DND mulls acquisition of medium tanks

MANILA -- Instead of heavily-armored and gunned main battle tanks, the Department of National Defense (DND) is looking at the possibility of acquiring some medium tanks for its armored units.

This was emphasized by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana when asked by the PNA Wednesday on whether the ongoing conflict in densely-packed Marawi City, where Maute Group terrorists converted concrete houses and buildings into fortified fighting positions, necessitates the acquisition of a main battle tank fleet.

"Not really. We do not expect a lot Marawi-type conflict in the future. Therefore a couple of medium tanks would do: for contingency in urban warfare and for training," he added.

Lorenzana also defines main battle tanks as vehicles weighing 40 tons or more and carrying a large-caliber gun while medium tanks are those weighing 20 tons or less and equipped with a medium-caliber but powerful cannon but capable of breaching reinforced concrete walls.

As this develops, Mechanized Infantry Division spokesperson Capt. Emman Adriano said they are now using with great effect the newly-acquired armored vehicles in their ongoing operations in Marawi City.

"Our current capability can surely sustain the operations in Marawi City," he added.

Adriano earlier said a large portion of the country's armored assets are now seeing action in the ongoing operations to clear Marawi City of the remaining Maute Group terrorists.

"(Armored assets deployed ) are four mechanized battalions, one cavalry squadron and one light armored troop. All of our newly acquired armored vehicles are now deployed in Marawi City," he said. These units consists of more than 120 armored vehicles of various types.

Source: Philippine News Agency