MANILA, Philippines – The Department of National Defense (DND) is inviting bidders who can supply the military with 6 sets of small unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) sub-system or drones to expand its surveillance and reconnaisance capabilities.
“It’s going to be our eye in the sky, without the risk of human person. We will use it for surveillance and even search and rescue. Drones have cameras. We will have wider surveillance reconnaisance and even search and rescue,” said Navy spokesperson Lieutenant Commander Gregory Gerald Fabic. The drones will be used in combat, he said.
It is among 4 items in the P684-million contract for the Marine Forces Imagery and Targeting Support System (MITSS) Acquisition Project for the Philippines Marine Corps.
The project consisted of:
- 6 sets of small unmanned aerial vehicle sub-system
- 9 sets of Target Acquisition Device Sub-Sytems
- 12 kits of Tactical Sensor Integration Sub-System
- 1 Lot of Initial Integrated Logistics Support (1 spare MITSS/Training/Manuals)
These assets will be used by the 3 Marine Brigades and initial Integrated Logistics Support (ILS) system, according to the invitation to bid.
The Philippines has joined the debate on the controversial use of drones especially after a July 2012 New York Times article claimed that the Philippines is one of the countries where US conducted “lethal” drone operations. US and Philippines military officials have denied this. (READ: What drones? PH not Afghanistan – US officer)
A US-made UAV crashed off Masbate in January and Davao City Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte later disclosed a supposed plan by the US government to use the city as an operating base for UAVs for its anti-terrorism campaign. Duterte refused. (READ: US drone crashes off Masbate – police and Duterte says no to US drones)
Bidding for the MITSS will be conducted through open competitive bidding procedures using non-discretionary “pass/fail” criterion,” it added.
The DND Bids and Award Committee will hold a pre-bid conference on Monday, December 16. – Rappler.com