M113 FSV of the Philippine Army

First things first. This is NOT a tank. Not even a LIGHT tank. It’s a fire support vehicle or FSV. So yeah, you know what to call it the next time one of the tangke boyz starts squealing.

So what is the M113 FSV? This is basically the hull of an M113 APC, but with a turret from our Alvis FV101 Scorpion umm light tanks, armored reconnaissance vehicles, whatever they’re called. I honestly don’t know.


An Alvis FV101 Scorpion of the Philippine Army

The M113 FSV we have was modified in the Philippines. With our fleet of aging Scorpions nearing the end of their service lives, the PA saw that the turrets were still functional and it would have been a waste to throw away a working piece of equipment. So the PA decommissioned the Scorpion vehicles, but kept the turrets.

At the moment, the PA has a number of these FSV variants, however, I am unsure of the actual number. But, to add to the already present number of M113 FSV’s, the PA plans to convert more M113 APC’s into FSV’s.

The PA recently acquired 142 M113’s from US Army stocks. Of this number, 14 are to be converted into FSV’s.


PA officials inspecting the M113’s we’re receiving 

So we can assume that 14 or more Scorpions are scheduled to be decommissioned as we are taking the turrets for the M113’s from the Scorpions.

So the 14 turrets will be refurbished before being installed on the M113 hull. They will be upgraded by Elbit (the same company installing remote weapons stations on our other M113’s) to include the installation of a new fire control and thermal imaging system. I assume that due to this modification, the M113 will’s that will receive it will carry less troops as the turret would take extra space for the turret operator and for ammo storage.

Overall, I think these FSV’s are really useful in their role as the M113 has proven itself to be able to traverse around Mindanao and the 76 mm gun on-board provides good fire support for our troops on the ground when artillery isn’t available. They also act as “tanks” in urban warfare situations like during the Zamboanga siege as we don’t have MBT’s. They are also more capable than the Scorpions as they not only have a 76mm gun for fire support, but also carry troops. In all, I believe that having more of these FSV variants is good for the PA.




Upgrading the Philippine Navy’s Hamilton Class Cutters

The Philippine Navy currently operates two ex-USCG Hamilton-class WHEC’s. The ex-USCGC Hamilton, now the BRP Gregorio del Pilar, and the ex-USCGC Dallas, now the BRP Ramon Alcaraz.

However, as they are, these frigates are nothing but glorified OPV’s in terms of their armament, hence the need for them to receive upgrades to allow them to serve as full-fledged frigates.


1.) Air Defense

Any modern frigate must have some sort of decent air defense. When the Hamiltons served as USCG Cutters, they were equipped with an mk15 Phalanx CIWS.


The Mk15 Phalanx CIWS

I believe that the Phalanx would suffice as a CIWS a it can be simply installed without deck penetration, plus the fact that the Hamiltons already previously had these. One can easily be installed on the fantail.

However, the Phalanx is NOT a primary air defense system. And our Hamiltons will need a primary air defense system in the form of a SAM.

Most modern SAM’s are VLS launched, I believe that spending money to install a VLS on an old cutter would be a waste of money, so I’m thinking about externally mounted SAM launchers.

Most modern externally mounted SAM launchers are for short-range SAM’s like the RIM-116 RAM, or the MISTRAL VSHORAD missile.I’m thinking about an older missile launcher in the form of the Mk29.


The Mk29 SAM Launcher

The Mk29 launcher is an old-school SAM launcher for firing both the RIM-7 Sea Sparrow and RIM-162 ESSM SAM’s. The reason I’m looking at this launcher is that it is present on some USN ships that are scheduled to be decommissioned, we can ask Uncle Sam if we can harvest it from the scrapped ships.

The second reason is that the MK29 can fire the ESSM. The PN is looking at the Mk41 VLS and the ESSM for our new frigates so commonality of weapons for the ships would be nice given our tight budget and bureaucratic weapons procurement process.

I believe this can be installed forward behind the main gun on a slightly raised platform. This would give us a decent air defense for our del Pilars.

