The Philippines has taken delivery of high-powered weapons and equipment worth 183 million Philippine pesos ($3.8 million) from the US government, the US Embassy in Manila announced on Tuesday.
Officials from the Joint United States Military Assistance Group – Philippines (JUSMAG-P) arrived at Clark Air Base, Pampanga on June 21, bringing nine M3P .50-caliber heavy machine guns, 10 mortar tubes, and additional armaments.
The weapons delivery took place amid the country’s continuing efforts to defend the West Philippine Sea, while also aiming to bolster counterterrorism efforts.
“The United States will continue to support the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ capacity-building efforts through joint training and key military equipment transfers,” JUSMAG-P Chief Stephen Ma said. “Our mutual security collaboration remains a cornerstone of a free and open Indo-Pacific.”
According to the US Embassy in Manila, the recent delivery is in line with the longstanding US commitment to help modernize and strengthen the Philippine military. It also emphasized the celebration of the 70th anniversary of their Mutual Defense Treaty.
LOOK: The AFP receives P183 million ($3.8 million) worth of weapons and equipment from the US army on June 21.
The weapons are expected to enhance the AFP’s counterterrorism and maritime security capabilities, according to the US army.
— Jairo Bolledo (@jairojourno) June 22, 2021
More Weapons, Equipment
Earlier this month, the Philippines received five new S-70i Black Hawk combat utility helicopters from a defense firm in Poland. They will be used to help the country’s armed forces perform a variety of missions, especially in far-flung areas.
“With the latest delivery, the PAF now has 11 Black Hawk utility helicopters. Meanwhile, the third batch of five helicopters [is] scheduled to be delivered before the end of 2021,” Philippine Air Force spokesperson, Lt. Col. Maynard Mariano, said.
The Southeast Asian nation is also poised to acquire missile-capable fast patrol boats worth $209 million from an Israeli shipbuilding company.
The ship, dubbed the Shaldag MK V, features a length of 32.65m (107ft) and a maximum speed above 40 knots. It is combat-proven, light, and has a payload capacity appropriate for naval security missions.