The United States has delivered six surveillance drones to the Philippines on Tuesday strengthening the nation’s capability to respond to the developing militant threat.
The drones—ScanEagle are worth more than $13 million. The United States Embassy in Manila said in one of its statement that the drones would increase the Philippines military’s maritime domain know-how, the disaster management and the capabilities to counterterrorism along with the humanitarian assistance.
The drones have the ability to function above fifteen thousand feet and stay airborne for as long as twenty hours as per the manufacturer—Boeing. They were for the very first time positioned in Iraq back in the year 2004 by the Marine Corps.
The embassy informed that the Philippines Air Force would be flying the ScanEagle out of the Antonio Bautista Air Base in the province of Palawan.
The drones have been provided under the Foreign Military Financing program. They are the most updated American military hardware provided to the Philippines as the nation is struggling to hold Islamic rebels in the South.
A pair of Cessna 208B Grand Caravan intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance planes were provided last year by the United States as part of the $33 million counterterrorism package.
Sung Kim—the U.S. Ambassador said at an occasion of the drone handover that the exchange of drones and aircraft indicates strong commitment of the U.S. with the armed forces of the Philippines for enhancing their capabilities, as reported by the embassy statement.
Delfin Lorenzana—the Défense Secretary—Philippines said that the transfer is an indication of the United States and Philippines’ deep friendship, genuine commitment and goodwill towards peace.
The long-term relationship between the two countries has maintained and is continuing despite a stony kind of relationship between the U.S. and Philippine President—Rodrigo Duterte. He insulted the American leaders, shortened the mutual military exercises and attempted to improve the country’s ties with China.