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The Philippine Army Just Bought Falcon III Radios

February 15, 2015

US Falcon III radio

Keeping true to its modernization plans, the Philippine Army has acquired new radios for its Light Armored Division.

This was announced by Harris Corporation as early as December 19 last year. The official press release opens with:

Harris Corporation (NYSE:HRS), has been awarded a $18 million initial order to provide the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) with Harris Falcon III® tactical vehicular radios and intercom systems. The Philippine Army will acquire the radios for its tactical communications modernization program. The order was received during the first quarter of fiscal 2015.

The $18 million order is being fulfilled by Harris RF, a subsidiary that sells to customers among national armed forces.

The Harris Corporation press release quoted Harris RF President of International Business Brendan O’Connell mentioning two interesting details about the Falcon III RF-7800V deal. It uses embedded encryption and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) already have 13,000 Harris radios.

The AFP has been upgrading its Harris RF gear since 2008, when it paid an even bigger amount–$80 million–for a large batch of Falcon II radios. At the time, a Harris sales executive revealed the AFP remained loyal to Harris for the last 20 years.

But the new Falcon III RF-7800V marks a considerable boost for the Philippine Army’s mobile assets. According to product information from Harris RF, the RF-7800V has 21 features that make it ideal for vehicular use, including GPS, a chat application, and USB connectivity.

This makes the RF-7800V well-suited to the Light Armored Division. Despite its name, the Philippine Army doesn’t possess main battle tanks. Instead, its Light Armored Division is a mechanized unit equipped with armored cars and APCs. These include the V-150 Commando, the 4×4 SIMBA, M113 AIFV, and the Scorpion light tank.

Harris Corporation is a publicly listed telecommunications and IT provider. Its financials can be reviewed on Thomson Reuters.