US donates Paveway II laser guided bombs and TOW antitank missiles to Philippines


According to Asian Pacific Defense Journal and MaxDefense Philippines, the Philippine army has recently received BGM-71 TOW missiles and launchers and the Philippine Air Force is expected to receive GBU-49 laser guided bombs.
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Presentation of donated armament by the U.S. to the Philippines (Picture source: Philippines DFA)


The Philippine government received a donation of precision guided munitions and missiles from the US government worth US$18 million as part of its military assistance to the country, Asian Pacific Defense Journal and MaxDefense Philippines report. Among those received by the Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs from the US government led by US Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs Robert O’Brien on 23 November 2020 include Raytheon GBU-49 Enhanced Paveway II laser guided bomb guidance kits, and Raytheon BGM-71 Tube-launched, Optically-tracked, Wire-guided (TOW) anti-tank missiles.

The Philippine Air Force is expected to receive the GBU-49 laser guided bombs, as they have received similar shipments from the US government in the past. According to Philippine defense page MaxDefense Philippines, the PAF has at least four types of aircraft capable of dropping the GBU-49 laser guided bomb. The GBU-49 Enhanced Paveway II is a combination of a guidance kit supplied by Raytheon, and a standard Mk. 82 500-lb unguided bomb.

While there is no word yet on which branch of service will receive the BGM-71 TOW missiles, it could either be the Philippine Army or Philippine Marine Corps, although MaxDefense Philippines mentioned that the Philippine Marine Corps has an existing request for TOW missiles for island defense, considering the ammunition supplied was the TOW-2A missile which is more suited to direct attack against reactive or thicker vehicle armor, or against structures and bunkers. The TOW-2A missile can be fired from the TOW Improved Target Acquisition System (ITAS) launcher which were also supplied to the Philippines, and the missile has a range of up to 3,750 meters.


 

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