Gov’t used drones vs MNLF in Zambo siege
Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - December 21, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Government forces used drones to conduct spying operations against rogue elements of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) who figured in the Zamboanga siege last September.

Army spokesman Capt. Anthony Bacus said the unmanned aerial vehicle system (UAS) can provide real-time imagery intelligence and video feed from an area with a range of three to seven kilometers, and the range could be extended to up to 50 kilometers.

“The UAS had been instrumental in the successful conduct of operations against the rogue MNLF rebels in Zamboanga City last September that led to the surrender and arrest of several MNLF fighters under Nur Misuari,” Bacus said in a statement issued yesterday.

The drones complement the troops’ human intelligence and signals intelligence capability being used in surveillance and disaster response efforts.

Footage from drones help ground commanders make crucial decisions on important matters like troop deployment.

Each drone is equipped with a 12-megapixel camera and weighs about 2.1 kilograms. It has a wingspan of 178 centimeters and can reach an altitude of 1,000 feet.

Developed by the Army last year, the drones were among the items displayed in the Army booth that was set up in Camp Aguinaldo for the military’s 78th anniversary.

The development of the drones started last year and required P2.5 million in funding.

Raptor, the first drone, cost P150,000 while Knight Falcon cost P300,000. The Army is now developing a third drone that has more advanced features than those of the two drones combined.

ANTHONY BACUS BACUS CAMP AGUINALDO CAPT DRONES KNIGHT FALCON MORO NATIONAL LIBERATION FRONT NUR MISUARI ZAMBOANGA ZAMBOANGA CITY
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