PH Navy wants anti-drone tech

The government should consider procuring anti-drone technology following the drone attack in one of the oil processing facilities in Saudi Arabia last month, according to the flag officer-in-command of the Philippine Navy.

Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad said the Philippine military badly needed anti-drone technology to protect military facilities, camps, and even water assets against drones.

“This is the future threat: Drones that attack facilities. They can quickly attack our new ships or munitions sites,” Empedrad said during the 23rd anniversary celebration of the Naval Forces in Western Mindanao in Zamboanga City on Wednesday.

“Even our camps and bases should be protected. Israel, the UK and even Russia have proposed ways to to protect our infrastructure from possible drone attacks.” 

In related developments:

• The Armed Forces of the Philippines and the United States will conduct starting next week the third annual joint military exercises to promote multinational military interoperability, readiness and capability in various training sites in Luzon.

The US Embassy in Manila said the joint military exercises, dubbed “KAMANDAG,” was set for Oct. 9 to 18 in various training sites in Luzon and Palawan.

• The Philippine Navy has formally retired its oldest ship, the BRP Cebu (PS-28), from the service during decommissioning ceremonies at the Captain Salvo Pier, Naval Base Cavite, early this week.

The retirement ceremonies for the World War II-era vessel took place on Oct. 1.

• The launchers of the Spike-ER surface-to-surface missiles of the three multi-purpose attack crafts activated last month will be installed next year, a Philippine Navy official said Friday.

“The launchers for the Spike-ER surface-to-surface missiles will be installed in early 2020 and installation will be done in the Philippines as in the previous multi-purpose attack crafts,” Navy spokesman Henry Quinto told the Philippine News Agency.

Military officials have drafted a proposal for the procurement of counter-drone technology, which could detect and prevent unauthorized drones from entering a restricted military facility. 

“The Air Force came up with the proposal, and we either copy it or we come up with our own proposal. We will check what fits our requirements,” Empedrad said.

He said since they still didn’t have the capability to counter drone attacks, he ordered Navy personnel to be extra alert and use automatic rifles to pin down drones that posed a threat to a camp’s security.

There has been no reported drone attacks in the country by local terrorist groups. However, Empedrad is not discounting this possibility as local terrorists are now becoming more creative on how to stage their attacks.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Navy is expected to deploy more military vessels and equipment in Western Mindanao and the Basulta areas as intensified operations against the Abu Sayyaf bandits and communist group have heightened.

Empedrad said they will deploy additional multi-purpose attack craft, amphibious assault vehicles and even missile-capable vessels in Mindanao in a bid to crush the remaining bandits in the Basulta areas. With PNA

Topics: Saudi Arabia , Philippine Navy , Drone , Robert Empedrad , Henry Quinto
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