Navy operating new unmanned aerial system from Zambales

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The Philippine Navy, through recently activated Maritime Unmanned Aerial Reconnaissance Squadron (MUARS-71) Philippine Fleet’s Naval Air Wing, will be operating its newly received advanced fixed-wing unmanned aerial system (UAS), Scan Eagle UAS from Naval Station Leovigildo Gantioqui, San Antonio, Zambales.

Secretary of National Defense Delfin Lorenzana said in speech, delivered by Armed Force of the Philippines (AFP) deputy chief of staff Vice Admiral Erick Kagaoan during the turnover ceremony November 25, “this new assets will complement the same kind being operated by the 300th Air Intelligence and Security Wing at the Antonio Bautista Air Base in Palawan, which is very close to the disputed areas in the West Philippine Sea that needs our consistent attention.”

The Philippine Navy said this advanced UAS composed of eight air vehicles, two launchers, skyhook and ground control station was acquired through the Maritime Security Initiative Program (MSIP) of the United States requested by in 2017 and was formalized in February 2019, after series of dialogues with Philippines Joint U.S. Military Assistance Group (JUSMAG-Phil). It has an estimated cost of 14.79 million US dollars.

“Aside from its primary use for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR), the ScanEagle UAS will greatly aid our organization in the effective assessment of the subject areas, timely decision-making, and prompt action in the conduct of territorial defense, internal security operations, as well as humanitarian assistance and disaster response,” Philippine Fleet commander Rear Admiral Loumer P. Bernabe said.