Washington is supplying four Southeast Asian countries with 34 aerial
drones through security assistance funds from the U.S. government,
State Department officials have confirmed.
The United States is sending a U.S. $47.9 million package of
ScanEagle unmanned aerial vehicles to the Philippines, Malaysia,
Indonesia and Vietnam, with officials in Manila and Kuala Lumpur saying
the drones will be used for surveillance of local waterways, including
the disputed South China Sea.
“Per Acting Secretary Shanahan’s recent announcement, Indonesia,
Malaysia, Vietnam, and the Philippines have purchased up to 34 Scan
Eagle Unmanned Aerial Systems under the Foreign Military Sales system,” a
State Department official told BenarNews, referring to Patrick
Shanahan, the acting American defense chief.
“These purchases were funded by … security assistance funding, and not national funds,” the official said.
On May 31, the U.S. Defense Department (DoD) released information on
its website saying it had awarded a contract to Boeing subsidiary Insitu