Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana confirmed today that the United States is giving the Philippines Boeing Insitu ScanEagle unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) for reconnaissance and surveillance use.
This is after the US turned over two new Cessna 208B “Caravan” intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft.
“It be will be accepted by the Air Force [sometime this year]. This is aside the [Aerovironment RQ-11] Raven [hand-launched unmanned aerial vehicle] which was given for the use of the Marine Special Operations Group early this year,” he added.
“[The Americans] have given us a lot of equipment [this year], they are all brand-new,” Lorenzana pointed out.
ScanEagle is a small, long-endurance, low-altitude reconnaissance UAV and part of the ScanEagle Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS).
Last June, Naval Air Systems Command of the United States Navy released a solicitation document for the procurement of undisclosed number of ScanEagle from Insitu for the Philippine government with estimated value of $13.5M. The contract involves ScanEagle UAVs, spares, support equipment, tools, training, and support services.
IHS Jane’s estimated that with the mentioned estimated value, the Philippines will be getting 15 UAVs.
“Based on the procurements of other nations – in 2014 Yemen signed for a system of 12 ScanEagle vehicles for USD11 million – the Philippines’ follow-on system is likely to be made up of about 15 vehicles,” said IHS Jane’s.