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Thursday, May 23, 2019

C4ISTAR - Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Acquisition Project of the Philippine Army

 As part of the Philippine Army's goal to improve its Command, Control, Communication, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition, Reconnaissance (C4ISTAR) capabilities, it has embarked on the acquisition of different types of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) which will provide the organization with platforms that can provide ISTAR capabilities from the higher leadership down to the smallest operating team in the field.

The project, known as the C4ISTAR - Unmanned Aerial Systems Level 1 to 3 Acquisition Project of the Philippine Army, is part of the Horizon 2 phase Priority Projects of the Revised Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Program (RAFPMP).

The project was among those given in-principle approval for implementation by Pres. Rodrigo Duterte in June 2018, although the project has been in the works since 2015.

The project was finally given the greenlight for implementation in early 2019, with the decision by the Department of National Defense (DND) to acquire it under a Government-to-Government (G2G) deal with the Israeli Ministry of Defense (IMOD), which selected Elbit Systems Ltd. as the proponent.

The Elbit Systems Skylark 3 light tactical fixed-wing UAV, which was ordered for the Level 2 UAS requirements.

Project Summary:

Philippine Army C4ISTAR - Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Level 1 to 3 Acquisition Project

Note: Edited as of 05 April 2024:

End User: Philippine Army (multiple units)

Quantity: 4 lots (1 lot for each Level)

Modernization Phase: Horizon 2 phase Priority Projects of RAFPMP

Project ABC: Php8,000,000,000.00

Acquisition Mode: Government-to-Government (G2G) deal with Israeli Government

Source of Funding: GAA Funds through AFP Modernization Program Trust Fund, to be paid via Multi-Year Obligation Authority (MYOA)

SARO Release: 

    - SARO-BMB-D-19-003824 dated 22 May 2019 worth Php5,399,625,000.00 (initial and partial amount), released 23 May 2019

Winning Proponent: Elbit Systems Ltd. (Israel)

Product for Delivery: 

    - 503 systems (2 UAVs each) of Elbit Thor Multirotor VTOL Mini UAS (Level 1)
    - 43 systems (3 UAVs each) of Elbit Skylark 1-LEX Mini UAS (Level 1)
    - 7 systems (3 UAVs each) of Elbit Skylark 3 Tactical Small UAS (Level 2)
    - 1 System (4 UAVs) Elbit Hermes 450 Tactical Long Endurance UAS (Level 3)

Contract Price: Php8,000,000,000.00

First post by MaxDefense: 16 March 2018

Searching Hashtag#PAUASAcquisition

* Project Status: Delivery has been completed as of end of 2023, although in-country training supervised by Elbit Systems is still ongoing as of April 2024. Only a few of the Elbit Thor Level 1 UAS have been deployed to specific units, while all others are still under operational control of Army Support Command.



First of all, take note that this is different from the Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Acquisition Project of the Philippine Air Force. The Philippine Army has its own procurement projects that are separate from those made by the PAF.

For the Philippine Army UAS Acquisition Project, it consists of three (3) different lots:

Lot 1 covers the Tier I / Level 1 Unmanned Aerial Systems, which require for UAS small multirotor vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) UAVs., and are more applicable for small units from company to battalion level.

The VTOL requirement was only added after the Battle of Marawi happened in 2017, as their value was demonstrated during the conflict.

Lot 2 covers the Tier II / Level 2 Unmanned Aerial Systems, which require for a UAS that uses a fixed-wing light UAV that allows coverage more than 50 kilometers from the operator, while caryring different surveillance payloads.

Lot 3 covers the Tier III / Level 3 Unmaned Aerial System, which utilizes larger UAVs that can fly greater distances, has payload for ISTAR requirements, and are utilized in a larger tactical or even strategic purpose.

As early as 2016, the Department of National Defense (DND) originally decided to have the project covered under a Government-to-Government (G2G) deal with the Israeli Ministry of Defense (IMOD)

Three (3) Israeli companies competed for the selection process. Aeronautics Defense Systems Ltd.Elbit Systems Ltd., and Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) MALAT Division.

