MANILA --- Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVS) like the US-acquired ScanEagle can also help the military in patrolling the sea lanes down south, as part of efforts to prevent pirates and other lawless elements from infesting our waters.
This was emphasized by Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana during the turnover ceremonies of the aerial equipment in Villamor Air Base, Pasay City Tuesday.
"(These UAVs are) welcome to the air force, now you have your own UAVs and you can support our operations in the south and we can send (these) birds to patrol our sea lanes there in Sulu, Eastern Sulu and (and waters near) Malaysia," he added.
Also, Lorenzana said sending UAVs to patrol our sea lanes is much cheaper than sending out manned aircraft.
"And instead of sending out manned aircraft, you can send this, it will cheaper, easier and faster," the DND chief stressed.
The six UAVs worth USD13.76 million were acquired through the US foreign military financing program (FMF).
Philippine Air Force (PAF) spokesperson Major Aristides Galang earlier said the six ScanEagle UAVs would greatly help the military in its conducting air, ground, and naval operations as it capable of flying missions in support of internal security, anti-terrorism, limited maritime patrol aside from humanitarian assistance disaster relief ones.
Aside from these, these UAVs can also help in the monitoring of illegal logging and fishing activities and conduct of aerial survey.
The PAF spokesperson said that UAVs would be operated by their 300th Air Intelligence and Security Wing.