Quantcast
Latest Stories

DFA backs US claim drone fired in Guam 4 months ago

By , Jonas Cabiles Soltes Mar Arguelles
,

FALLEN DRONE A US-made unmanned aerial vehicle, identified as a BQM-74E target drone, was recovered in waters off San Jacinto town on Ticao Island, Masbate, early Sunday morning. PHOTO FROM MASBATE PROVINCIAL POLICE OFFICE

The United States on Tuesday said a US drone found floating by fishermen off Masbate province was actually fired four months ago during American naval exercises off Guam, even as some legislators and Filipino activists called for an investigation.

The US Embassy knocked down speculation that the drone was launched within Philippine air space—which  militant groups said would have constituted a violation of national sovereignty.

The United States has repeatedly shown the power of its drones, as its unmanned aerial vehicles are called. On Tuesday, a US drone strike killed eight people in northwestern Pakistan, reportedly including a foreign tactical trainer for the al-Qaeda terror group.

On Monday, retired US Gen. Stanley McChrystal said in New York  that drones had helped American troops but were hated around the world and that their overuse could jeopardize US security.

In a statement, the US Embassy in Manila on Tuesday said the drone recovered off Masbate on Sunday was actually fired during the Guam exercises last September and was washed ashore in the Philippines.

Embassy spokesperson Tina Malone said the “unarmed target drone that washed ashore off the coast of Masbate Island is an expended BQM-74E Aerial Target drone … launched from the USS Chafee during exercise Valiant Shield 2012 on Sept. 19, 2012, off the coast of Guam.”

“It appears that ocean currents brought the drone to where it washed ashore last week off Masbate Island,” Malone added.

Malone earlier said the drone also was not used for surveillance.

Live fire exercises

 

Department of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Raul Hernandez appeared to support the US Embassy explanation.

“Ocean currents brought the target drone to where it was found off the coast of Masbate. As such, at no time was the aerial target drone launched nor did it fly or crash within the Philippine territory,” Hernandez said in a statement late Tuesday night.

Hernandez issued the statement after receiving information on the incident from the US Embassy.

Earlier, Hernandez said the foreign office had instructed retired Gen. Edilberto Adan, executive officer of the commission on the Philippine-US Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), to “file a full report.”

He said the DFA was also coordinating with Philippine defense officials, adding: “We would like to assure the public that every effort is being taken to address this issue.”

According to the US Navy website, last year’s Valiant Shield gathered 25 US joint forces from the Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps for nine days to train in “real world operations including combat exercises, search and rescue and humanitarian aid exercises.”

The exercises included targeting and live firing exercises, air, submarine and surface warfare, the US Navy said.

Can be used for combat

The militant Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) and its allied fisherfolk group called on Congress to investigate.

“The problem with US drones is that they can be used for surveillance and they can be used for actual combat operations … Drones underscore US direct involvement in internal conflict in the Philippines,” Bayan secretary general Renato Reyes Jr. claimed.

Bayan also suspected US drones of being used to map areas of the Philippines presumably rich in natural resources. “The use of drones in Philippine airspace is another reason why we should junk the VFA,” Reyes said.

Pamalakaya vice chairman Salvador France said the drone could have been used to spy on activities of the communist New People’s Army as part of counterinsurgency efforts.

Not used against rebels

A human rights group rejected the US statement that the drone was not used for spying.

“Who are they fooling? Drones are remotely controlled and have spying capabilities,” said Paul Vincent Casilihan, spokesperson of Karapatan-Bicol.

Maj. Harold Cabunoc, spokesperson of the Philippine Army, denied  that drones were taking part in the fight against rebels.

The recovered drone was brought on Tuesday to the Philippine Navy Naval Forces for Southern Luzon (Navforsol) headquarters in Legazpi City.

Navy Capt. Rommel Jason Galang, Navforsol deputy commander,  said the 4-meter-long drone would be immediately transported to the Philippine Navy Sea System Command in Cavite City.

Thorough report

Defense analyst Rex Robles believed the vehicle was an aerial target drone, as indicated by its technical descriptions, and not a surveillance drone, unless the authorities found radar and other data recording system in it.

“It’s to simulate hostile aircraft. It’s a moving target. They’ll fire on it, and if it’s hit, then the exercise is successful,” Robles said.

Asked if the use of the drone was sanctioned by the government, presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said it would discuss the matter with Philippine defense officials.

