser than the MTU V8 199 T21 diesel engine that is provided on an Austrian ULAN IFV, an ASCOD variant.

As compared to the French VAB in which the APS-3 Panser Anoa was derived (with its development traced way back 1976), there comes a semblance wherein the specifications of both platforms are almost similar one after the other, with the Indonesian Panser Anoa garnering an additional single seat for the crew with a bit more powerful engine derived from the same manufacturer (such as Renault), almost similar in dimension and having a range less than half than the VAB.

The APS-3 with its specifications is something that the Indonesian Armed Forces seeks in its fleet of armored personnel carriers which is the thing that the Philippine Army may consider given that both countries share the same attributes in its topography and geographic features wherein such capabilities are something of an additive for the latter as it keeps on modernizing for the better.

Philippine Army GKN Simba Panser Anoa
A Philippine Army GKN Simba on Display. Image courtesy of
Wikimedia Commons.
The Philippine Army currently obtains a handful of wheeled armored personnel carriers in its inventory along with tracked ones which point particularly to the M-113 Armored Personnel Carrier wherein several of such units were upgraded recently with several sophisticated fitted weaponry of various types as provided by an Israeli Company.

Its wheeled Armored Personnel Carriers come at two variables - the GKN Simba in which it was produced by GKN Sankey which is now currently part of BAE Systems situated in the United Kingdom, and the V-150 Cadillac Gage Commando wherein both are still in service within the Philippine Army as of the current date.

As for the GKN Simba wherein the Philippine Army being the sole user of such type of Armored Personnel Carriers in the world, its specifications are roughly similar to the Indonesian APS-3 Panser Anoa offer as it obtains almost similar 600-kilometer range while the GKN Simba being lighter than the APS-3 at 11.2 tons as opposed to 14 tons with its engines getting lesser horsepower than on the platform that PT Pindad offered.

There are also some rough similarities with another wheeled Armored Personnel Carrier that the Philippine Army obtains which is the V-150 Cadillac Gage Commando as its specifications have gone reminiscent with the GKN Simba which correlates its weight at 11 tons while being powered by a single 202 horsepower Chrysler V-104 diesel engine which has lesser output than the APS-3 Panser Anoa and obtains that roughly-similar 600-kilometer range that the two aforementioned wheeled armored personnel carriers obtain.

Given these details, the APS-3 does not provide too much of a feature that will show as an improvement over the existing platforms that the Philippine Army has in its inventory wherein both the V-150 Cadillac Gage Commando and the GKN Simba have almost similar capabilities that the APS-3 Panser Anoa to provide, only that these two types of armored personnel carrier platforms are taking its age which affects its efficiency in MRO or Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul.

Moreover, it is worth highlighting that while the V-150 has a lot of users that are worthy of sourcing spare parts for its operations, the GKN Simba wherein the Philippine Army being the sole user of such platform may be seen as a problem in terms of its operations in the long run as the source for spare parts may go scarce which hampers its own logistical chain in which the APS-3 Panser Anoa offer by PT Pindad may be seen as an ideal thing to have.

From here, it may not be that surprising if the idea of having the GKN Simba wheeled Armored Personnel Carriers replaced, later on, gets arise as the idea of simplifying the logistical chain and having a source for spare parts needed in maintenance and repair are necessities to keep these armored vehicles operational for the years to come, with the APS-3 Panser Anoa having that support from its manufacturer PT Pindad which aspires to export its product and currently used by the Indonesian Armed Forces.

Indonesia PT PAL BRP Davao Del Sur Tarlac-class LPD
Philippine Marine Corps KAAV-7s disembarking from BRP
Davao del Sur's well deck.
Obtained from DVIDSHUB.
Through the recent years, it is worth notable that even before the offers made for the APS-3 Panser Anoa Armored Personnel Carrier of PT Pindad for the Philippine Army use for its inventory, there are already several Indonesian defense industries of various types that have managed to seal the deal with the Armed Forces of the Philippines which deals with different military equipment as needed across different military service branches.

