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Filipino soldiers complete training on ASCOD light tank

14th February 2024 - 16:02 GMT | by The Shephard News Team in London


The Philippines Army saw the ASCOD tanks arrive in the country in 2023. (Photo: GDELS)

General Dynamics European Land Systems (GDELS) unveiled the ASCOD Medium Main Battle Tank (MMBT) tank based on its tracked ASCOD IFV, at Eurosatory 2018. In January 2021, Elbit Systems announced that it had been awarded a US$172 million contract to supply vehicles to the Philippines.

Personnel of the First Tank Battalion of the First Armoured Division of the Philippine Army (PA), as well as specialists from the Armored Vehicle Maintenance Battalion, have completed training on the ASCOD (Austrian Spanish Cooperative Development) or Sabrah medium tank supplied to the country by Elbit Systems.

The training was conducted by GDELS Santa Bárbara Sistemas (GDELS-SBS) at the Camp O’Donnell military base in the municipality of Capas (Tarlac) on the island of Luzon.

The training consisted of a course on operations, driving and maintenance of the ASCOD tracked armoured vehicle for 28 drivers and 15 commanders, and a second course dedicated to second echelon maintenance with 15 mechanics of the Philippine Army.

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A driving course had already been given prior to the departure of the vehicles at GDELS’ Alcalá de Guadaíra factory near Seville.

The Sabrah, a version of the ASCOD adapted for the Philippines, can be characterised by its protection, mobility and adaptability to different combat settings. It has been delivered in three variants: light tank, command post with unmanned turret and recovery.

In April 2022, the Philippine Army reactivated the First Tank Battalion of the First Armoured Division as part of strengthening the military capabilities of the country’s Armed Forces.

The Philippines has become the fourth user country of the ASCOD vehicle currently in operation in Spain (Pizarro), Austria (Ulan) and UK (Ajax).

The Shephard News Team


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