Final delivery of 12,000 M4 carbine rifles now with AFP
MANILA, Philippines — As part of its efforts to modernize the equipment of its troops, the Philippine Army has fully equipped its troops with Remington M4 carbine rifles after the final delivery of more than 12,000 firearms arrived last December.
This means that its procurement of 56,843 rifles, which will replace the M16 rifles issued to its troops, is now complete.
Col. Benjamin Hao, the Army spokesperson, said the newly delivered firearms would be lined up for ballistics tests with the Philippine National Police’s crime laboratory just like the 19,866 M4 rifles currently undergoing ballistics examination.
The final batch of 12,657 M4 carbine rifles were delivered last December.
“The target of the delivery of the 12,000 firearms was in the first quarter of this year, but the delivery came early. These will be distributed as well. We hope to distribute the rest of the rifles before the end of 2016,” Hao said.
The 56,843 M4 rifles were purchased in 2014 as part of its capability upgrade program.
The Remington M4 rifles, also known as R4A3 rifles, were purchased from United States-based company Remington Firearms Company.
The new firearms are meant to replace the M16 rifles currently issued to Army soldiers, with the M16 rifles to be refurbished and issued to Army reservists.
In August 2014, President Aquino himself led the ceremonial distribution of the firearms to the military.
However, some of the initially delivered 24,300 firearms were recalled because of defective rear sights. These were repaired by Remington at no cost to the Philippine government.
Hao added that the ballistics tests for the second delivery of 19,000 M4 rifles were not finished yet, as of Sunday, (the day this announcement was released to the media) because of the PNP’s limitations in conducting ballistic exams per day.
The first delivery of 24,000 M4 rifles were already subjected to ballistics tests and were already delivered to units in the Visayas and Mindanao, and some special units.
“Of course, in order for us to complete the distribution, we need all the 56,000 rifles,” Hao said.
The M16 rifles previously issued to the recipients of the new M4 rifles have been recalled.
These M16 rifles will be used by reservists and militiamen under the Army.
“Right now, the reservists and paramilitary are armed with M1 Garand rifles, so now they will be using M16 rifles,” the Army spokesperson said.
Both the M16 and M4 use 5.56 mm caliber bullets and are both gas-operated. The M16 rifle has a longer barrel and has a longer effectivity range of 550 meters, compared to the M4 rifle’s 500 meter effectivity range.
Hao described the M4 carbine rifle to be a world class weapon.
“That is an element of the modern army that we are aspiring to be, it is a world-class rifle. Our troops are proud to have this weapon, it is lighter but more powerful. This brings high morale to us to use a world class weapon,” he explained. SFM
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