PAF receives six Unmanned Aerial Vehicles from US
The Philippine Air Force (PAF) received six Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) from United States in a turnover and blessing ceremony at Villamor Airbase on Tuesday.
Major Aristides Galang, PAF spokesman, said the ceremony was led by US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, AFP Chief of Staff General Rey Leonardo Guerrero, PAF Chief Lt Gen. Galileo Gerard Kintanar Jr. and other military officials.
In his speech, Lorenzana expressed gratitude to the US government for helping the country in modernizing its armed forces.
“The Department of National Defense is 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 Foreign Military Financing program (FMF),” he said.
“It is through FMF that our acquisition of the ScanEagle Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (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,” he added.
Lorenzana stressed the importance of the UAV’s to boost the capability of the AFP.
“Given its superb technical specifications, this equipment will certainly be vital to the capability readiness of the Philippine Air Force, 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,” he said.
“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,” he added.
Galang said the six ScanEagle Unmanned Aerial Vehicles were acquired by the PAF acquired from the United States through foreign military financing estimated at $13.76 million.
“With the arrival of the ScanEagle UAS, operations of our ground, air, and naval forces will be further enhanced. It is capable of performing several missions such as internal security operations, counter-terrorism, and limited maritime patrol,” he said.
“More importantly, the ScanEagle UAS can be utilized by the Philippine government for humanitarian assistance and disaster response operations since it is capable of assessing the extent of damage caused by disasters and calamities, as well as locate victims and survivors,” he added.
Galang said aside from national military objectives, the PAF also “extends the use of the ScanEagle UAS to different departments of the government in order to support national development activities such as anti-illegal logging, aerial survey, and anti-dynamite fishing.” Robina Asido/DMS