Back in May of this year, the Philippine Army announced it will be receiving a new fleet of armored vehicles. This comes after the government was able to secure a deal with Israel for the procurement of 20 Sabrah light tanks.

Fast forward to December 2022, the PH Army's armor unit has officially been upgraded with the arrival of the first Sabrah light tank in the country. The tank was displayed during the 87th anniversary of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) at Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City yesterday which was graced by President Ferdinand “Bong Bong” Marcos Jr.

First Sabrah light tank of PH Army has arrived image

Based on the ASCOD platform, the Sabrah shown during the 87th anniversary of the AFP comes with a 105mm cannon as its main armament and is complemented by a 7.62mm coaxial machine gun. Powering the Sabrah is an eight-cylinder Cummins turbo-diesel engine that sends power to tracks.

The Armor Division is expected to receive 20 more Sabrah light tanks that roll on tracks from Israeli defense manufacturer Elbit Systems Land. In addition, 10 Pandur II wheeled armored vehicles are set to arrive between 2023 to 2024 from Steyr-Daimler-Puch. Like the Sabrah, the Pandur II is also armed with a 105mm main gun.

The new tanks will be instrumental in the reactivation of the 1st Tank Battalion which will field the Sabrah and Pandur II armored vehicles.