12 Januari 2016
Soldiers test the newly acquired 5.56mm M4 rifles during the ceremonial distribution at Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija (photo : Manila Bulletin)
American arms manufacturer Remington delivered a batch of 12,657 brand new M4 carbines to the Philippine Army, completing its supply contract of 56,843 M4s, ahead of schedule late last December, Army spokesman Col. Benjamin Hao said on Sunday.
The weapons, ordered by the military as part of its modernization program, are undergoing technical inspection by military experts before formal acceptance by the Army. "They have to undergo procedure, it takes another time before they will be distributed to troops," Hao explained.
The 56,843 Remington M4s cost the Philippine Armed Forces P1.9 billion. The first batch of 24,300 weapons was delivered in July 2014, followed by another batch of 19,300 the month after.
The first batch of delivered M4s have already been distributed to soldiers after passing the technical inspection and ballistic test by the PNP. The second batch of rifles are still undergoing ballistic tests.
Barring any hitches, Hao said the last two batches of rifles will be distributed to troops in the field by this year.
Presently, most Philippine soldiers are still using the 1960s-era M16 rifle. The new M4 is "lighter but more powerful" than the M16. "That is a world-class rifle and our troops are proud to have this kind of weapon,” said Hao of the M4s.