Sen. Loren Legarda, chairperson of the Senate foreign relations committee, demanded a thorough report, saying the drone’s presence in Philippine territory “raises a serious concern of national security.” With reports from Leila B. Salaverria, Nikko Dizon, TJ Burgonio and Cathy C. Yamsuan


Follow Us


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Drone , Global Nation , Masbate , Military , Military Equipment , Philippines , US

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TIVN4C2Q5DOBDD7HJMNU7RZBD4 Eagle from Davao

    The BQM-74 Chukar is a series of aerial target drones produced by Northrop. The Chukar has gone through three major revisions, including the initial MQM-74A Chukar I, the MQM-74C Chukar II, and the BQM-74C Chukar III. They are recoverable, remote controlled, subsonic aerial target, capable of speeds up to Mach 0.86 and altitudes from 30 to 40,000 ft (10 to 12,000 m).
    Contents
      [hide] 1 Description2 Development2.1 MQM-74A Chukar I2.2 XBQM-1082.3 MQM-74C Chukar II2.4 BQM-74C Chukar III2.5 BQM-74E Chukar III2.6 Future versions3 Gulf War combat use4 Specifications5 Related content6 References[edit]Description
    The BQM-74E is propelled during flight by a single Williams J400 (J400-WR-404) turbojetengine, which produces a maximum thrust of 240 pounds force (1068 N) at sea level. The BQM-74 is launched from a zero length ground launcher utilizing dual Jet Assisted Takeoff (JATO) bottles. When equipped with an air launch kit, the BQM-74 can be air launched from a TA-4J, F-16, Grumman Gulfstream Ior DC-130 aircraft. The BQM-74 is used primarily as a realistic aerial target, capable of simulating enemy threats for gunnery and missile training exercises.
    Drones are capable of being recovered following a training exercise. A parachute is deployed by remote control or if the remote control link is severed and a flotation kit can be added for sea-based recovery. If recovery of the drone is required, special telemetry warheads are used on the defensive missile in place of explosives. This telemetry warhead is desirable since it allows for extensive analysis of the performance of the defensive missile, including miss distance information that determines if a real warhead would have damaged the target. A direct hit would likely destroy the drone. Gunnery systems would use non-explosive dummy munitions. Since gunnery systems are aimed in front of a moving target so it will fly through the blast-fragments, dummy munitions do not have to directly hit a target. Analysis of radar data would determine if the dummy munitions would have damaged the target drone.
    [edit]Development
    [edit]MQM-74A Chukar I
    The Chukar series began in the early 1960s with a US Navy requirement for a new target drone. The company developed a prototype with the company designation of NV-105 and featuring a delta wing, flying it in 1964. The delta wing didn’t work out and was replaced by a straight wing, resulting in the NV-105A, which was first flown in 1965. The NV-105A was accepted by the Navy and went into production as the MQM-74A in 1968.
    A U.S. Navy MQM-74A launch, 1972.
    The MQM-74A had a neatly tapered cigar-shaped fuselage, straight mid-mounted wings, an underslung jet engine with the intake under the wings, and a conventional tail configuration with the tailplanes set in an inverted vee. It was powered by a Williams International WR24-6 turbojet engine with a thrust of 121 pounds (538 N), and was launched by RATO booster from the ground or a ship. The Navy purchased 1,800 MQM-74A Chukar Is. Several hundred more were purchased in total by NATO for a multinational test range on the island of Crete, as well as the Royal Navy and the Italian Navy.
    Chukar is the name of an Asian species of partridge, introduced to America and as they are hunted for sport, it seems that Northrop felt that the name was appropriate for an aircraft whose purpose in life is to be shot at. The name Chukar is only formally applied to export versions of the drone, but informally it is used for all variants.
    [edit]XBQM-108
    Main article: BQM-108
    In the mid-1970s, the US Naval Weapons Center used the MQM-74A as the basis for an experimental drone designated the XBQM-108, which was to be used to as a demonstrator for a “pogo” or “tailsitter” aircraft that could take off and land straight up and down on its tail. The fuselage, tailfin, radio controlsystem, and parachute recovery system of the MQM-74A were retained, but the drone was fitted with a new wing, a Teledyne CAE J402 engine with a rotating vectored thrust exhaust, fixed tricycle landing gear, and additional flight control systems. The demonstrator was completed and was making tethered flights when the program was cancelled.
    [edit]MQM-74C Chukar II
    MQM-74C Chukar II floating and being recovered.
    The Navy liked the Chukar I but wanted a somewhat faster version, and in the early 1970s Northrop developed the improved experimental MQM-74B, which was followed by the production MQM-74C Chukar II. The Chukar II is difficult to distinguish from the Chukar I, but the Chukar II is slightly scaled up and uses an uprated Williams WR24-7 turbojet with 180 pound (800 N) thrust, giving it a top speed of 590 mph (950 km/h).
    Like the Chukar I, the Chukar II is ground or ship launched only. At least 1,400 Chukar IIs were built, mostly for the US Navy, but other customers included NATO, Great Britain, West Germany, Greece, Iran, Italy, Japan, theNetherlands, Saudi Arabia, and Spain.
    [edit]BQM-74C Chukar III
    In 1978, the US Navy requested a still more sophisticated drone, and Northrop responded with the BQM-74C Chukar III. This improved variant is visibly different from its predecessors, featuring a more cylindrical fuselage, in contrast with the tapered fuselage of its predecessors.
    The BQM-74C incorporates a microprocessor-based autopilot that allows it to be programmed for much more sophisticated flight operations. The BQM-74C can be air launched as well as ground launched. The original engine was the Williams WR24-7A AKA J400-WR-402, with 180 pound (800 N) thrust, but in 1986 production was upgraded to the J400-WR-403 with 240 pound (1070 N) thrust. The BQM-74C is stressed for maneuvers of up to 6Gs. More than 1,600 BQM-74Cs have been built.
    Northrop built ten BQM-74C Recce UAVs for tactical reconnaissance for US Navy evaluation, but this variant did not go into production.
    [edit]BQM-74E Chukar III
    The BQM-74C has now been replaced in production by the BQM-74E, which is externally all but identical but incorporates the uprated J400-WR-404 engine as standard, and has a third greater range and endurance than its predecessor.
    On 06 January 2013 PHT, Filipino fishermen recovered a drone of this kind floating off in the waters near Masbate Province, Philippines. [1] The English newspaper The Daily Mail ran a story[2] with several close-up photos of the drone in orange color. The story included an image showing the model and serial number plate, “MODEL NO. BQM-74E”. The plate also showed an “acceptance date” of April 14, 2008. The US Embassy in Manila said that the drone was actually fired four months ago during American naval exercises off Guam and was just washed ashore in the Philippines through ocean currents. The country’s Department of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Raul Hernandez appeared to support the US Embassy explanation, adding that at no time was the aerial target drone launched nor did it fly or crash within the Philippine territory. Human rights groups and even left-wing inclined groups/organizations have either condemned, criticized or called for an investigation regarding the incident, saying that drones can be used for surveillance and they can be used for actual combat operations, as well as suggesting it is used on spying on activities of the communist New People’s Army as part of counterinsurgency efforts. However, Maj. Harold Cabunoc, spokesperson of the Philippine Army, denied that drones were taking part in the fight against rebels. [3]

