Philippines boosts surveillance capability

The Philippines government has acquired six Boeing (Insitu) ScanEagle unmanned aerial systems to boost its surveillance operations, the Philippines Department of National Defense (DND) announced in March 2018.

The aircraft have been acquired under a $13.8 million US Foreign Military Financing (FMF) contract and will be operated by the Philippine Air Force’s 300th Air Intelligence and Security Wing. The ScanEagles were handed over during a ceremony at Villamor Air Base, Pasay City on March 14, 2018.

In related news, the Philippine Navy announced on March 26, 2018 it has received three additional Beechcraft TC-90 King Air aircraft from the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force. The Navy received two aircraft in 2017 and the five-strong fleet will be used on maritime surveillance operations.

During a welcoming ceremony for the additional aircraft, Philippines Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said: “They can now operate day and night. It will fill a gap in our maritime surveillance, so the effect is huge and it will ensure that we can patrol our maritime domain and ensure security of passage of all ships.” Nigel Pittaway