For Level 1, Aeronautics offered the Orbiter 2, Elbit with the Skylark 1-LEX, and IAI MALAT with the Bird Eye 400.

For Level 2, Aeronautics submitted the Orbiter 3, Elbit with the Skylark 3, and IAI MALAT with the Bird Eye 650D.

For Level 3, Aeronautics pushed for the Aerostar TUAV, Elbit with the Hermes 450, and IAI MALAT with the Searcher Mk. III.

Above is the selection made by the Philippine Army's TWG for the UAS Acquisition Project. Three Israeli proponents offering 3 types of UAS during the initial pre-selection phase of the project. A forth category was added later on. Photo exclusively shared to MaxDefense by a source from the DND.

In 2017, the PA TWG revised the procurement plan, and added a requirement for a Level 1 VTOL UAS, while also revising the quantities needed. In this regard, only Elbit Systems submitted a proposal with the THOR multirotor VTOL UAS.

After the finalized evaluation process, the Philippine Army Technical Working Group selected Elbit Systems as the winning proponent, which the Philippine Army leadership supported and submitted to the DND for approval.

As part of the deal with Elbit Systems, the following UAS are to be supplied:

For Level 1, Elbit will supply the THOR multirotor VTOL UAS and the Skylark 1-LEX fixed-wing hand-launched mini UAS.

The Elbit THOR (top) and Skylark 1-LEX (above).

For Level 2, Elbit will supply the Skylark 3 fixed-wing pneumatic-launched light UAS.

For Level 3, Elbit will supply the Hermes 450 fixed-wing, short-take off and landing (STOL) medium altitude long endurance UAS.

The Elbit Skylark 3 light UAV.

The Elbit Hermes 450 MALE UAS.

No dates were provided yet on when these UAS would be delivered, but MaxDefense expects that a phase-by-phase delivery could be done considering the different products could be manufactured and completed at different speeds and dates.

U P D A T E S:

16 March 2016:

MaxDefense first mentioned on the existence of the Philippine Army's Unmanned Aerial Systems Acquistion Project, in a Facebook post that was actually discussing about Defense Sec. Delfin Lorenzana's statements that the Philippine Army will also be receiving unmanned aerial vehicles.

Back then, we mentioned that the proposed PA UAS Acquisition will have an Approved Budget for Contract (ABC) of Php8.115 billion, and is being planned to be a Government-to-Government deal with Israel.

MaxDefense's Facebook page on 16 March 2018 discussing the Philippine Army's Unmanned Aerial Systems acquisition project. Back then, the ABC was larger although we confirmed that its going to be a G2G with Israel.


28 September 2018:

US company AeroVironment Inc. 
participated in ADAS 2018. The company specializes in small unmanned aerial systems (UAS) including the RQ-11B Raven which is in service with the Philippine Marine Corps, the RQ-12A Wasp, and the RB-20B Puma, which was used by the US military during the Battle of Marawi campaign to feed information to the AFP.

Apparently the company was still trying its best to push its products to the Philippine Army, as well as to other branch services of the AFP especially the Philippine Marines which already uses the RQ-11 Raven.

Sampes of all 3 UAVs were on display in ADAS 2018 @ Stall 1622.

AeroVironment was present in ADAS 2018 defense exhibition in Manila. Photos shared exclusively by MaxDefense community members who attended the exhibition.


01 October 2018:

Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) was also present in the ongoing ADAS 2018 defense exhibition in Manila.

It displayed the Bird Eye 650D, which was displayed in the exhibition grounds.

MaxDefense also mentioned a brief summary of the impending Philippine Army Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) acquisition program, with the following statement:

"Bird Eye 650D, along with the Bird Eye 400 and Searcher Mk. III UAS are offered for the Philippine Army's Unmanned Aerial Systems Tiers 1 to 3 which is an upcoming Horizon 2 project that is already in advance stages of pre-procurement after Senior Leaders decided to go Government-to-Government with Israel for this specific project, although competition is still ongoing between IAI, Aeronautics and Elbit Systems. MaxDefense will discuss more about this project separately in the near future considering the advanced stage of this project."

