The United States has deployed the Gray Eagle Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) to Mindanao for additional surveillance in support of the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ (AFP) counterterrorism efforts.
In a statement, the US Embassy said compared to current surveillance platforms used in the region, the Gray Eagle has a longer flight duration which will enable a larger area of reconnaissance and surveillance.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana thanked the US government for the deployment which will be of great help in the AFP’s campaign against terrorists operating in Mindanao.
“They are now providing us ISR (intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance) services,’ Lorenzana said.
For his part, AFP Public Affairs Office chief Marine Colonel Edgard Arevalo said the military has been receiving technical assistance such as aerial battlefield reconnaissance and surveillance from their counterparts from the US Armed Forces.
“This is one of the areas where their assistance in counter terrorism will be very helpful,” Arevalo said.
Over the past three years, the US government has provided the Philippines with assistance valued at over P15 billion to establish better command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities for the AFP.
Recent deliveries include a Raven tactical UAS and two Cessna-208B surveillance aircraft, as well as various munitions and weapons to support urgent defense and counterterrorism needs.
The strong, long-standing military relationship with the Philippines enables the US to respond quickly to the AFP’s needs and to support the AFP’s modernization goals.
Source: Manila Bulletin