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Australian AP-3C Orion airplanes started ISR mission in Philippine airspace

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World Defense & Security News - Australia
 
 
Australian AP-3C Orion airplanes started ISR mission in Philippine airspace
 
Two Australian surveillance planes have started gathering intelligence information, including pictures, to pinpoint the remaining Islamist militants in the besieged southern Philippine city of Marawi, the Philippine defense chief said on Tuesday.
     
A RAAF No. 92 Wing AP-3C Orion aircraft soars through the clouds during a training sortie
(Credit: Commonwealth of Australia/Department of Defence) 
     
The Australian Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana told reporters that the two AP-3C Orion planes started their spotting mission last Friday.

"They will be here for two weeks. They are now flying alternately," he said.

Lorenzana said the Australian spy aircraft have been flying over Marawi City even at night and have the capability to be up in the air for 24 hours.

Lorenzana said that Filipino military pilots and technicians are also on board to help the Australian pilots relay the "valuable" data to the main Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) headquarters in Manila and Zamboanga City.

The conflict in Marawi, which broke out on May 23, has dragged on for 43 days. So far, the military said 461 have been killed in the fighting that also destroyed buildings and houses.