It's no secret that our country's armed forces are in the process of modernizing their equipment. Just last month, the 1st Tank Battalion was reactivated thanks to the new Sabrah Light Tanks from Israel.

But apparently, our soldiers aren't just getting modern warfare tools from other countries, but could also receive locally-made High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles, or in short, the country's own version of the Humvee soon.

Pinoy Humvee: PH company developing tactical vehicle for AFP image

This prototype was designed and is being developed by Anos Research Manufacturing (ARM), a Philippine private automotive company that's known for manufacturing specialty vehicles such as fire trucks, ambulances, and now, military vehicles. According to ARM, the squad vehicle “Charlie” is a light infantry troop carrier with a fully modular platform for various applications.

While the body is made out of galvanized iron, ARM says the vehicle can be armor-plated using composite materials such as Kevlar. Similar to the American Humvee, “Charlie” can be configured depending on the needs of our soldiers, and could accommodate rocket launchers, a gun turret, or simply serve as a general-purpose vehicle. It is also airlift capable whenever there's a need for rapid deployment, as well as full off-road capability thanks to its 4x4 system.

Pinoy Humvee: PH company developing tactical vehicle for AFP image

As for its specifications, “Charlie” is powered by a 3.0-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel that puts out 190 PS and 450 Nm, and is mated to a 6-speed manual transmission with a four-wheel-drive transfer control switch. The front gets a double-wishbone suspension design, while the rear is a live axle with leaf springs. Lastly, stopping power is courtesy of disc brakes in front and drum brakes at the rear. From those figures, along with its wheelbase of 3125mm, we have good reason to believe that "Charlie" is based on the Isuzu D-Max.

Outgoing Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has already tested the prototype and expressed his support for the further development of the vehicle. With that said, ARM is also hoping to get continued support from the authorities to enable them to mass-produce the vehicle.

Should the “Charlie” tactical vehicle be put in production, this would definitely give a major boost to the country's defense industries.