The Philippine Air Force (PAF) has received four ScanEagle Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) from the United States Military, the US Embassy said on Thursday.
The UAS units worth P20 million were turned over to PAF at the Clark Air Bases in Pampanga on October 13.
The drones were personally received by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and PAF commander Lieutenant General Allen Paredes.
Chargé d’Affaires, ad interim (CDA) Heather Variava joined Commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command Admiral John Aquilino and representatives from the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines’ Joint U.S. Military Assistance Group (JUSMAG) in delivering the drones to the PAD.
The donated drones are expected to provide the Philippines additional capabilities in unmanned Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (ISR), and strengthen counterterrorism, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts.
It will also increase the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ (AFP) domain awareness and border security capabilities.
“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,” Variava said.
The embassy said the United States 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.
The Philippines is by far the largest recipient of U.S. military assistance in the Indo-Pacific region, according to the embassy.
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, it added.