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Philippines receives additional ScanEagle UASs, Black Hawk helos

The Philippines has received additional Insitu ScanEagle unmanned aircraft systems (UASs) and Sikorsky S-70i Black Hawk helicopters from the United States.

Four ScanEagle systems were delivered to the Philippine Air Force (PAF) to add to the undisclosed number of systems previously received, as well as five Black Hawks to add to the 11 previously received.

“The US military turned over four ScanEagle UASs worth PHP200 million (USD4 million) to the Philippine Air Force during a ceremony at the Clark Air Base in Mabalacat City, Pampanga, on 13 October. These platforms will provide additional capabilities in unmanned intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (ISR), and in support of counterterrorism, humanitarian assistance, and disaster relief efforts”, the US Embassy said. Separately, Philippines Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana was quoted as saying, “With five more Black Hawks, the Philippine Air Force (PAF) can now better provide prompt and sustained day and night tactical [helicopter] lift, and combat and non-combat search and rescue operations”.

The contract for the ScanEagle order was first reported by Janes in 2017. The notification issued by the US Naval Air Systems Command in June of that year referred to a “follow-on requirement” of ScanEagle systems for the Philippine government. The country previously had not been known to field the type, but this initial sale was confirmed by the US Embassy in Manila, with the disclosure in March 2018 that one system comprising six air vehicles had been delivered.

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