The tracked Sabra vehicle is based on the Spanish ASCOD chassis built by GDELS. Photo: Elbit Systems

Elbit Systems announced today that it was awarded a contract valued at approximately $172 million to supply light tanks to the Army of a country in Asia-Pacific. The contract will be performed over a three-year period. Bezhalel (Butzi) Machlis, Elbit Systems President & CEO, commented: “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. Our comprehensive portfolio of subsystems provides us with a strong position in the armored vehicle market, especially as mission requirements become more diverse and increasingly networked. We believe that the “Sabrah” light tank solution can provide high operational value for additional Armed Forces.”

As the prime contractor, Elbit Systems will 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 vehicles use a common turret with high-performance stabilization enabling firing on the move and engagement of moving targets. The turret mounts a low recoil 105mm 52 caliber cannon with an autoloader, 7.62 coaxial machine gun, eight 76mm smoke grenade launchers, and an optional installation for two anti-tank guided missile launchers. The independent optronic systems (commander and driver) enable ‘hunter-killer’ operation. The crew can detect a standard NATO target from a range of 12 km, recognition at 8 km, and identification from 4 km.

The 30-ton “Sabrah” light-tank solution provides a unique combination of powerful fire capacity and high maneuverability. Both platforms will be equipped with a 105mm turret and a range of the Company’s subsystems, including electro-optical sights, including a panoramic independent sight for the commander and fixed gunner sight, fire control systems, TORCH-X battle management systems, E-LynX software-defined radio systems, and life support systems.

The Sabrah turret mounts a low-recoil 105 mm cannon and an automatic loading system with a firing rate of six rounds per minute. Photo: Elbit Systems

The destination country is likely to be the Philippines, planning to equip a Mechanized Infantry Division (MID) with light/ medium tanks. The Philippine Army has evaluated light and medium weight tanks at a maximum weight of 42 tons. In September 2020 Elbit Systems was selected to supply the new vehicles.

According to the Philippine website MaxDefense PH Defense Resource, the total acquisition agreed in a Government-to-Government (G2G) procurement between the Philippines and Israel is worth close to US$172 million (Php 8.5 billion) and includes 30 vehicles, including 18 tracked and 10 wheeled, armored command, and armored recovery vehicles.