Orions sent on terrorist hunt in Philippines
The Australian government today announced it is working with the government of the Philippines to support the fight against terrorism in our region.
FILE PHOTO: An RAAF AP-3C Orion. Photo by Corporal David Cotton.
Minister for Defence Marise Payne said the government of the Philippines had accepted an Australian offer of two Royal Australian Air Force AP-3C Orion aircraft to provide surveillance support to the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
“Australia condemns the attacks by Daesh-inspired groups in Marawi City – located in north-west Mindanao of the Philippines,” Minister Payne said
“The regional threat from terrorism, in particular from Daesh and foreign fighters, is a direct threat to Australia and our interests.
“Australia will continue to work with our partners in South East Asia to counter it.
“I recently spoke with my counterpart Secretary of Defense Delfin Lorenzana about how Australia can assist the Philippines in its fight against extremists. We agreed the best way to defeat terrorism in our region is for us to work together.”
Australia has an extensive Defence Cooperation Program with the Philippines, which includes counter terrorism cooperation.
The AP-3C Orion is an extremely versatile aircraft capable of land and maritime surveillance.
Following several modification projects the current AP-3C Orions were significantly upgraded and reintroduced into service in 2002.
They are fitted with a variety of sensors including, importantly for this mission, infra-red and visual electro-optics detectors and can spend up to 15 hours in the air on a single mission.
RAAF AP-3C Orions previously completed hundreds of over-land missions in Afghanistan.
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