The IAI display booth during ADAS 2018, which shows the Bird Eye 650D, which was among those offered to the Philippine Army's UAS Acquisition Project.


23 May 2019:

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) released the Special Allocation Release Order (SARO) for the initial and partial amount of the project, under the reference no. SARO-BMB-D-19-0003824 dated 22 May 2019 and worth Php5,399,625,000.00.

The SARO can be accessed on the DBM's website HERE.


13-14 June 2019:

A report from Israeli business news outlet Globes came out saying that Elbit Systems Ltd. is close to signing a US$180 million deal with the Philippine Army to "supply Hermes 900, Hermes 450, Skylark 1 and Skylark 3 UAVs".

MaxDefense mentioned in its Facebook post that the report is "partially correct and partially incorrect", while also saying that MaxDefense would discuss further and clarify the report in a blog entry.

The report from Israeli business media outlet Globes saying Elbit is almost done with a US$180 million drone deal with the Philippine Army. Screenshot taken from Globes' English website.


14-15 June 2019:

MaxDefense released a blog entry to finally confirm the existence of such project, and also discussing the project further and in more detail.

This blog entry also clarified the reports made by Israel's Globes Business News which mentioned the impending deal between Elbit Systems Ltd. and the Philippine Army. MaxDefense earlier mentioned that the Israeli report was partially right, and partially incorrect.

The blog entry can be accessed on the link below:

Philippine Army orders Several Levels of Unmanned Aerial Systems from Israel for C4ISTAR Requirements" - first posted on 14 June 2019.

The Elbit Skylark 3 as it was launched from its pneumatic launcher.


07 October 2019:

Elbit Systems confirmed in their page that they were awarded a US$153 million contract to supply a networked multi-array unmanned aerial system array to a Southeast Asian army.

While they did not identify the country, MaxDefense has been reporting for some time  now that the Philippine Army is getting several Tier 1, 2 and 3 UAS from Elbit Systems in a G2G deal between the Philippine and Israeli governments.

US$153 million is approximately Php8 billion. Matches the Project ABC and Contract amount we posted on the Project Details above several months ago. 

Screengrab from Elbit Systems' FB page.


20 August 2020:

Elbit Systems reported that they completed Environmental Qualification Tests on the Thor Mini UAV, before delivery of more than 1,000 units to an Asia-Pacific country.

Elbit was obviously referring the Philippine Army's Thor UAVs, as the Philippines is the only country from the Asia-Pacific region that ordered the type in such numbers.

We decided to copy the article from Elbit Systems' website as they have tendencies to remove their press releases after a few years.


THOR VTOL Completes Environmental Qualification Tests Ahead of Delivery of 1,000 Units
The THOR multi-rotor VTOL meets the requirements of MIL-STD-810

Haifa, Israel, August 16, 2020 – Elbit Systems’ THOR, a multi-rotor Vertical Take-off and Landing (VTOL) mini Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS), successfully completed a series of environmental qualification tests ahead of the delivery of more than a thousand of units to an army in Southeast Asia. As announced on October 6, 2019, the Company was awarded a $153 million contract to provide a networked multi-layered UAS array to an army in Southeast Asia, including more than 1,000 THOR VTOL mini-UAS. 

Elbit-Systems’ THOR VTOL mini UAS successfully completed a series of environmental qualification tests

The environmental qualification tests measured the operational durability of the THOR VTOL mini-UAS under a range of extreme environmental conditions and its capability to withstand the physical stress requirements under the MIL-STD-810.  The tests demonstrated the capability of THOR to maintain operability in temperatures varying from minus 40ºC up to 65ºC, withstand hard gusting rain and rough vibrations, and resist penetration and damage from blowing sand and dust.

