The U.S. Department of Defense donated $128 million worth of weapons to Philippines including C-130 aircraft, snipers’ and anti-improvised explosive device equipment.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. accepted the donation from visiting acting U.S. Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller during a short ceremony held at the Department of National Defense (DND) building in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City, Philippine News Agency, web-based newswire service of the Philippine government, reported today.
Miller also informed Lorenzana that one C-130 military transport aircraft would be delivered to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on December 17.
Aside from the turnover of the defense articles, he also mentioned the U.S. government’s PHP1.1 billion ($23.4 million) Covid-19 assistance and disaster relief for recent typhoon victims, as well as ongoing support for Philippine counterterrorism and maritime security efforts.
The United States has earlier transferred defense equipment to several special mission units of the AFP to support its modernization goals.
The new equipment will strengthen the AFP’s joint precision strike, sniper, riverine, and counter-improvised explosive device capabilities.
Manila has also recently received ScanEagle Unmanned Aerial System and $18 million worth of weapons including 100 tube-launched, optically tracked, wire-guided (TOW) 2A missiles, 12 improved target acquisition systems (ITAS), and 24 mark 82 (MK-82) bombs, from the U.S.
The Philippines is by far the largest recipient of U.S. military assistance in the Indo-Pacific region. Since 2015, the United States has delivered more than PHP33 billion ($650 million) worth of planes, ships, armored vehicles, small arms, and other military equipment to the Philippines, while training side-by-side with Filipino allies.