Philippine Army
Artillery


Date Updated:
Saturday June 10, 2006


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Heavy Weapons



  • M68 Soltam
    155 Howitzers
    – 14 units.

  • M101 105mm Howitzers
    – 230 delivered.  A small number passed on to the Marines.  Includes
    12 upgraded below.


  • M101



    Upgrade
    – 12 units from kits delivered
    from GIAT in 1996 together with 1,200 rounds of ammunition. 


  • M114 155mm Howitzers
    – 12
    units delivered
  • 105mm M40 Recoilless rifles
  • 90mm Recoilless rifles
  • 75mm Recoilless rifles
  • 81mm mortars – mix of locally
    produced and American made weapons (including mortar bombs and fuses)
  • 60mm mortars – mix of locally
    produced and American made weapons (including mortar bombs and fuses)

M68 Soltam
155mm Howitzer
– 14 units delivered

Maximum range is 23,500 meters
firing standard m107 ammunition.  33,000 meters firing base bleed
ammunition.  Rate of fire is 5 rounds per minute maximum.  2 rounds
per minute sustained.

M114 155mm Howitzer – 12 Units
delivered

Maximum range of 14,600 meters. 
Rate of fire of 2 rounds for the first 30 seconds, 8 rounds for the first 4
minutes, 16 rounds for the first 10 minutes.  40 rounds max per hour. 
Photo belows shows two of the PAs M114 Howitzers together with two upgraded
M101s.


M101 Upgrade (Philippine Army only)
– 12 Units upgraded in 1996.


While the

M101
has been and continues to provide
useful service to the AFP,  It is not without its problems – it is getting
long in the tooth, barrels are wearing out and optics are difficult to replace,
it has a limited range and is also limited by the types of payloads and
ammunition it can fire (cannot fire NATO ammunition for example).  For this reason, the Philippines is embarking on an
upgrade program.  In 1996, the Philippines ordered 12 upgrade kits from

GIAT
of
France as well as 1,200 rounds of ammunition.  It is interesting to note
that the Royal Thai Army ordered and produced 285 M101 upgrades from GIAT of
France.  The upgrade basically replaces the old barrel.  It is the
same barrel used by the GIAT LGMkII used by the French Army as well as the Royal
Thai Army.  The upgraded M101 is also used by the armies of Belgium,
Canada, Indonesia and Singapore.

When firing standard NATO
ammunition, it’s max range is 11,400 meters.  When firing GIAT base bleed
shells, range is 18,500 meters.  Rate of fire with a well trained crew is
10 rounds per minute or 4 rounds per minute sustained. 

The pictures below
shows a Philippine Army upgraded M101 howitzer being used in operations against
muslim rebels recently (Feb 2003).  The two pictures show part of the firing process – from sighting/aiming the gun to the pulling
of the lanyard and
firing.  The bottom picture shows the barrel almost at its maximum recoil
suggesting that the shell it just fired had the full charge on it for maximum
range.  Note that this M101
has a longer barrel with a muzzle brake at the end of the tube. When firing NATO
standard base-bleed shells, upgraded M101s range is nearly twice that of the older
version.  

Note that with the depletion of
PAF strike aircraft, Army artillery has shouldered much of the fire support
load, making the acquistion of more upgraded M101s even more urgent.  There
are only 12 units on strength and they are very much overworked!


Authors note:  All upgraded M101s went to the Philippine Army.  No
upgraded M101s went to the Marines.

The first two pictures below were
taken during recent operations against MILF rebels in Pikit, North Cotabato, May
2003.  Note how the trailing arms of the howitzers on the
second picture have dug themselves into the ground.  See the army goat? 
Many thanks to Anonymous for the pictures.