UAV acquisition part of military modernization: Lorenzana

MANILA The Philippine Air Force (PAF)'s acquisition of six brand-new ScanEagle unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) is part of the military efforts to modernize in view of the many security threats being faced by the country.

"With a number of security issues confronting our country, there is a need to upgrade our nation's armed forces and to establish a more credible defense. And this acquisition of ScanEagle UAV is one way to modernize the military to deter those who want to wage war against our country," Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said.

The six ScanEagles were formally presented by US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Y. Kim to the DND chief during short ceremonies at Villamor Air Base, Pasay City Tuesday morning.

The UAVs were acquired through the US foreign military financing program (FMF).

"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 added.

Also, the DND chief said that they are very grateful to 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.

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 six ScanEagle UAVs are worth USD13.76 million. 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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