15 units of M125A2 Armored Mortar Carrier (AMC) with 120mm Mounted Mortar System (MMS) were delivered on December 29, 2021 by Elbit Systems of Israel as part of the deliverables for the Revised AFP Modernization Program under Horizon 2. The fleet of armored vehicles with improved mounted arsenal under the Mounted Mortar Acquisition Project of the Army will be part of the firepower upgrade for the Mechanized Infantry Battalions and soon to be reactivated Tank Battalion of the Armor Division, Philippine Army.
Included in the agreement with Elbit Systems is the upgrading of the five (5) existing M113A2 AMCs with 81mm mortar to 120mm mortar to standardize the caliber of the AMC fleet, and the conduct of 120mm Mortar Cardom Operations and Maintenance Training by January 2022 which features Mortar Gunnery, Fire Direction Officers, and Forward Observers Training. For its firepower capability, the Soltam Cardom 120mm recoil mortar system mounted on the M125A2 Armored Carrier is an autonomous, computerized system that has a range of 7,000 meters and a maximum fire rate of 16 rounds per minute operated by four crewmen. The AMC with MMS is used by the US Army, Israeli Defense Force, and NATO countries.
MGEN EFREN P BALUYOT, the Commander of Armor Division, Philippine Army said that this self-propelled firepower upgrade is an added game changer in land warfare because it provides close and immediate indirect fire support for maneuver units while allowing for quick deployment in tactical situations.
He emphasized that more modernization projects are on the pipeline for this coming year such as the Wheeled Armored Personnel Carrier Acquisition Project, APC Firepower Upgrade with Enclosed Weapon System (EWS), and the Light Tank Acquisition Project all contributing to a credible defense posture in land domain.
These new game changing assets of the Philippine Army will definitely provide an edge over the enemies of the nation through accurate acquisition of targets, preserve ground troops, and conserve resources of our forces. It is expected that these new capabilities will contribute in fulfilling our common goal and aspiration of ending the local communist armed conflict in our country, and will be added to the list of lethal firepower assets for territorial defense in the Philippine Army’s inventory.
January 11, 2022