THE Philippine Air Force (PAF) inaugurated on Tuesday, March 13, the six newly acquired unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) procured through the foreign military financing (FMF) grant from the United States.
The six ScanEagle UAVs, with total cost of $13.76 million, were delivered to the Villamor Air Base in Pasay City on March 10.
Present during the turnover and blessing ceremony of the equipment were Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim, PAF officers and Colonel Ernest Lee, chief of the Joint US Military Assistance Group in the Philippines, as well as other US embassy representatives.
PAF commanding general Lieutenant General Galileo Gerard Kintanar Jr. said it was the first unmanned aerial system acquired by the air force which will further enhance the military’s ground, air and naval capability particularly for the internal security operations, counter-terrorism as well as in maritime patrolling.
“Apart from the national military objectives, the PAF extends the use of the ScanEagle UAVs to different departments of the government in order to support national development activities such as anti-illegal logging, aerial survey and anti-dynamite fishing,” he said.
Lorenzana thanked the US government for its continuous assistance to the Philippines particularly in acquiring weapons and defense equipment as well as service and military training.
"This new asset has a state-of-the-art technology that makes it capable of conducting intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR); 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 said. (SunStar Philippines))