The tests demonstrated the capability of THOR to resist penetration and damage from blowing sand and dust

The tests demonstrated the capability of THOR to withstand hard gusting rain
The tests demonstrated the capability of THOR to withstand hard gusting rain

The THOR VTOL mini-UAS is designed for surveillance and reconnaissance missions over land and at sea. Electrically propelled, THOR is capable of carrying up to three kg of payloads and has a flight duration capability of up to 75 minutes of operation, a maximal range of 10 kilometers and a flight ceiling of up to 2,000 ft.

THOR assembly line
Photo credits to Elbit Systems.


05 April 2024:

Sources of our parent page MaxDefense Philippines confirmed that Elbit Systems has completed the delivery of all Unmanned Aerial Systems as of end of 2023.

But training to operate the UAS are still ongoing under supervision by technicians from Elbit Systems, and is expected to take longer than planned.

Only a few of the Thor multirotor Level 1 UAS have been deployed with select units, most likely from the Special Operations Command, considering they were the first ones who received training on their operations.

Units from the strategic 1st Brigade Combat Team is also expected to be among the initial beneficiary of these new UAS, as they have been given priority to undertake training.

First edit and release: 23 May 2019
Copyright MaxDefense Philippines / Philippine Defense Resource

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Amphibious Assault Vehicle (Phase 1) Acquisition Project of the Philippine Navy (Marines)

To improve the Philippine Marine Corps (PMC) capability to meet its purpose of assaulting and deployment of Marine forces through the sea, its parent service branch the Philippine Navy (PN) embarked on the Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAV) Acquisition Project. This would allow the PN and PMC to acquire AAVs and rebuild its capabilities that were lost when its previous similar asset, the LVTP-5 and LVTH-6 amphibious assault vehicles lost their amphibious capabilities and were eventually retired from service starting in the 1990s.

These new AAVs represent a revitalized Philippine Marine Corps, and will be launched from the PN's existing fleet of floating assets, primarily the 
Tarlac-class landing platform docks that were designed to allow the use of AAVs.

As part of the first phase of AAV acquisition, eight (8) units were planned for purchase under the Horizon 1 phase of the Revised AFP Modernization Program (RAFPMP). After a public bidding, South Korea's Hanwha Techwin (now Hanwha Defense Systems) was awarded a contract to supply their KAAV-7A1 amphibious assault vehicles, which are license-built copies of the BAE Systems AAV7A1 from the US.

One of the KAAV-7A1 AAVs of the Philippine Marine Corps. As of September 2019, this project is considered COMPLETE after all eight (8) vehicles ordered were commissioned into service. Photo taken from AFP PAO.

More are planned in succeeding Horizon phases, although it was noted that none were programmed for acquisition under the Horizon 2 phase.

The Philippine Marines still hope that another batch can be procured under the proposed 2nd List of Horizon 2 phase, which will be dependent on the ability of the Philippine government to raise more funds beyond the Php300 billion allocated for the approved Horizon 2 phase.

Project Summary:

Amphibious Assault Vehicle Acquisition Project

Note: Edited as of 23 September 2019.

* End User: Philippine Navy (Philippine Marine Corps)

Quantity: 8 amphibious assault vehicles

* Modernization Phase:
 Horizon 1 Phase of RAFPMP

* Project ABC:

Acquisition Mode: Public Bidding

* SARO Release: SARO-BMB-D-16-0006345 (deposit)

* Winning Proponent: Samsung Techwin (now Hanwha Defense Systems)

Product for Delivery: Hanwha Defense Systems KAAV-7A1 

* Contract Price: US$55,553,000.00 (Php2,423,499,625.01)

* First post by MaxDefense: 27 September 2013

* MaxDefense Searching Hashtag: #PNAAVAcquisition #PMCAAVAcquisition

* Status: Deliveries completed as of August 2019. All vehicles commissioned into service as of 23 September 2019. PROJECT COMPLETED.


