The Philippines has secured PHP1.4bn ($29.3m) worth of weaponry from the US as part of its efforts to enhance military capabilities.

Delivery of the military equipment, which includes sniper rifles and anti-IED equipment, was announced during a visit by Acting US Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller.

The addition of this weaponry is expected to strengthen the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ (AFP) joint precision strike, sniper, riverine and counter-improvised explosive device capabilities.

Philippine Secretary of National Defense Delfin Lorenzana said: “We are grateful for the support provided by the US as we continuously work on the enhancement of the Philippines’ defence capabilities.

“The modernisation of the AFP will ultimately allow us to respond more effectively to both traditional and non-traditional security threats to our maritime nation.”

In the Indo-Pacific region, the Philippines is the largest recipient of US military assistance. Since 2015, it has obtained more than PHP33bn ($650m) worth of planes, ships, armoured vehicles and small arms from the US.

Last month, US Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett visited the Philippines for the handover of a ScanEagle Unmanned Aerial System to its naval forces.

US National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien also visited the south-east Asian nation in November, during which, he announced PHP868m ($18m) worth of supplementary military equipment and training for the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

In July, the US State Department approved a possible foreign military sale of Scout, Assault, and Light Support Boats with armaments related equipment to the Philippines.