Friday, April 27, 2012

Philippines to ask US for excess military hardware

MANILA, Philippines—The Philippines will ask the United States for excess military hardware in the “2 plus 2″ meeting in Washington DC next week, an defense official said Friday.

“We will ask from the US some excess defense articles and the systems that were removed from the Hamilton class that arrived earlier,” Defense Undersecretary Honorio Escueta told reporters in an ambush interview after the closing ceremonies of the Balikatan exercises.

Escueta was referring to the BRP Gregorio del Pilar, the Navy’s first Hamilton class vessel acquired last year through the Excess Defense Articles program.

Among what the equipment taken off from BRP del Pilar when it was turned over to the Philippine Navy were sensors, communications and electronic equipment and close-in weapon systems.

Manila would also ask for long range patrol aircrafts and radar systems, Escueta said.

A second Hamilton ship from the US Coast Guard will arrive in the country within the year.

Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario will meet with their US counterparts, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and State Secretary Hilary Clinton, next week to discuss “defense, security, political and economic concerns.”


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