The Amphibious Assault Vehicle Acquisition Project is actually among the first projects implemented in the Horizon 1 phase of the Revised AFP Modernization Program (RAFPMP), and was already in the planning since 2009.

It was to be procured through a public bidding mode of procurement conducted by the Department of National Defense (DND). 

Being the first, it was also among the most revised projects as the system to procure was still being tweaked by the DND and AFP. A series of bid failures happened between 2013 and 2014. But in all biddings, only one company persistently participated, South Korea's Hanwha Techwin (now Hanwha Defense Systems).

In 2014, MaxDefense released a blog entry (see below) which named Hanwha Techwin as the most likely supplier of the PN's AAV project, as there were only two potential companies to supply the vehicle (the other being BAE Systems), and only Hanwha Techwin participated in all the bid attempts.

While Hanwha Techwin was ultimately declared as the sole bidder for the project in 2014, it took a long time before an award was made. The project only made progress in 2015 after former Pres. Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III signed the approved Horizon 1 acquisitions which held the budget released for several projects.

 Post Qualification Inspection was made by DND and Philippine Navy officials by 4th quarter 2015, and found Hanwha Techwin to be post-qualified and capable of undertaking the project.

The Hanwha Techwin (now Hanwha Defense Systems) KAAV7A1 amphibious assault vehicle, this example operated by the Republic of Korea Marine Corps (ROKMC).

But it was only on April 2016 that a Notice of Award was given to Hanwha Techwin, and a contract signed with DND by around May 2016. The Notice to Proceed was only received by Hanwha Techwin on June 2016, which will be the basis of delivery timeline of the vehicles.

Additional information on Hanwha Techwin and the KAAV7A1 can be found on our earlier blog entry which can be accessed through the link below:

Samsung Techwin KAAV7A1 Expected as PMC's New Amphibious Assault Vehicle" - first posted on 31 May 2014

A basic inforgraphic on the KAAV7A1. The communications and intercom system might be replaced for the Philippine model to meet interoperability requirements with the current system used by the PMC, PN and the AFP, but that remains to be confirmed. 

U P D A T E S:

04 January 2016:

MaxDefense posted a news report from the Philstar, wherein it was confirmed that the DND has not yet released the Notice of Award (NOA) for 4 major projects of the AFP including the AAV Acquisition Project.

Hanwha Techwin already completed Post Qualification Inspections in 2015, and will require the NOA to be formally awarded with the project.

The Philstar report can be accessed HERE.


10 April 2016:

MaxDefense posted in its community page that the Notice of Award (NOA) was finally given by the DND to Hanwha Techwin in an earlier date.

This means Hanwha Techwin will need to complete certain requirements including payment of bonds and discussing with the DND on contract issues before a contract can be signed at a later date.


30 September 2016:

MaxDefense received confirmation that Hanwha Techwin received their Notice to Proceed (NTP) and opened the Letter of Credit (LOC) on June 2016, which means that they will need to deliver the first batch of 4 units KAAV7A1s by August 2018, and the second batch of 4 units by December 2018. This is following the 790 days and 910 days delivered schedule, respectively.

Also, Hanwha Techwin participated in this year's ADAS 2016 defense exhibition in Manila, featuring their products including the KAAV7A1.

Hanwha joins ADAS 2016, and featured a scale model of their KAAV7A1 amphibious assault vehicle, the same model to be delivered to the Philippine Navy (Marines). Photo taken by our official photographer Jessie Gamis during ADAS 2016.


31 October 2018:

The Facebook page of the Republic of Korea Marine Corps (ROKMC) posted photos of the training they are providing for the future AAV crew of the Philippine Marine Corps (PMC). 

This arrangement was actually part of the contract, with Hanwha arranging the training on actual usage of the vehicles. PMC crewmembers used ROKMC's training simulators and actual KAAV7A1 vehicles, allowing them practical hands-on experience on the vehicles.

