The Joneses….Self Propelled Howitzers and Mortars

RDM 155mm VLAP ammunition. The round has a range of 70km. Used for illustration only. RDM

SHAH ALAM: The Joneses…The Philippines Army has taken delivery of 15 armoured mortar carriers and a dozen or so 155mm self propelled howitzers on the eve of the new year. Both the mortar carriers and SPH were procured from Elbit Systems of Israel as part of the Philippine Army (PA) modernisation project.

The PA announced the delivery of the mortar carriers on its Facebook page on January 10. The release stated:

The Philippine Army, through its Armor Division, has acquired a newly delivered 15 M125A2 Armored Mortar Carrier (AMC) equipped with 120mm Mounted Mortar System (MMS) from Israel’s Elbit Systems on December 29, 2021.
The newly delivered 15 AMCs are for inspection within the first quarter of the year by the Technical Inspection and Acceptance Committee (TIAC) before acceptance and employment to the Army’s field units.
The new AMCs are part of the Philippine Army modernization project that will capacitate the country’s land force’s credible defence posture from various threats, local and international.

The Philippine Army newly delivered 120mm mortar carriers. PA

Meanwhile Shephard News reported also January 10 that the PA took delivery of a dozen or so ATMOS 155mm SPH on December 28, 2021. It says :

A shipment of a dozen ATMOS 2000 155mm L/52 truck-mounted howitzers from Israel arrived by ship at Subic Bay in the Philippines on 28 December 2021.

Shephard viewed photos of the vehicles upon their arrival in Subic Bay, showing the howitzers mounted on MAN 6×6 truck chassis with a four-door armoured cab. Also present in the delivery were MAN support vehicles such as for ammunition resupply

Atmos 155mm SPH. Elbit

The PA is now the second operator of the Atmos SPH in Asean after the Royal Thai Army. Another Asia Pacific army has ordered Elbit Systems Sigma SPH it was announced last November. The contract is valued at US$106 million.
Sigma 155mm SPH.

Both the mortar carriers and SPH were ordered by the Philippines via a government-to-government deal.

— Malaysian Defence


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About Marhalim Abas 2223 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. The PA has a long list of stuff badly in need of replacement. It still has 105mms which are even older than our Model 56s. Units also have the shoulder fired M-20 which we replaced in the 1970’s. The question really is whether the government is able to maintain a certain level of funding over the next few years to enable to PA to make inroads with its long overdue modernisation plans.

  2. Armored Mortar Carrier, Atmos SPH, Sabra Light Tank, Pandur II tank killerr, New APC by Iveco, Brahmos Anti-ship,Brahmis Coastal Dedense, 2 frigate, 2 Corvette, 6 OPV, 9 Shaldag MK V with 8 cell ER missile, Wongbi Trainer Aircraft,5 C-130J, 48 Balck Hawk, 17 Mil, Spyder Defense System, 1,000 RPG, Hubdreds of bunker buster, anothe 2 Pohang, c-star anti-ship missile, Simbad missile 1 OPV Gabriela Silang 84 meters 6 patrol from France, 2 OPV from Japan 97 meters, 10 Patrol Craft from Japan 43 meters..more than 300k of mix small automatic rifle and many more.
    On the pipeline MRF and Submarine. ALL i can Say Duterte is serious in Phil. Modernization…what more in their Horizon 3 the specification for their frigate is 4,000+ tons and length 125 -130 meters.. Pinoy is already awake…

  3. prior to ascod, the filipino actually have their own tanks, the M41 walker bulldog. its gun could even penetrate base T-55 with the right type of ammunition. But sadly they’re being retired rathee prematurely as tanks, even a comparatively light ones like the M41, costs more to operate than wheeled FSVs like the Simba (that and Marcos being Marcos). Losing them not only meant that they lost any semblance of armor capability, but also institional knowledge

    Also the lack of armor really bit them in ass as shown in both Zamboanga and Marawi conflict, the battle is needlessly long due to filipino military didn’t have armor elements to break through the enemy defences abd clear up path for infantry, especially as the enemy didn’t have any meaningful anti armor capability

  4. @Lee Yoke Meng
    You’d stand a better to removing that “…valid for all countries except Israel” T&C from your passport before we’d openly admit and pursue Israeli stuff.

  5. Azlan their GDP now is $446 billion dollars they already overtake Malaysia $359 billion dollars. They have now a less Debt than Malaysia ranked 30 in the world, while Philippine Ranked 57…And they lend 1 Billion US Dollars in the United Nations for helping poor nations.

  6. Jun – ”They have now a less Debt than Malaysia”

    Good but is this an actual indicator of how good or things are? The U.S. has a larger national debt than Malaysia.

    The Philippines has indeed come a long way [in some ways but not all it’s easier to do business there and the level of English far surpasses us]; it’s attracting growing FDI; major call centres are located there; it has a large OFW comminity [about 10 percent of the population] which sends billions back annually; there is a growing middle class; etc but let’s not cherry pick; there is still a large gap between the rich and poor; a large and widespread poverty problem; a large part of the population doesn’t pay taxes; there are parts of the country in control of non state actors – the NPA; there is a longstanding issue with the ASG, BIFF, Maute Group; society is polarised over politics and various other issues [like here]; lie us inflation and rising prices are a major probl,; etc.

    Getting back to the AFP; recent acquisitions are long overdue and welcomed but the danger [like us] is that they will mostly stick to a buying a ”bit but not enough of everything” syndrome and that sustained funding the long run might be a challenge. Bear in mind that the AFP has much larger operational commitments than the MAF on account of the country being spread out over an archipelego but it has been in a far longer state of neglect. It has a much bigger liost of things which are long overdue for replacement.

