Army, Navy also acquiring unmanned aerial vehicles: DND chief

MANILA With the Philippine Air Force (PAF) now operating six ScanEagle unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana announced that both the Army and Navy are planning to acquire the same equipment.

He made this announcement during the turnover ceremonies for the six ScanEagle UAVs at the Villamor Air Base, Pasay City Tuesday.

"(With) the Air Force acquiring this long-range UAV with a loiter of about 12 hours or more, I think the Navy the is also acquiring their own UAVs. Later on the the Army will be also acquiring (their) tactical UAVs to support brigade or battalion-sized operations and these will be all integrated," Lorenzana added.

Also, the DND chief is hoping that the UAVs the Army and Navy are acquiring would be able to communicate with each other so that the military could cover and secure all parts of the country.

The UAVs were acquired through the US foreign military financing program (FMF) and were worth USD13.76 million.

"This collaboration is also an indication of the Philippines' and the United States' goodwill, deep friendship, and genuine commitment to peace. On behalf of the Republic of the Philippines, we profoundly desire to maintain our strong connection and camaraderie with the United States, as well as to expand common interests and handle differences with understanding and respect. Thank you and mabuhay," Lorenzana earlier said.

Also, the DND chief thanked the United States government for consistently helping the Philippines in purchasing weapons and defense equipment as well as in acquiring defense services and military training through the US FMF.

"It is through FMF that our acquisition of the ScanEagle UAV was made possible. This new asset has a state-of-the-art technology that makes it capable of conducting intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; special services operations; escort operations; sea-lane and convoy protection; protection of high-value and secure installations; as well as high-speed wireless voice, video and data communications relay," Lorenzana pointed out.

And given its superb technical specifications, the DND chief said the newly-acquired equipment would certainly be vital to the capability readiness of the PAF especially in the conduct of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance operations in support to a variety of missions such as territorial defense, security and stability; humanitarian assistance and disaster response; and international defense and security engagement.

The Boeing Insitu ScanEagle is a small, long-endurance, low-altitude unmanned UAV built by Insitu, a subsidiary of Boeing, and is used for reconnaissance.

Source: Philippine News Agency

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