    I post this info to educate the readers and leftist groups on making hype on this simple story which is blown out of proportion. I copy this from wikipedia. In short -cut this simple story short and post a more valuable and more significant story .

    • kanoy

       FAR TOO MUCH COPY PASTE

  • DakuAkongUtin

    Sell the scrap for some money . Makakain pa kayo dyan .

  • Handiong_Haringmakabayan

    If this drone was used in concert with state-of-the-art powerful radars to detect contraband, illegal money, detect movement and location of the brigands in the mountain terrorists (NPA) and dangerous drugs to and from the country, we’ll need more of this. The interdiction and destruction of these problems will help boost our economy and morale.

  • Handiong_Haringmakabayan

    Agreed. I’m sure that the US knows where these terrorists are hiding in the mountains complete with what these terrorists are wearing on their brainless murderous heads. The government and the US military should be discrete if they decide to give it a go. I don’t think innocent bystanders and doe-eyed farmers would appreciate thunderous explosions a few miles from where they’re at. The safety and well-being of innocent civilians are the highest priorities. Bomb the snot out of these terrorists using bombs with the least negative effect on the environment once that priority is secured.

  • Handiong_Haringmakabayan

    Agreed. I’m sure that the US knows where these terrorists are hiding in the mountains complete with what these terrorists are wearing on their brainless murderous heads. The government and the US military should be discrete if they decide to give it a go. I don’t think innocent bystanders and doe-eyed farmers would appreciate thunderous explosions a few miles from where they’re at. The safety and well-being of innocent civilians are the highest priorities. Bomb the snot out of these terrorists using bombs with the least negative effect on the environment once that priority is secured.

