With the Philippine Air Force (PAF) now operating six ScanEagle unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), 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 turn-over ceremonies for the six ScanEagle UAV 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 is also acquiring its own UAV. Later on the the Army will also be acquiring its tactical UAV to support brigade or battalion-sized operations and these will be all integrated,” Lorenzana added.
Also, the DND chief is hoping that the UAV 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 UAV were acquired through the US foreign military financing program (FMF) and were worth $13.76 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 had 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 of 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.