The Army of the Philippines has taken possession of the last installment of 56,843 M4 rifles (Remington Defense-made R4A3s) this month to replace the legacy Vietnam-era M16A1s in front line service. The older guns will now move to replace M14s in second line service with reserve units (and the M14s will likely join even older M1s used until the 1980s in arsenal storage, after all, even an old rifle can still work in a pinch).
Soldiers test the newly acquired new 5.56mm M4 rifles during a ceremonial distribution at Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija. The distribution is part of the Joint Philippine Army-Philippine Marine Corps Assault Rifle Acquisition Project of the government. (Photo by Jacqueline Hernandez)
Interestingly, the guns, ordered in 2014, are being delayed from distribution because they are being lined up for ballistics tests with the Philippine National Police’s crime laboratory who are keeping data on them just in case. Though 27,000 M4s already cleared have been delivered to units in the Visayas and Mindanao, and some special units neck deep in insurgent areas.
Dig the bright aluminum mags and replaceable handguards. Photo: mb.com.ph
More on the M4s here
The PI also took possession of some 28 refurbished 1970s-era M113A2 armored personnel carriers back in September from Israel that had been refitted with topside heavy guns including a mix of 76mm, 25mm and 12.7mm (another 114 surplus M113A2s are coming from the U.S. this year, though without the muscle) augmented by some 155mm towed guns bought in Eastern Europe.
Further, though their air force, is aging, the Philippines will take part for the first time in Cope North, a large-scale air exercise with the U.S. and four other nations in the western Pacific.
The PAF’s primary combat aircraft, after they retied their Northrop F-5A and B’s in September 2005 without a planned replacement, are a dozen lightly armed jet trainers and 10 aging OV-10 Broncos of 24 surplus USMC aircraft delivered in 1992, though purchasing used F-16s, F-18s and Mirages from the U.S., Canada and France respectively have been on the table for the past several years.
About as fast moving as it gets for now in the PAF: A Vietnam-era Philippine Air Force OV-10 Bronco flying over Philippine waters
Finally, the country could be the first export user of the Indian-made/Russian-designed BrahMos anti-ship missile to help ward off pushy Chinese vessels in outlying territorial waters.
Here is a highlight reel of the past 30~ BrahMos tests.