Despite President Duterte’s rants against the United States, Washington continues to aid the Philippines in various, including the turn over today of a radar system to the Philippine Navy.
This is part of Washington’s support in efforts to continuously beef up the intelligence and monitoring capabilities of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
Navy Spokesman Capt. Lued Lincuna said officials, led by Navy Chief Vice Adm. Joseph Ronald Mercado, will receive the Tethered Aerostat Radar System (TARS) from the US through US Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Michael Klescheski.
The turnover of the TARS—a self-sustained, unmanned lighter-than-air radar system—at the headquarters of the Naval Education and Training Command in Zambales, is the second donation by the US in less than a month.
Late last month the US turned over to the AFP two Cessna 208B Caravan aircraft, which Manila will use in monitoring its maritime territory.
The two aircraft, principally used for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), were provided by the US government under its maritime-security initiative through the US Pacific Command.
The two aircraft are long-range patrol planes that would be used in monitoring the Sulu Sea, the West Philippine Sea and even Benham Rise. Lincuna said the TARS should enhance the Navy’s capability in ISR by “effectively detecting maritime and air traffic within the country’s coastal waters using sensors”.
“Moreover, it will also be utilized in the conduct of Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response operations,” Lincuna added.
The TARS also include a weather station that provides telemetry data to the ground station for the monitoring of ambient temperature, pressure, wind speed and other pertinent parameters in the operation of the system.