Indonesia to mass-produce drones General Business Sports and Lifestyle News

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By New Straits Times – February 10, 2020 @ 11:54am

JAKARTA: Indonesia plans to hasten the assembly of long-range drones primed for military use by 2022.

President Joko Widodo has called for the production of drones or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) called Elang Hitam (Black Eagle) two years earlier than anticipated.

According to The Jakarta Post, the medium-altitude long-endurance UAV will be the first of its kind to be mass-produced locally.

The drone was jointly designed by the Assessment and Application of Technology Agency, the National Institute of Aeronautics and the Space and the Defence Ministry’s research agency.

State-owned aircraft manufacturer PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PTDI) will be manufacturing the airframe.

State-owned PT Len, an electronics manufacturer, will build the components for the military such as sensors, radar and weapon systems.

Bambang Brodjonegoro

Research and Technology Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro said at the presidential office after a cabinet meeting the original plan was to mass produce Elang Hitam by 2024.

The drones, designed to fly at altitudes of between 3,000m and 9,000m for extended lengths of time, are to be produced specifically for military purposes.

“But considering the domestic demand, as well as the preparedness of its design and manufacturing process, the president had instructed that (the drone’s mass manufacturing) be moved forward to 2022.”

Bambang added that Defence Minister Prabowo Subianto and Indonesian military commander Air Chief Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto had expressed interest in the long-range drones, particularly for operations to secure the country’s borders.

PTDI and PT Len were to originally manufacture five Elang Hitam drones by 2022 before beginning mass production.

The first five drones would be prototypes to ensure that the vehicles were in line with the market’s demands, Bambang said.

The accelerated development of the drone’s prototype would mean that an investment of 1.1 trillion rupiah was needed, up from 800 billion rupiah based on the original development plan.

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