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US delivers ScanEagle UAS to Philippine Air Force

13 March 2018
Kim pours champagne over one of six ScanEagle UAVs handed over to the Philippine Air Force during a ceremony held on 13 March. Source: Via US Embassy in Manila

The Philippine Air Force has received an Insitu ScanEagle unmanned aircraft system (UAS) from the United States, according to statement by the US Embassy in Manila.

The system, which includes six unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), was officially handed over to Philippine Secretary of National Defense Delfin Lorenzana during a ceremony held at Villamor Air Base in Pasay City.

US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Y Kim, along with officials from the Joint US Military Assistance Group (JUSMAG), delivered the PHP687 million (USD13 million) UAS to the Philippine Air Force through the Foreign Military Financing grant programme to “increase the Philippine military’s maritime domain awareness, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief [HADR] and counter-terrorism capabilities”, according to the statement.

The ScanEagle UAS is expected to provide unmanned intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities to the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ (AFP’s) 300 Air Intelligence and Security Wing (AISW), which will operate the aircraft out of Antonio Bautista Air Base, Palawan, said the embassy, pointing out that 300 AISW is the AFP’s leading unit for air ISR operations.

“The transfer of the Scan Eagle to the ‘unmanned’ ISR group and the transfer of the two Cessna- 208Bs in July 2017 to the ‘manned’ ISR group represent our strong commitment to enhance the capabilities of the Armed Forces of the Philippines [AFP],” Kim was quoted as saying during the ceremony.

Lorenzana was quoted by the state-owned Philippines News Agency (PNA) as saying that same day that the acquisition of the six UAVs is "part of the military’s efforts to modernise in view of the many security threats being faced by the country".

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