Special units of the Philippines armed forces have started using locally manufactured assault rifles, in a development seen as a major step in achieving the country’s goal towards military self-reliance.
According to officials, the Presidential Security Group (PSG) has recently received 145 units of F5-Direct Gas Impingement System (DGIS) assault rifles from United Defence Manufacturing Corp., a wholly Filipino-owned maker of M4 (5.56 Nato) and M110 (7.62 Nato) rifles.
The PSG’s chief responsibility is to protect the President and Vice-President as well as visiting heads of state and members of the Cabinet. “It is an honour for United Defence Manufacturing Corp. (UDMC) to have our rifles chosen to protect the most important official of the land,” Gene Carino, UDMC chief executive officer told Gulf News in an interview. “This is testimony to the trust given to the firearms that we manufacture,” he added.
The design of the F5-DGIS is derived from the reliable and battle-proven M4 5.56 direct impingement system, which is currently widely used by US-allied countries. Supplying to the PSG is a major achievement for UDMC and a landmark accomplishment for the Philippines, which had been largely dependent on imported firearms.
The 4,000-strong PSG is among the best equipped and well trained composite unit of the Philippine armed forces and national police. Recently, a squad of presidential guards survived an hour-long attack by some 40 communist New Peoples’ Army insurgents in Arakan, North Cotabato.
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