P200 Million Worth of Drones Donated by U.S. Military to the Philippines

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Philippines will now have further eyes in the skies to safeguard the West Philippine Sea, thanks to the delivery of four ScanEagle Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) worth P200 million to the Philippine Air Force by its oldest military partner (PAF).

The drones were handed over to the Philippines by the US military on October 13 at the Clark Airbase in Pampanga. The event was especially notable because of Clark’s history as a former US bastion in Asia. It also emphasized the Philippines’ and the United States’ developing ties as the former tries to modernize its military in order to oppose China’s military development in the West Philippine Sea.

The United States provides the Armed Forces of the Philippines with grant assistance and expedited sales of arms and munitions to support its modernization goals and urgent maritime security, counterterrorism, humanitarian efforts, and disaster relief requirements,

according to the US Embassy in Manila.

The ScanEagle is a small, long-endurance, low-altitude unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) used for reconnaissance created by Insitu, a subsidiary of Boeing. It does not require an airfield and can be launched from warships or boats using a mobile launcher.

The ScanEagle was introduced in 2005 and is currently utilized by military forces in the United States, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Spain, the Netherlands, and Brazil, among others.

Its primary eye is made up of an electro-optical and an infrared camera. Its communication system has a 100-kilometer range. The aircraft can fly for more than 20 hours without landing.

The ScanEagle was widely employed as an unmanned surveillance craft by the United States in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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