Philippine Air Force gets drones worth P200 million from US

Philippine Air Force gets drones worth P200 million from US
This Oct. 13, 2021 photo shows US Chargé d’Affaires, ad interim Heather Variava and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana during the ScanEagle Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) turnover ceremony at the Clark Air Base in Pampanga.
US Embassy / Release

MANILA, Philippines (Corrected 9:25 p.m.) — The Philippine Air Force (PAF) has received four ScanEagle unmanned aerial systems from the US military.

The Air Force received the drones worth P200 million ($4 million) during a ceremony at the Clark Air Base in Pampanga on Wednesday.

The drones will be used to boost the Armed Forces of the Philippines' domain awareness and border security capabilities.

The US Embassy in Manila said the new systems will provide "additional capabilities in unmanned Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance and in support of counterterrorism, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts."

“We remain committed to our promises on helping modernize the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and we hope this will further strengthen our combined capabilities in working together towards a free and open Indo-Pacific,” US Embassy US Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Heather Variava said.

Variava led the turnover ceremony with Philippine defense officials, including Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and Lt. Gen. Allen Paredes, commanding general of the PAF.

US Indo-Pacific Command Adm. John Aquilino and representatives from the US Embassy's Joint US Military Assistance Group were also present during the turnover.

The US Embassy noted that the Philippines is the recipient of the largets US military assistance in the Indo-Pacific region so far.

"Since 2015, the United States has delivered more than P50.6 billion ($1.06 billion) worth of planes, ships, armored vehicles, small arms, and other military equipment to the Philippines, while training side-by-side with our Filipino allies," the US Embassy said in a media release. — Patricia Lourdes Viray

(Editor's note: This article has been updated to reflect that the ScanEagle UASs are worth P200 million and not P20 million as reported in an earlier version.)

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: October 20, 2021 - 2:46pm

A thread of major developments in the bilateral relations between the Philippines and the United States from January to December 2021. (Presidential photo/Joey Dalumpines and AFP/Angela Weiss)

October 20, 2021 - 2:46pm

US military service members on Tuesday delivered ICU beds and COVID-19 cold storage units wort P758,750 to the Palawan provincial government.

The donation was made in response to the request of the Palawan provincial government amid a surge of COVID-19 cases in the province, the US Embassy says in a media release.

“This donation will help the people of Palawan a lot by upgrading our ability to fight against the pandemic.  It comes at the perfect time due to the surge of new cases and will help us face this new challenge," Palawan Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Office director Jeremias Alili says.

October 14, 2021 - 4:00pm

Following their annual defense cooperation meeting, Philippine and US military leaders have agreed to hold over 300 activities for next year.

AFP chief of staff Gen. Jose Faustino Jr. and US Indo-Pacific Command Commander Adm. John Aquilino's meeting resulted in "ensuring continued, robust relations between the US and Philippine militaries," the Philippine military says.

"I am optimistic that our alliance will continue to be robust in view of new and emerging security challenges that confront our nations. After all, we share the same goal of keeping peace and stability in this region," Faustino says.

October 11, 2021 - 10:01am

US President Joe Biden expresses his gratitude to the Filipino American community as the United States commemorates Filipino American History Month.

"Jill and I are proud to recognize Filipino American History Month. Filipino Americans are an essential part of our Nation’s strength, diversity, and history; a living reminder of the courage of immigrants, and a growing force in our civic movements and engagement," Biden says.

September 30, 2021 - 9:42am

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana reveals that China tried to stop the review of the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty with the United States.

"The former Chinese ambassador came to me and said, 'Do not touch the Mutual Defense Treaty. Leave it as it is,'" Lorenzana says in an online forum.

September 21, 2021 - 12:05pm

The United States, in partnership with the WHO co-led COVAX facility, delivers an additional  2,582,190 doses of the?Pfizer-BioNTech?COVID-19 vaccine to the Philippines.

The vaccines, delivered in separate shipments on September 19 and 20, were part of the 500 million doses of Pfizer the United States is making available for distribution through COVAX, the US Embassy in Manila says.

"As the largest donor to the COVAX facility, the United States has facilitated the delivery of more than 16 million vaccine doses to the Philippines via COVAX, including more than 9 million doses donated by the American people," the US Embassy says.

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