US ‘smart weapons’ to aid military efforts vs. terrorists

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Monday said the “smart munitions” given to them by the United States would be of great help to their ongoing efforts to eliminate the terrorist menace in the country.

DFA photo

“These smart munitions with such capability and precision will aid immensely the AFP in ridding the country of terrorist menaces,” AFP spokesperson Marine Major Gen. Edgard Arevalo said in a statement.

While the AFP has been successful in using ordinary munitions in counter-terrorism operations using legacy aircraft, including in Marawi City, Arevalo said the arrival of these modern weapons will greatly boost efforts to defeat the threat of terrorism.

“We may have been successful in counter-terrorism operations—most notably in Marawi —with ordinary munitions fitted in our legacy aircraft. But with the advent of these missiles and munitions, we are certain that they will greatly boost our campaigns and contribute to the global drive to fight and defeat terrorists,” Arevalo said.

He added that AFP chief-of-staff, Gen. Gilbert Gapay, has also expressed his thanks to the US and Philippines defense departments for brokering and sealing this deal.

In a ceremony on Monday, the Department of Foreign Affairs received from US National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien a precision-guided munition package to the Philippines worth US$18 million (around PHP868 million).

Some of the weapons handed over include 100 “tube-launched optically tracked, wire-guided” TOW-2A missiles, 12 improved target acquisition systems (ITAS), and 24 Mark-82 bombs and associated guidance kits to convert these into smart bombs. PNA.GOV.PH