    • kanoy

       as long as this government is ran by the Catholic Church and its ”FORGIVE & FORGET…THOU SHALT NOT KILL..TURN THE OTHER CHEEK” CBCP leaders…not caring that terrorists don’t play nor believe in those same principles,,innocents will continue to die,,,,the government (Catholic Church) has no plan or wish to eradicate the country of this vermin so the blood of these innocents are on their hands….worse yet,,,,these innocents,,,,,are CATHOLIC!

      • Handiong_Haringmakabayan

        The government is mostly composed of Catholics but I don’t think the Catholic Church RUNS the government. You can see the difference.

      • kanoy

         THERE ARE MANY EXAMPL;ES OF HOW RCC DOCTRINE GOVRNS THE RP BOT NONE ARE AS BLATENT AS THE DIVORVCE LAW….EVERY NATION/COUNTRY ON EARTH ALLOWS DIVORCE…EXCEPT 2….THE RCC CONTROLLED PHILIPPINES AND THE RCC CONTROLLED VATICAN CITY

      • Handiong_Haringmakabayan

        You still missed the difference.

      • kanoy

         LIKE ALL ADDICTS YOU CHOOSE TO LIVE IN DENIAL AND THE ONLY THING YOUR DENIAL CHANGES IS YOUR ABILITY TO SEEK A SOLUTION TO THE REASON YOUR GOVERNMENT AND WITH IT, COUNTRY, IS NO BETTER OFF TODAY THAN IT WAS WHEN THE USA GAVE IT TO YOU TO RUN,,,,SPAIN WHO BROUGHT CATHOLICISM HERE LEFT IT BEHIND WHEN THEY WENT HOME, THEY HAVE SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE,,YOU DON’T THAT IS WHY THIS COUNTRY SHUTS DOWN ON ALL KAT0LIK HOLY DAYS,,,DENIAL DOES NOT CHANGE FACTS

      • kanoy

         SEPARATION BETWEEN CHURCH & STATE
        Washington National Cathedral Announces It Will Hold Same-Sex Weddings
        By LAURIE GOODSTEIN

        The cathedral’s dean said on Wednesday that they wanted to give gay and transgender people “the same tools for living their lives faithfully that straight people have always had.”

        The Washington National Cathedral, the traditional host of prayer services for presidents and national tragedies, has announced that it will hold weddings for same-sex couples.

        The cathedral is the seat of the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church and the Washington diocese. Episcopalians voted at their convention last summer to authorise an official liturgy for blessing same-sex unions.

        In 2003, the church set off an uproar in the international Anglican Communion to which it belongs by consecrating its first openly gay bishop.

        But the cathedral’s move carries weight because of its historic role.

        Presidents Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan were eulogised at the church, Martin Luther King gave his last Sunday sermon there and it is where America mourned the victims of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Later this month, the cathedral will host the second inaugural prayer service for the President, Barack Obama.

      • Handiong_Haringmakabayan

        Repost.

      • Handiong_Haringmakabayan

        Church and state are separated. It’s right there in the constitution. So, it’s false for you to claim that a specific religion is governing the RP government. It’s just not true. I don’t want to think that you live in a cave. But that’s okay if you do.

      • kanoy

         THAT PIECE OF PAPER YOU MIGHT AS WELL WIPE YOUR A$$ WITH IT,,,ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS,,,THE US HAS SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE NO SCHOOL BUSINESS OR GOVERNMENT OFFICE CLOSES DOWN FOR ANY RELIGIOUS HOLIDAY THE RP CLOSES FOR THEM ALL….TRY AGAIN

      • Handiong_Haringmakabayan

        A specific religion governing the RP government only happens in your head. It’s just a figment of your quirky imagination. Other countries also celebrate religious holidays like Easter, Good Friday, and Christmas. Fantasize somewhere else. Go away.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/2DG3R2AAQZDON2KH45T3YC5DOA del pillar

    US is ahead when it comes to ARMAMENTS, imagined spy ships unman (WALANG TAO) kaya wala pang bansa sa mundong ito na puwedeng makipagdimaan sa US, either way conventional of un-conventional!!!!!! WE AS ALLY OF THIS USA must always continue our friendship and dialogue with our allies per se!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/2DG3R2AAQZDON2KH45T3YC5DOA del pillar

    BUT THE US AS I WILL LIKEWISE DO IT, KEEP MY STAND NEUTRAL ON ANY KIND OF ISSUE LIKE TERRITORIAL CLAIMS WE HAVE ON WEST PHILIPPINE SEA !!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://www.dafk.net/what/ Kilabot ng mga Balahibo

    ““The problem with US drones is that they can be used for surveillance and they can be used for actual combat operations … Drones underscore US direct involvement in internal conflict in the Philippines,” Bayan
    secretary general Renato Reyes Jr. claimed.”

