Arms Corporation of the Philippines (Armscor) said it is especially optimistic about the export market this year, following successful bids to supply small arms and ammunition to countries where you would not think to find a Filipino product. The company’s VP for International Sales, Mely Cayabyab explained that hefty exports have more or less made up for a reported decline in local sales due to the recent implementation of tougher gun legislation.
Cayabyab revealed that separate contracts were recently signed to supply a total of 5 million rounds of ammunition to various branches of Thailand’s armed forces this year. The bulk of this purchase will go to the Royal Thai Navy, which will be supplied with 3 million rounds of 5.56mm ammunition. Meanwhile, the Royal Thai Air Force will be receiving 1 million rounds of 5.56mm and 1 million rounds of 9mm Luger (9×19) ammunition from Armscor. The values of the said contracts were not mentioned.
The Armscor executive added that they also closed a deal with the government of Djibouti to supply some two thousand .22-caliber rifles with an accompanying 20 million rounds of .22LR ammunition to that country’s military establishment. This purchase will supposedly be used in the training of fresh recruits to the Djibouti military.
She also revealed that the Philippines’ dominant arms and ammunition maker will be shipping assorted ammunition to East Timor forces. Armscor products are also bound for Indonesia and Malaysia this year, but these will be to fill orders of the commercial (shooting clubs) market.
Cayabyab reported that 80% of Armscor’s 2016 production went overseas. She added that 60% of these exports went to the United States while the remainder was distributed among other countries. Local sales, which accounted for only the 20% balance, was to a significant extent thanks to purchases by the private security industry—the company’s long-standing best homegrown customer.