Philippines to receive this month 20 Sabrah light tanks from Israel

According to information published by the INQUIRER.NET website on December 20, 2021, the Philippine armed forces will receive this month 20 Sabrah light tanks produced by the Israeli company Elbit Systems.
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Artist rendering of Sabrah light tank that will be manufactured by the Israeli company Elbit System. (Picture source Elbit Systems)

In January 2021, the Israeli company Elbit Systems announced that it has been awarded a USD172 million contract to supply an undisclosed number of Sabrah light tanks and Pandur II direct-fire support vehicles to the army of a country in the Asia-Pacific region.

According to information from Col. Anthon Abrina, the Armor Division’s chief of staff of the Philippine Army, the acquisition of Israeli Sabrah light tanks as well as Pandur II 8x8 armored vehicles armed 105mm and 120mm cannons are part of the modernization program of the Philippine armed forces.

According to the military balance 2020, the Philippine army doesn’t have combat vehicles armed with 105 or 120mm. The Philippine army only has 7 FV101 Scorpion armed with a 73mm cannon and also a few M113A1 tracked APC (Armored Personnel Carrier) armed with a 76mm L23A1 gun.

The Sabrah is a light tank based on the ASCOD 2 tracked chassis manufactured by General Dynamics European Land Systems Santa Bárbara. It is fitted with a two-man turret armed with an Elbit Systems Land 105mm gun and one 7.62mm coaxial machine gun. Each side of the turret is equipped with a bank of four smoke grenade dischargers. The turret drive is fully electric with elevation and traverse stabilization.

Standard equipment of the Sabrah turret includes a fire control system, laser range finder, and one panoramic sight with advanced Electro-Optic sensors (Day, Night-Vision, and LRF) for effective day, night, and all-weather fighting conditions. The panoramic sight is used for observation and target aiming.

The Sabrah 105 mm gun system is fitted with an automatic loading system with 12 rounds ready to fire. It has an effective firing range of 3,600m with a rate of fire of 6 rounds per minute. The vehicle carries a total of 36 ammunition, with 24 rounds stored in the hull. The gun can fire a wide range of NATO ammunition including HEP-T (High-explosive), HESH (High-explosive squash head), APFSDS (Armor-piercing fin-stabilized discarding sabot) as well as advanced ammunition, T-MP-HE M110.