Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, US Ambassador Sung Kim and Defense Undersecretary Cesar Yano examining one of the six UAVs turned over by the US to the Philippines. Edd Gumban       

Philippine Air Force boosts intel gathering with drones acquisition
Jaime Laude (The Philippine Star) - March 14, 2018 - 12:01am

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Air Force (PAF) has upped the ante on its aerial intelligence gathering with the acquisition of six unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from the US worth $13.36 million.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said with six Scan Eagle UAVs acquired from the US under a Foreign Military Financing (FMF) scheme, the PAF air intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations got a big boost.

“This new asset has a state-of-the-art technology that makes it highly capable of conducting intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR),” Lorenzana said.

The UAVs have the capability to conduct various functions including special services operations, escorts operations, sea-lane and convoy protection, protection of key installations as well as high speed wireless voice video and data communications.

Given the “super technical specifications” of the Scan Eagle, the Air Force, he said, will be able to use these UAVs to support a variety of missions also aimed at addressing internal and external threats.

Lorenzana issued the statement following the official turnover of these UAVs by US Ambassador Sung Kim to the Air Force in a ceremony held at the 250th President Airlift Wing Hangar, Villamor Air Base in Pasay City yesterday.

Lt. Gen. Galileo Gerard Kintanar Jr., Air Force chief, said that the six Scan Eagle UAVs are the first unmanned aerial vehicles which the PAF has acquired.

He added that these UAVs will be placed under operational control of the 300th Air Intelligence and Security Wing.

Aside from the US ambassador, the turnover rites were also witnessed by US military officials led by Joint US Military Assistance Group (JUSMAG) chief Col. Ernest Lee.

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