Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-1-8 16:08:44
Philippine and US officials confirmed Tuesday the unmanned aerial vehicle found off Masbate Island last weekend was launched from Guam.
According to Tina Malone, spokesperson for the US Embassy in Manila, the US drone with model number BQM 74-E was launched from US warship USChafee (DDG 90) during a military exercise called Valiant Shield on September 19, 2012. The drone was later washed ashore off the coast of Masbate.
"It appears that ocean currents brought the drone to where it washed ashore last week off Masbate Island," Malone said in a statement.
Armed Forces of the Philippines Spokesman Col. Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos said in a separate statement assured that the reported aerial vehicle was never used in the country.
"This was never used within the Philippine territory during our military exercise with the United States. This was probably used somewhere in the Pacific during an exercise," Burgos said.
He added that the drone is not a spy drone.
"The drone found in Masbate is not a spy plane but an aerial target drone. Its orange color and US Navy logo suggests that it is used primarily to simulate enemy missiles and aircraft during exercises," he said.
A diver found the drone Sunday morning and initially mistook the item to be a bomb. The drone was later towed to the Ticao beach. The US drone is now under the custody of the Philippine Navy.