Now, we would need an air-search radar for that. Many believe that we could go for a 3D radar like the Thales SMART-S. I believe that given the age of these ships, it would be better to settle for a simpler 2D air-search radar.


The SPS-49 radar

The SPS-49 2D radar is installed on a few USN ships soon to be decommissioned. 2D radars like this can be installed on our del Pilars if Uncle Sam can grant them to us after being harvested from their old ships. Other radars from Kelvin Hughes and Thales would suffice also.

2.) Anti-Submarine Warfare

I don’t believe we need to convert the del Pilars into full-fledged ASW-capable ships. I believe that given their age, a much simpler ASW suite would suffice.

For the torpedo, the PN has indicated that it will be using the Korean Blue Shark for our AW-159’s. To allow commonality between the new frigates, the del Pilars, and the helos, it would be better if all had the same torpedo. The torpedo launchers can be installed port and starboard amidships.


The Blue Shark Torpedo

A sonar is also a must. I believe that whatever sonar will be installed on the new frigates should also be installed on the del Pilars.

download (1).jpeg

The Thales Kinglip, an example of a hull-monted sonar

I don’t think a towed array can or should be installed on the del Pilars given that the fantail position of the CIWS interferes with the placing of a TAS, and that the del Pilars, again, are old ships already.

3.) Surface Warfare

A frigate will need an AshM, which AshM to be specific? I believe it would be wise to simply install whatever AshM we get for our new frigates.


The iconic  RGM-184 Harpoon AshM, a similar system might be installed on the del PilarsF20141023171932361100.png

The SSM-700k Haesong missile, this missile might also be installed on the del Pilars


The MM40 Exocet might also be installed

The del Pilars already have a 76mm gun installed. The specific gun is an Oto Melara 76mm Compact. I believe there is no need to upgrade the gun anymore as it already suffices our needs.


The 76mm gun on-board the BRP Emilio Jacinto

We will also need small caliber chain guns for defense against pirates and terrorists. The Alcaraz already sports 2 Mk38 25mm guns, these should also be installed on the del Pilar and the incoming Boutwell.


One of the Mk38 guns on the Alcaraz


Overall, our Hamilton-class ships are still rather capable vessels, and should we equip them properly, will be able to serve the PN as a full-fledged, semi-modern frigate.

ISO Role For the Philippine Navy’s 76mm Guns?

This post is again inspired by retards that keep spamming the forums and Facebook pages related to Philippine Defense.

While the stupidity behind this post is utterly unbelievable, I will whole-heartedly say that yes, there are idiots who want the Gregorio del Pilars used for COIN in ISO operations.

Land-attack ISO roles are normally fulfilled by a land-attack cruise missile such as the iconic Tomahawk.


The iconic Tomahawk land-attack cruise missile

Well, here’s the thing. The PN has no land-attack cruise missiles. Or any missiles for that matter.

So the retards actually suggested that we use the Gregorio del Pilar’s 76mm gun for land-attack.


PF-16 BRP Ramon Alcaraz, you can see the 76mm Oto Melara Compact Cannon on the deck

Okay. The main role of the Oto Melara 76mm Compact Cannon on-board the BRP Gregorio del Pilar, BRP Ramon Alcaraz, BRP Emilio Jacinto, BRP Apolinario Mabini, and BRP Artemio Ricarte is not land-attack. While any naval gun CAN in theory be used for coastal bombardment, the 76mm caliber isn’t exactly designed for this role. The 76mm guns we have are designed for surface water against other warships when missiles run out, or as a long-range weapon against small boats, and for air defense against slow flying targets. With a range of around only 25km, the Oto Melara 76mm Compact Cannon IS NOT a great land-attack weapon.

25km does seem adequate if you’re right on the beach-front. Well, the thing is, the islands of the South are shallow, and not really, deep enough for a frigate to get near the shore. It’s a littoral environment. Meaning that a frigate the size of del Pilars will be relatively far from the shore. Does 25km still seem long enough for you?

