Wulung UAV gets stronger and lighter [ID14D2]

06 November 2014

BPPT’s PUNA (Pesawat Udara nir Awak – unmanned aircraft) division is showing its Wulung UAV in the outside display area, complete with its mobile ground control station.

The air vehicle is one of a number of UAVs that have been developed as part of a BPPT (Badan Pengkajian dan Penerapan Teknologi – Agency for Assessment and Application of Technology) initiative, and is being developed to answer an Indonesian armed forces (TNI) requirement for border surveillance.

The vehicle is also gathering interest from other government agencies for roles such as the monitoring and detection of illegal logging and forest fires, and to aid the monitoring of and response to natural disasters such as volcanic eruptions.

Wulung has a wingspan of 6m and operates at speeds of up to 69kts and 8,000ft altitude. The original version had an autonomous radius of about 75km and an endurance of four hours. Three have been supplied to a TNI order for evaluation, but the air vehicle in its initial form did not meet TNI requirements.

Accordingly, BPPT PUNA began tests earlier this year with three new prototypes featuring a lighter structure. While keeping maximum take-off weight to 120kg, the lighter structure allows fuel capacity to be increased from 35 to 55 litres, in turn raising endurance from four to six hours to meet Indonesian armed forces requirements. The revised Wulung has also demonstrated in recent tests an ability to fly more than 150km.

At the same time, the structure was strengthened from a 3.5g rating to 7.6g, so that the UAV can withstand the greater levels of turbulence that are often encountered in the region.

Five of these updated air vehicles have been ordered by the Indonesian armed forces. In the meantime, BPPT PUNA continues to develop advanced control systems for the Wulung.

(298 words)