Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Tactical UAV provides ground troops vital intel from above in Zamboanga

A military drone hovers above as fighting continues between government troops and Muslim rebels Saturday in Zamboanga City-- Photo from Mckoyzzz of PDFF

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines-- As government forces surrounding about 200 fighters from a Moro National Liberation Front rebel faction have started to advance and slowly retaking rebel-held areas and clearing roads in villages in the coastal outskirts of Zamboanga; Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) commonly known as "DRONES" quietly hover above to provide intelligence about enemy movements.

Tactical UAV being launched from RHIB during the US Navy/Joint Drills held in June 28, 2013--Photo from
Tactical UAVs are different from the drones in United States that can carry ammunition and rockets. This type of drone is smaller and is being used by special forces around the world to track troops and enemy movements while operating in hostile areas. 

Army's locally developed UAV --Photo from Wikipedia
Philippine Army in partnership with OB Mapua had developed it's own version of UAV and launched it last 2012. Equipped with a high-resolution camera, the UAV can provide real time images of the terrain conditions as well as enemy positions while flying beyond sniper fire. It has a maximum speed of 80 knots. It is also equipped with the sophisticated Global Positioning System Based Pre-Set Way-points. The first Army UAV was named Assunta after the movie star.

UAV's GPS System--Photo form
PA envisioned it to be used in identifying rebel lairs and even hide-outs of bandits like the Abu Sayyaf since it can give a comprehensive detail on the terrain over which it passes.

The use of aerial drones in providing data from above is now being adopted by various branches of the government. 

Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is now using another type of UAV called Parrot AR Drone Flyers to monitor traffic in Metro Manila.

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Department of Natural Resources (DENR) announced July last year, that they will be renting drones to be used in it's campaign against illegal logging activities in Southern Mindanao, particularly in hard-to-reach areas hit by Typhoon Pablo in December.

They planned to rent drones from SkyEye UAV Services, a company that rents out drones for monitoring and mapping services.

“It will be the first time for DENR to use it in the country. We will start with the 16 hotspot villages in Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley,” said Joselin Marius Fragada, DENR regional director

Photo from
“What’s significant about this is that the data gathered by drones would be more accurate and reliable. Compared with people you’re going to send to the area, the data gathered by the drones could not lie,” he added.

Philippine UAV and Drones Review

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