Say the del Pilar parks as shallow as it can go say 10-15km away from the shoreline. By the time the 76mm round reaches land, there’ll only be enough force left to propel it 5-10km. While this would be good enough if the enemy was on the actual beach, the thing is, the enemy is NOT on the beach. they’re way in-land, way past that 5-10km mark. They’re hiding in the mountains, which would be WAY WAY far from the shoreline. Simply put, they aren’t going to be anywhere near the effective range of a del Pilar’s Oto Melara.

Why the hell would coastal bombardment even be necessary in Mindanao? We have the 155mm and 105mm Howitzers pounding shells at the insurgents already. These guns are more effective for shelling and bombardment than the 76mm guns of the navy. Plus they can be moved closer as they already on land should the area to be shelled be out of range. So why bring a less effective weapon when more effective ones are already present?


155mm Howitzers of the Philippine Army, these are used in Mindanao during conflicts to pound insurgents and has far more range than the 76mm naval gun and can be brought closer to a target should it be out of range, why bring the del Pilars’ 76mm guns when these are already present?

Howitzer 105.jpg

The 105mm Howitzer, the smaller cousin of the 155mm, these are even more widely used than the 155mm’s, they have more range than the 76mm guns and are mobile enough to be moved to the front line when necessary, so why use the 76mm guns of the Navy when the Army already has bigger, badder, more effective guns on the ground present?

In effect, the 76mm gun is not only a poor choice for a land-attack weapon in the ISO role, but also not necessary with the Army already having more mobile Howitzers on the ground. Leave the Navy to do their patrols in the WPS please. Leave pounding the insurgents to the Army Artillery Corps.






Why is the PAF FA-50 Not Used For COIN?

Photo of FA-50 on patrol (c) Edward Go

This is one of the questions, the retards keep asking around on forums; “Y NO USE EP-EY PIPTY POR COIN?”

I’ve decided to write a blog article to cover that question just so we can copy paste it as a reply to these idiots.

The current FA-50’s in the PAF inventory’s primary role is to train pilots for the PAF so that we can have adequate numbers of pilots to fly our incoming FA-50’s and future MRF’s.

The secondary role of the FA-50 is territorial defense. They intercept threats and escort VIP’s entering our airspace.

When we acquired the FA-50, COIN was never one of its intended roles. In the first place, no sane Air Force is going to use its fighters to blow up a bahay kubo in Mindanao.

The retards, idiots, whatever you want to call them are most likely thinking that actual war is a game like Call of Duty, Counterstrike, Battlefield, etc where you call an airstrike and an F-35 swoops in and fires Mavericks or Hellfires bla bla bla…

In the first place, that is f*cking unrealistic. (Sorry for the language back there)

First of all, the use of fighters in real life to bomb insurgents in Afghanistan involved the terrorists being in a mountain hideout with no civilians or possible collateral damage around. Thus making it easier for the big explosions to blow stuff up without having to think of the consequences.

Second, they always use GUIDED MUNITIONS, unless you think about the part in Tom Clancy’s Threat Vector where F/A-18’s had to drop Mk84 dumb bombs because GPS wasn’t available, that however did not end well for the F/A-18’s. There is only one guided munition in service with the PAF, and that’s the Paveway laser-guided smart bomb.


An F-16 dropping guided munitions


A Paveway guided bomb

Now fanbois, stop it with your imaginations of FA-50’s dropping Paveways all over Mindanao. First of all, these things were guided by some poor operator aiming a laser at the target while the aircraft dropped the bombs and the bombs were guided by the laser. Second, we have very few Paveways.

And seriously, again, are we spending tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of equipment just to blow up a kubo ?

Also, the FA-50 like all jet fighters has a limited amount of flight hours on its airframe and engine, are we seriously going to waste flight hours to drop bombs in Mindanao, when a Bronco can fly for much cheaper fuel consumption per hour and less wear and tear to its airframe and still perform more efficiently?

Overall, in simple terms, the FA-50 is not used for COIN simply because that’s not it’s purpose. Aircraft like the A-29 Super Tucano are much more suited for that. For now, let the Geagle train our next generation of pilots.

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