First pictures of the Israeli-made Elbit Systems Sabrah light tank for the Philippine army have been released on Social Networks on December 19, 2022. It will enter into service with the Armor Pambato Division of the Philippine Army now.
On May 2, 2022, the Army Recognition team reported that the Philippine army signed a contract with the Israeli company Elbit Systems for the acquisition of 20 Sabrah Light Tanks.
The acquisition of the Sabrah light tanks is part of the Philippine army’s Light Tank Acquisition Project under Horizon Two of the Revised Armed Forces Modernization Program (RAFPMP). The Israeli company Elbit Systems won the Light Tank Acquisition Project of the Philippine Army. They will supply ASCOD 2 platforms in different configurations: 18 tracked light tanks, 10 wheeled light tanks (based on the Pandur II), 1 command vehicle, and 1 recovery vehicle.
The Sabrah is a new generation of 30 tons Light Tank fully designed and developed by the Israeli company Elbit Systems based on the tracked armored chassis of the ASCOD 2 manufactured by the company GDELS (General Dynamics European Land Systems).
The ASCOD is a light armored vehicle based on a seven wheels suspension chassis that incorporates the primary common subsystem of power pack, running gear, and fuel, within monocoque welded steel hull construction. The chassis provides the ASCOD with its mobility/mine protection characteristics and acts as the interface for all other subsystems.
The Sabrah Light Tank is fitted with a two-man turret armed with one 105mm coupled to an automatic loading system that can be operated by the commander and gunner. The second armament includes one 7.62mm coaxial machine gun and four smoke grenade dischargers mounted on each side of the turret. In option, the turret can be fitted with anti-tank missile launchers.
Using the ASCOD chassis, the Sabrah is powered by MTU V-8 600kW or SCANIA V-8 810kW engine, coupled to an automatic Renk transmission with integrated reversing and steering gear, 6-speed. The ASCOD uses a torsion bar and trailing arm-type suspension with seven dual rubber-tired road wheels on either side, a drive sprocket at the front, an idler at the rear, and three track-return rollers.
ASCOD can run at a maximum speed of 70 km/h with a maximum cruising range of 500 km. It can negotiate gradients up to 60%, a side slope of 40%, a fording depth of 1.5 m, and a pivoting diameter of 8.5m. ASCOD can manage a vertical obstacle up to 1 m and cross a trench of 2.5 m maximum.