There will be very minimal differences between the ROKMC and PMC vehicles mostly on the communications and intercom equipment, but everything else could be almost the same.
This post was also shared to our MaxDefense @ Facebook page on the same day.

All photos taken from and credited to the ROKMC's Facebook page.


15 November 2018:

Korean defense forum Bemil@Chosun posted photos of the visit of Philippine Marine Corps Commandant Maj.Gen. Alvin Parreno to the detachment undergoing training with the Republic of Korea Marine Corps on operating and maintaining the KAAV7A1 amphibious assault vehicles. The visit was held on 13 November 2018, although MGen. Parreno may have stayed longer for other meetings with his counterparts from South Korea.

MaxDefense got the photos of the visit from one of the forum's member Glen Lee's Facebook post.

All photos from Bemil @ Chosun defense forum, through Glen Lee.


04 January 2019:

The first publicly available photo of one of the KAAV7A1s amphibious assault vehicles bound for the Philippines was posted by Korean defense page
 김대영의 M-Inside and was shared in our MaxDefense community page on Facebook.

It appears that it is still being assembled despite the delivery schedule already delayed by 5 months.

Photo of a KAAV71A1 for the Philippines under assembly was shared by M-Inside Korean defense page. The Philippine flag on it makes it more obvious that it is indeed for the Philippine Marine Corps.


02 May 2019:

MaxDefense reposted news on the activation of the Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAV) Company, Armored Assault Battalion of the Philippine Marine Corps.

The unit will be the one operating the initial batch of KAAV-7A1 amphibious assault vehicles of the PMC, and will probably be the unit in charge of training AAV crew and embedded personnel on AAV operations while the PMC prepares the activation of another unit to accept the second batch of KAAV-7A1 vehicles this August 2019.

PMC Commandant Maj. Gen. Alvin Parreno hands over a scale model of the KAAV-7A1 to Lt.Col. Bill Pasia.


03 May 2019:

Korean news outlet BizHankook reported that Hanwha Defense Systems already shipped the first batch of four (4) KAAV7A1 amphibious assault vehicles to the Philippines on April 2019, and confirmed that a second batch of 4 units are being prepared for shipping a few months from now. This article (in Korean) was shared in our MaxDefense @ Facebook community page.

MaxDefense later confirmed with sources if the vehicles have arrived, and apparently they are not yet in the Philippines as of today. 

Also today: finally, a clear pair photos of completed KAAV7A1s bound for the Philippines were posted by Korean defense page, which were later shared in Bemil@Chosun Korean defense foum. Both photos were shared by MaxDefense in its community page on Facebook. It was confirmed that the photo was taken from Hanwha Systems'  facility in South Korea.

Original photos were from, and were shared to Bemil@Chosun Korean defense forum where MaxDefense got the photos. Credits to


09 May 2019:

One of our community members shared photos taken today showing some of the first batch of four (4) KAAV-7A1s as they were seen in Pier 5 in the Manila International Port.

They were covered in grey tarpaulin and only has some portions of the vehicle visible. Among those exposed were the front side, which shows some of the Enhanced Applique Armor Kits (EAAK) as well as the Up-Gunned Weapon Station (UPWS) turrets without any mounted weapon.

MaxDefense believes that the weapon were also supplied by Hanwha Defense Systems together with the vehicles, but will be installed later on as they could be delivered in crates.

Apparently the vehicles were placed in the receiving area on 08 May 2019.

Some of the KAAV-7A1 vehicles while in Pier 5 in the Manila International Port, awaiting for them to be shipped out as of 09 May 2019. Both photos credited to MaxDefense community member who wish to remain anonymous.

The vehicles were shipped out of the port in the afternoon of 09 May 2019, which were photographed and shared by's Facebook page.

The KAAVs as they were shipped out of the port. Photos taken from's Facebook page.

MaxDefense believes that the vehicles were shipped to the Philippine Marine Corps' headquarters in Fort Bonifacio, which will then be prepared for the Philippine Navy's anniversary later this month.