    Not this Type/Model it can’t.

    Do the wiki search.

    Some UAV do attack, some mimic hostile aircraft so that defensive forces have something to practice their skills.

    I think some people are overreacting.

    Perhaps when a Predator UAV starts flying in Philippine territory without the president’s knowledge, then I can raise hell about sovereignty. Wake me up when it does.

    I heard a UAV was used to track and target Abu Sayaf bandits in the high seas. NO complaints there.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/P4PIU2AIGVXJNQ4UBH5X64MSFE mr

    So, what is wrong if the Philippines and US used the drone to spy on terrorist groups, CPP-NPA and Abu Sayyaf? Maganda nga armasan mga UAV na yan at tirahin na mga kuta ng mga NPA para maubos na mga salot na yan sama na mga Bayan members.

  • kanoy

     WHY THE US PRACTICES WITH DRONES NEAR GUAM & WHY FILIPINO MILITANTS WANT IT STOPPED…WE ARE CHOPPING OFF THE HEADS OF THEIR SNAKE
    The U.S. views drone attacks as a key weapon against Taliban and al-Qaida militants out of its forces’ reach in Pakistan’s tribal region
    A drone attack on Jan. 2 in the neighboring South Waziristan tribal area killed another such commander, Maulvi Nazir
    U.S. drone strikes have mainly focused on members of the Afghan Taliban and al-Qaida but have also occasionally targeted the Pakistani Taliban.

    U.S. missiles killed nine Pakistani Taliban fighters in South Waziristan on Jan. 6. A drone strike killed the leader of the Pakistani Taliban, Baitullah Mehsud, in South Waziristan in August 2009



To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
Advertisement

News

  • If Napoles names Aquino allies, they’ll be brought to bar of justice – Palace
  • Lacson says diamond-studded earring snatched from wife fake
  • Pope John XXIII launched Vatican II and then some
  • Militants: Napoles as state witness is ‘clear travesty of justice’
  • US ‘closely watching’ for signs of N.Korea nuclear test
  • Sports

  • Wizards beat Bulls in OT to take 2-0 series lead
  • Pacers rally past Hawks 101-85 to even series
  • David Moyes out as Manchester United manager
  • Nadal to face fellow Spaniard at Barcelona Open
  • Defensive Chelsea holds Atletico in scoreless draw
  • Lifestyle

  • Wanted: Beauty queen with a heart that beats for the environment
  • Kim Atienza: At home with art and design
  • Life lessons I want to teach my son
  • Sweet party for Andi Manzano
  • Safety in online buying and selling
  • Entertainment

  • Ex-Fox exec denies allegations in sex abuse suit
  • Kris Aquino backtracks, says Herbert Bautista and her are ‘best friends’
  • Summer preview: Chris Pratt enters a new ‘Galaxy’
  • Bon Jovi helps open low-income housing in US
  • Summer movie preview: Bay reboots ‘Transformers’
  • Business

  • McDonald’s 1Q profit slips as US sales decline
  • SEC approves SM’s P15B retail bond offer
  • $103M Vista Land bonds tendered for redemption
  • Oil slips to $102 as US crude supplies seen rising
  • SC stops Meralco power rate hike anew
  • Technology

  • Engineers create a world of difference
  • Bam Aquino becomes Master Splinter’s son after Wiki hack
  • Mark Caguioa lambasts Ginebra teammates on Twitter
  • Brazil passes trailblazing Internet privacy law
  • New York police Twitter campaign backfires badly
  • Opinion

  • One-dimensional diplomacy: A cost-benefit analysis of Manila’s security deal with Washington
  • No ordinary illness
  • Reforest mountains with fire trees and their kind
  • Day of the Earth
  • When will Chinese firm deliver new coaches?
  • Global Nation

  • Filipina, 51, shot dead by 24-year-old American boyfriend
  • China, rivals sign pact to ease maritime tensions
  • Visa-free US trip? Do not believe it, says consulate
  • Obama visit to Asia seen as counterweight to China
  • Violence mars militant protest at US Embassy
  • Marketplace