Russia has confirmed it will sell 130 Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC) to the Philippines at cheapest and discounted price, Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Igor Valuev told Russian media on Tuesday.
According to Valuev, the Philippines earlier inquired for defense equipment, including small arms. The Kremlin however decided to approve only the armored personnel carriers as the vehicles are much needed immediately than the small arms. Besides, Filipino soldiers are not keen in using Russian firearms so it will take some training exercises.
The 130 BTR-80 armored personnel vehicles will be a big help in combating terrorist groups in Mindanao, including the New People’s Army (NPA) if the peace negotiation fails.
The BTR-80 is 8×8 wheeled amphibious armoured personnel carrier (APC) designed in the USSR. It was adopted in 1986 and replaced the previous vehicles, the BTR-60 and BTR-70, in the Soviet Army. It was first deployed during the Soviet war in Afghanistan.
The Philippine army has been using FMS M113 from US in limited units
The amount of deal was not revealed, but trusted sources from the Office of the Department of Defense said the whole package is at least 20% cheaper than American FMS M113.
The military assistance from Russia is seen as the first step towards a long military partnership after President Duterte signaled displeasure to US.
The deal is expected to be finalized on August when Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and other top military officials visit the Kremlin. /Raffy Gomed/Disclaimer: Contributed articles does not reflect the view of Okd2.com. This website cannot guarantee the legitimacy of some of the information contributed to us. You may do additional research if you find some information doubtful. No part of this article maybe reproduced without permission from this website.