Philippine Army Artillery
Date Updated: Saturday June 10, 2006

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Heavy Weapons

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.