  7. dundun – ”But sadly they’re being retired rathee prematurely as tanks, ”

    Because they were 60 years old [or more] and because they were not needed; other assets were in place.

    dundun – ”Also the lack of armor really bit them in ass as shown in both Zamboanga and Marawi conflict”

    It was not a ”lack” of armour but thinly protected armour. M113s/Simbas/V-100/50s were employed successfully [with engineering assets] and played a vital role but they were thinly armoured; hence the use of planks and other means to increase protection.

    dundun – ”needlessly long due to filipino military didn’t have armor elements to break through the enemy defences”

    Incorrect. The battle was needlessly long because that is the very nature of urban ops: look at how long it tool the Syrians and Yanks to tale Aleppo and Mosul. Months..
    Also; troops were under strict ROEs and had to factor in the presence of numerous civilians still stuck in the combat zone. On top pf that most troops had never been in the city and had little or no urban training.

    I had a good walk about in the city in 2019; devastated. Looking at the way it’s laid out and the river; as well as the tunnels used by the insurgents; one appreciates the problems faced by the AFP. One of the PMC Colonels who was there was a graduate of our Staff College, Highgate.

    dundun – ”especially as the enemy didn’t have any meaningful anti armor capability”

    I can assure you the RPG-2, M-20s and IEDS were very meaningful to the crews of vehicles which were hit…..

    Jun – ”Azlan their GDP now is $446 billion dollars they already overtake Malaysia $359 billion dollars.”

    Irrespective. To maintain what the AFP is doing requires a sustained level of funding over a set number of years. This really remains to be seen, politics is a major issue; as are various internal problems faced. After decades of neglect; the AFP needs sustained funding to do what it needs to.

    Jun – ”ALL i can Say Duterte is serious in Phil. Modernization”

    Plans were put in place way before Durterte came into power…

    Dundun – ”the filipino actually have their own tanks, the M41 walker bulldog. ”

    They ”has”. Also had Stuarts, Shermans, M-3s and M-8s. Armour played a part in the Huk rebellion; the 1970’s civil war and the campaigns fought in the 1980’s to the present; as convoy escorts, bade protection and fire support.

  8. Lee – ”Why cant we buy from Israel when the middle east is already dealing with them”

    We do not recognise the state of Israel because it’s based on post 1967 borders which were taken in the 6 Day War and have not been returned in violation of UN Resolution 242; that’s why…… Many years ago the PLO openly stated that whether or not we wanted ties with Israel was entirely up to us. As things stand it would be political suicide for any Malaysian government to recognise Israel until there is a ”2 state” solution and until the status of Jerusalem. the occupied West Bank and the blockaded Gaza is resolved. Like many other countries we do or have had back door channels of communications. There; that’s your question answered.

    Also; the ”Middle East” is not ”dealing with them” per see but certain individual countries which as part of the Abraham Accords normalised relations with Israel to further ingratiate themselves with Trump in order to safeguard themselves from Iran. Much of the Arab world still does not have official ties with Israel.

  9. dundun – ”what exactly the stuff that Israel produced that other countries didn’t have?”

    The right question to ask is what is it about Israeli products which make them so appealing to many countries? The Israelis are innovative and they’ve considered pioneers or leaders in various things [UASs, EW, AI, etc]. Look at the work they’ve performed for next gen tanks; a M-113 tech demonstrator with 360 degree view from the inside to provide great SA without the need to stick ones head out of a hatch. This is in line with conceptual/actual moves by many countries for future tanks/IFVs to have unmanned turrets and the crew in a protected ”capsule” in the hull; as a means of increasing survivability.

    A lot of the stuff they sell has also been employed in combat, is offered at competitive prices and is not reliant of foreign partners or supplier chains.

  10. Incorrect to say they are not reliant of foreign partners or supply chains. Israel have close relationships with US & European defence companies and many have setup offices, R&D centers, and production facilities in Israel and vice versa Israeli defence companies too have presence in the West.

  11. ”Incorrect to say they are not reliant of foreign partners or supply chains.”

    Before you hit the keyboard claiming something is ‘incorrect’ first understand what was said and it what context… Again; ”a lot of the stuff they sell ….is not reliant of foreign partners or supplier chains.”

    I didn’t say that they are totally not reliant on foreign partners for everything they do but that a lot of what they sell is not ”reliant of foreign partners or supplier chains.”

  12. On a related note regarding Pinoy, they have just ordered 32 Blackhawks(S70i) for USD $620mil or $19mil each which is quite pricey when a standard civvie config Hawk is only USD $15mil a pop. Pinoy Menhan specifically mentioned these are for HADR so could the rescue gear cost $4mil extra per chopper? Seems excessive.

  13. Joe = Phil. Airforce just send a NOA for purchase of 16 M134D Gatling Guns for the 1st 16 units Blackhawks delivered last year. NOA send last Dec.31,2921. I will not surprised if the 32 Blackhawk will have also a Gatling gun in the future. They already removing the older version of Huey Helicopter in their fleet..

  14. Jun – ”I will not surprised if the 32 Blackhawk will have also a Gatling gun”

    What is there to be surprised about? Some of the Hueys have long been armed at act as ”gunships” or to provide suppressive fire at landing zones [a task also performed by the Defenders]. It’s granted that the Blackhawks will also be armed.

    Jun – ”They already removing the older version of Huey Helicopter in their fleet..”

    Yes. Some date from the 1970’s and have been steadily retired over the years.

  15. the flipa bought them through commercial sales rather than FMS so it’s not surprising why the price is a bit higher

  16. dundun – ”so it’s not surprising why the price is a bit higher”

    It could also be due to documentation;, spares, training, etc. FMS deals tend to be higher because fee has to be paid for services rendered but various aspects associated with a direct commercial sale can also drive prices up.

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