MANILA, -- The Philippine Marine Corps (PMC) will benefit from new amphibious vehicles and unmanned aircraft systems being introduced over the next two years.
In March the Philippines ordered eight Korea Amphibious Assault Vehicles (KAAV) from Hanwha Techwin for PHP2.423 billion ($52.6 million). An integrated logistics support package was included in the contract sum.
The KAAV is a licence-built version of the BAE Systems AAV7A1. HoJun Shin, manager of the overseas sales team of Hanwha Techwin’s defence business unit, confirmed that his company is ready for serial production.
A significant number of indigenously built AAVs are in service with the Republic of Korea Marine Corps, but the company has to restart the production line to fulfil this first export order.
All eight are AAVP7A1 personnel-carrying variants fitted with a one-man turret mounting a K4 40mm automatic grenade launcher and K6 12.7mm machine gun.
A Philippine Navy spokesperson confirmed that four AAVs will be delivered in August 2018 and the remaining quartet in December the same year.
Under Horizon 2 of its modernisation plan, the PMC will be seeking additional AAVs as well.
Small unmanned aircraft system -
A second piece of new equipment destined for the PMC is a UAV being obtained under the Marine Fleet Imagery Targeting Support System programme.
This solution is being supplied by Triton Communications Corporation, a Philippine company. Citing a confidentiality agreement, Triton declined to name the UAV platform, though it could confirm it comes from overseas.
Shephard understands the Super Swiper UAV from Emmen Aerospace is the platform selected by the Philippines. The hand-launched Super Swiper has a maximum two-hour endurance and 16km range.
The MITSS is due to be delivered to the marines by June 2017.
The Republic of Korea Marine Corps Samsung Techwin's KAAV7A1 amphibious assault vehicle.
The Emmen Aerospace SUPER SWIPER small unmanned aircraft system (SUAS).