Information we received mentioned that the 121st Philippine Navy Anniversary 2019 will be held on 27 May 2019, and will include the blessing and activation of the KAAV-7A1s as assets of the recently activated Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAV) Company, Armored Assault Battalion.

It would not be long before these vehicles will see action, as MaxDefense believes that it would be used during the next PH-US Joint Military Exercise KAMANDAG 3 this year.


20 August 2019:

MaxDefense sources confirmed that the shipment for the second batch of four (4) KAAV-7A1 amphibious assault vehicles from South Korea’s Hanwha Defense Systems were delivered in August 2019.

It appears that the vehicles were not delivered in Manila’s port based on photos shared to MaxDefense. 

This batch completes the delivery of the actual vehicles, which will undergo inspection and acceptance by the Technical Inspection and Acceptance Committee (TIAC) of the Philippine Navy before accepted into service.

No date was provided yet on when the vehicles will be formally commissioned into service with the Philippine Marine Corps, which already operates the first 4 vehicles delivered in May 2019.


28 August 2019:

Philippine Navy Flag Officer in Command (FOIC) Vice Adm. Robert Empedrad confirmed to the media that the last batch of amphibious assault vehicles, as well as the Multi-Purpose Attack Craft (MPAC) Batch 4 will be blessed and commissioned with the Philippine Navy by 16 September 2019. 

Empedrad confirmed this during a press briefing today. reported on the news, which can be accessed HERE.


06 September 2019:

Photos released by the US Department of Defense as part of subject matter expert exchange (SMEE) programs between the US and Philippine Marine Corps showed that the first batch of KAAV-7A1 amphibious assault vehicles of the PMC were already painted to their standard paint scheme instead of the standard olive drab paint scheme when it was delivered in May 2019.

The new paint scheme is similar to those used on existing armored vehicles of the PMC, although it appears a little darker due to the possible use of more black pixels than usual.

The SMEE training allows the US and Philippine Marines to improve further on the application and sustainment of the AAVs in preparation for their deployment in future PH-US Joint Military Exercises, with Exercise KAMANDAG 04-19 expected to take place in October 2019.

All photos credited to DVIDS - US Armed Forces.


17 September 2019:

MaxDefense released a photo shared by one of our contributors of all eight (8) KAAV-7A1 amphibious assault vehicles in front of the PMC’s headquarters in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.

All 8 also appears to be painted in the PMC armored vehicle paint scheme, in preparation for their commissioning, which did not take place on 16 September 2019 as reported earlier due to circumstances not shared to MaxDefense.

Instead the vehicles together with the MPAC Batch 4 will be commissioned with the Philippine Navy on 23 September 2019.

Photo credits to the original source of the photo.


21 September 2019:
Four (4) of the Philippine Marine Corps' KAAV-7A1 amphibious assault vehicles commissioned into service last June 2019 participated in its first amphibious assault exercise as part of the AFP unilateral Joint Exercise DAGIT-PA 03-19 held in Subic Bay.

This was in preparation of larger exercises including next month's PH-US Joint Exercise KAMANDAG 03-2019.

Photos taken from Rappler, AFP PAO, Manila Bulletin, and PNA



23 September 2019:

The Philippine Navy has finally commissioned the last four (4) of the KAAV-7A1 amphibious assault vehicles it bought from South Korea's Hanwha Defense, which marks the completion of the AAV Acquisition Project of the Philippine Navy on behalf of the Philippine Marine Corps.

Photos from the commissioning event as shown below were taken from and credited to Ms. Frances Mangosing of, and Ms Chiara Zambrano of ABS-CBN News.


With the AAVs already delivered and formally commissioned with the Philippine Marine Corps, Philippine Navy, MaxDefense officially consider the Amphibious Assault Vehicle Acquisition Project of the Philippine Navy as COMPLETED.

x x x x x x x x x x x 

First edit and release: 02 May 2019
Copyright MaxDefense Philippines / Philippine Defense Resource