US turns over radar system to PHL Navy

US turns over radar system to PHL Navy


CLARK FREEPORT — The Joint US Military Assistance Group (JUSMAG) transferred last Monday to the Philippine Navy in Zambales a new 28M Class Tethered Aerostat Radar System (TARS).Philippine JUSMAG chief Col. Ernest Lee turned over the TARS to Philippine Navy (PN) flag officer Vice Admiral Joseph Ronald Mercado in a ceremony at the Naval Education and Training Command (NETC) in Zambales. US Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Michael Klecheski witnessed the turnover.

“The 28M Class TARS is a self-sustained, rapidly deployable, unmanned lighter-than-air platform which can rise to an altitude of 5,000 feet while tethered by a single cable,” the US embassy said in a statement.

It said that “sixteen Philippine Naval Information and Communication Technology Center personnel are engaged in a rigorous sixweek training program at the NETC in Zambales to learn assembly, handling, operation, maintenance, and troubleshooting for the TARS. These sixteen students will become instructors for the next class of operators.”

“Through this donation, the PN is poised to enhance its capability in Maritime Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance by effectively detecting maritime and air traffic within the country’s coastal waters using sensors. Moreover, it will also be utilized in Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response (HADR) operations,” the embassy also said.

The US embassy also noted that “TARS includes a weather station that provides telemetry data for the monitoring of ambient temperature, pressure, wind speed and other pertinent parameters to successfully operate the system.”

The NETC in Zambales is the staging point for the TARS as it is the largest PN base with fl at terrain, and fits the minimum requirement of 300 square feet for the launching of the system.

The embassy also noted that “this donation is part of the U.S. Maritime Security Initiative (MSI), a capacity-building assistance program for Southeast Asian countries including the Philippines that aims to improve their ability to address a range of maritime challenges.”

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