PAF gets ScanEagle UAS from US
The United States on Wednesday turned over to the Philippine Air Force (PAF) a ScanEagle Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) under its foreign military financing grant amounting to $13.2million (P687 million ).
The ScanEagle is a mini unmanned air vehicle developed by Insitu and Boeing at the Phantom Works facility. It is used for surveillance and reconnaissance.
The UAS will be used by the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ 300 Air Intelligence and Security Wing (AISW), which will operate the aircraft out of Antonio Bautista Air Base, Palawan. The 300 AISW is the AFP’s leading unit for air ISR operations.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and US Ambassador Sung Kim were present when the UAS s was blessed and turned over to the PAF in simple rites at the 250th Presidential Airlight Wing Hangar in Villamor Air Base, Pasay City as the primary venue and the 505th Search-and-Rescue Group Hangar as an alternate venue.
Also present during the transfer ceremony was US Army Col. Ernest C. Lee, Chief of JUSMAG-Philippines.
“The transfer of the Scan Eagle to the ‘unmanned’ ISR group and the transfer of the two Cessna- 208Bs in July 2017 to the ‘manned’ ISR group represent our strong commitment to enhance the capabilities of the Armed Forces of the Philippines,” Kim said during the ceremony.
According to Kim, “this great system will increase counterterrorism and HADR capabilities.”
The United States, as a longstanding ally of the Philippines, has been providing support to the AFP through both grant assistance and expedited sales of arms and munitions to assist both long-term AFP modernization goals and urgent counter-terrorism and HADR requirements.
Meanwhile, the PAF is setting aside PP9.5 million for the acquisition of spare parts and services needed for the maintenance of one of its Sikorsky S-76A search-and-rescue utility helicopters.
The PAF operates three to nine S-76A units. Each aircraft has a crew of two and is capable of carrying 13 passengers. #