US delivers unmanned aerial system to Philippine Navy
The ScanEagle UAS will provide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities to the AFP 71st Maritime Unmanned Aerial Reconnaissance Squadron (71 MUARS) of the Philippine Fleet’s Naval Air Wing, which will operate the aircraft out of Naval Station Leovigildo Gantioqui, San Antonio, Zambales. The 71 MUARS is the AFP’s leading unit for unmanned maritime ISR operations.
BY-SA/Naval Surface Warriors

US delivers unmanned aerial system to Philippine Navy

Pia Lee-Brago (The Philippine Star) - November 26, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The United States turned over yesterday a P710-million ($14.79 million) ScanEagle Unmanned Aerial System or UAS to the Philippine Navy to augment the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)’s maritime domain awareness and border security capabilities.

Acting deputy chief of mission Kimberly Kelly and representatives from the US embassy in the Philippines’ Joint US Military Assistance Group (JUSMAG) turned over the ScanEagle UAS to the flag officer in command, Philippine Navy, Vice Admiral Giovanni Carlo Bacordo, at Naval Base Heracleo Alano, Sangley Point, Cavite.

The ScanEagle UAS will provide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities to the AFP 71st Maritime Unmanned Aerial Reconnaissance Squadron (71 MUARS) of the Philippine Fleet’s Naval Air Wing, which will operate the aircraft out of Naval Station Leovigildo Gantioqui, San Antonio, Zambales. The 71 MUARS is the AFP’s leading unit for unmanned maritime ISR operations.

“Transferring the ScanEagle system for operation by the Maritime Unmanned Aerial Reconnaissance Squadron represents the steadfast commitment by the United States to our partners in the Armed Forces of the Philippines,” Kelly said.

AFP deputy chief of staff Vice Admiral Erick Kagaoan, who was guest of honor and represented Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana at the handover, said, “This new asset will complement the same kind being operated by the 300th Air Intelligence and Security Wing at the Antonio Bautista Air Base in Palawan, which is very close to the disputed areas in the West Philippine Sea that need our consistent attention.”

“Aside from its primary use for ISR, the ScanEagle UAS will greatly aid our organization in the effective assessment of the subject areas, timely decision-making and prompt action in the conduct of territorial defense, internal security operations, as well as humanitarian assistance and disaster repose,” said Philippine fleet commander Rear Admiral Loumer Bernabe.

The US provides the AFP with grant assistance and expedited sales of arms and munitions to support its modernization goals and urgent maritime security, counterterrorism and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief requirements.

During his visit to Manila on Monday, US National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien handed over P868 million ($18 million) in new defense equipment to the AFP.

The Philippines is by far the largest recipient of US military assistance in the Indo-Pacific region.

Since 2015, the US has delivered more than P33 billion ($650 million) worth of planes, ships, armored vehicles, small arms and other military equipment to the Philippines, while training side-by-side with Filipino allies. – Michael Punongbayan

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