One of those defense industries that have first set the trend for Indonesian military export of defense equipment is PT PAL Persero in which it provided two Landing Platform Docks for the Philippine Navy wherein it was derived from the Banjarmasin-class Landing Platform Docks which in turn derived itself from the Korean-designed Makassar-class Landing Platform Docks known as the Tarlac-class Landing Platform Docks with two ships currently in service which are the BRP Tarlac (LD-601) and the BRP Davao del Sur (LD-602, as seen in the image above).

Another project that was made in Indonesia that has found its way to the inventory of the Philippine Armed Forces is the NC-212i Light Lift Aircraft that the Philippine Air Force accepted way back June 26, 2018, wherein they ordered two units of such type of aircraft that was made by another Indonesian defense industry which is the PT Dirgantara which produces aircraft for both the Indonesian Armed Forces and also for export, with the design of the NC-212i derived from the EADS-CASA which was absorbed eventually to the Airbus Military as the C-212 Aviocar.

Aside from these platforms that were accepted into the Armed Forces of the Philippines, it's worth considering that PT Pindad as a manufacturer is also pitching for another type of armored vehicle intended for another military acquisition project specified to those for the Philippine Army which is the Harimau Hitam (Kaplan MT) vehicle for the country's Light Tank Acquisition Project - tracked portion with its competitors is the ASCOD 2 MMBT from the General Dynamics European Land System (and pitched by Israel's Elbit Systems) and the K21-105 Medium Tank from South Korea's Hanwha Systems who also secured the award for the Philippine Marine Corps' eight-unit KAAV-7 Amphibious Assault Vehicles.

These platforms are just some of the examples that have provided wherein the Philippines have several of its military platforms supplanted by its fellow ASEAN neighbor whose military industry is on its rise as they are aspiring with the sale of these platforms which in the process increase their prominence in the international defense market.

It serves as a win-win for both sides wherein the buyer gets the assets it needs to continuously carry out its duties and responsibilities as defenders of the nation while the supplier getting its defense industry to grow further as this prospect help boost their local economy as well as to sustain this industry that will help them obtain the tools in terms of self-reliance for the years to come.

This goes to show the relations between the Philippines and Indonesia as neighbors which are getting stronger after its foundations way back in 1949 wherein it goes with the commonality that both of these nations have in terms of being both the members in ASEAN with improving economies, a democratic form of government and having similar geographic set up in a form of an archipelago.

PT Pindad Panser ANOA Philippine Army Technology Day 2019
PT Pindad Panser Anoa on display on the Philippine Army
Technology Day 2019.
Image Source.
Recently, PT Pindad showcased its key military products in a Philippine Army even such as the one from the 2019 AFP Anniversary as they displayed their products such as the Panser Anoa (as indicated on the image above) along with the Harimau Hitam Tank as both have participated on the service branch's Wheeled Armored Personnel Carrier Acquisition Project and Light Tank Acquisition Project, respectively.

This definitely shows that the company is pitching that hard wherein this action, shall they manage to win a contract in any of the projects they participated, may mean additional leverage in gaining a foothold on their part as they have the desire of increasing their presence in the export military defense market, with these developments being considered as the first export prospect for this Indonesian based defense industry.

It is not a first for Indonesia to export military equipment for the Philippine Armed Forces as they already did it through PT PAL Persero's Tarlac-class Landing Platform Docks (wherein they have the chance to bag the project for two more additional Landing Platform Docks for the Philippine Navy) and through PT Digantara as they exported the NC-212s for the requirements needed by the Philippine Air Force.

Given the points provided above, it is not far from a certainty that such a platform may go considered as the Panser Anoa is being actively produced by its Manufacturer and being utilized by the Indonesian Armed Forces, as the Philippine Army may see the desire of getting such platforms that will help augment its existing platforms like the GKN Simba and the V-150 Cadillac Gage and eventually having them replaced as logistically needed in the long run.

Overall, this project is part of the Armed Forces of the Philippines' Grand Scheme of things as they keep on pushing their Modernization efforts as capabilities are being enhanced which helps them carry out their duties and responsibilities mandated to them by the laws the country has enacted with the aspiration of keeping the nation and its citizens safe and its interest safeguarded for the benefit of the people in the generations to come.

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