Israeli defense contractor Elbit Systems announced it has received a contract worth around $172 million for the delivery of light tanks to a country in Asia-Pacific.
Elbit said it would supply the Sabrah light tank solution based on the tracked ASCOD platform that is manufactured by General Dynamics European Land Systems Santa Bárbara from Spain (GDELS), and on the wheeled Pandur II 8X8 platform manufactured by Excalibur Army from the Czech Republic.
Both platforms will be equipped with a 105mm turret and a range of the company’s subsystems, including electro-optical sights, fire control systems, TORCH-XTM battle management systems, E-LynXTM software defined radio systems and life support systems.
While the company did not specify, the tank order could come from the Philippine Army. Reports from last year indicated that the Philippine defense ministry was likely to select the Sabrah solution over the K21-105 tracked light tank offered by Turkey and South Korea, and the Indonesian Harimau medium tank. Local reports further said that the decision had already been made, and that the only issue delaying a formal contract signing was the COVID-19 outbreak.
“This light tank contract reflects the mutually beneficial strategic co-operation between Elbit Systems and GDELS, based on joint development and manufacturing of vehicle-turret solutions,” Bezhalel (Butzi) Machlis, Elbit Systems president & CEO, commented.
GDELS noted that the latest customer was the fourth country to opt for the ASCOD, joining Austria, Spain, and the United Kingdom.
“We are delighted that the first customer outside of Europe selected our ASCOD as their future light tank platform,” said Dr. Thomas Kauffmann, Vice President of International Business & Services for GDELS. “It indicates a clear trend in the armored vehicle segment to medium weight (≤ MLC 50) and multi-role platforms, which provide modern armies with commonality, interoperability, flexibility, as well as advanced military mobility, while significantly reducing logistic complexity and cost of ownership.”