UAV expertise on show [INDODEF16-D3]

03 November 2016

Unmanned air vehicle technology is flourishing in Indonesia, with a number of local companies and institutions displaying their systems at Indo Defence. Unmanned technology is an area that has been earmarked by the government for investment, and while companies are benefiting from development programmes for defence, security and civilian applications, the sector’s future is being assured through initiatives for university students to develop technological know-how that could be brought to bear commercially. Universities are further able to provide commercial systems for agencies that cannot afford others. A selection of the UAV exhibitors is presented below.

With an impressive display of unmanned technology, Bhinneka Dwi Persada (Hall A, Stand 205) has been developing UAVs since its transformation from a trade/distribution company into an engineering-based entity. The range includes the Rajawali 330 fixed-wing and 350 rotary-wing UAVs, which are based on the designs of Swiss-Swedish UAV house UMS Skeldar. The Rajawali 720 is a larger fixed-wing vehicle with an endurance of more than 24 hours.

Bandung-based Global Inovasi Informasi Indonesia (GIII) is showing a range of its air vehicles (Hall A, Stand P008), including the Laron series of quad-copters, and Ai450, Murai, Malinau, and Mandau fixed-wing UAVs. Malinau is the largest of them, with a 40kg maximum take-off weight and an endurance of up to eight hours. The company has also developed the GTD series of aerial target drones.

PT Indo Pacific Communication and Defence (IPCD, Hall D, Stand 234) is displaying the Tactical 240 co-axial rotor UAV, the hand-launched Tactical UAV and the Surveyor ramp-launched air vehicle. IPCD also offers a medium-altitude long-endurance UAV based on the optionally piloted version of the LH-10 Ellipse aircraft, and is delivering one to the Indonesian air force for evaluation.

In the outside display, the LSU-02, 03 and 05 are on show, developed by Lapan, the national institute of aeronautics and space. Earlier this year, the LSU-02 was used to update mapping data for parts of Indonesia’s coastline. LSU-05 is the latest and largest air vehicle, with a maximum take-off weight of 120kg (265lb). The company is also showing a model of the LSA-MALE, an unmanned version of the Ecarys motor glider.

PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PTDI) is showing a model of the Wulung UAV on its stand. PTDI builds the aircraft in co-operation with PT Len, the national electronic institute that provides communications and control systems, and in association with PUNA, the unmanned division of BPPT, the agency for the assessment and application of technology. Sriti is a short-range bungee-launched UAV developed by BPPT being shown in the outside display area. With a two-hour endurance the vehicle is intended primarily for maritime use, including the patrol of fisheries.

The naval engineering college, STTAL, is showing a small UAV known as Ganesa XI and based on the shape of the Cessna 182 light aircraft.

UAVs figure prominently in the displays of university projects. In the outside display, the Aksantara Institute of Technology in Bandung is showing a range of vehicles, including those for racing, surveillance and a vertical take-off vehicle trialling a fire extinguisher concept. The display also includes vehicles from Lampung University.

Universitas Gadjah Mada (Hall B, Stand P002) is showing its Elang Caraka UAV and Savinna unmanned surface vehicle. The Institut Teknologi Bandung (Hall B, Stand P001) is showing its Beta family that have been commercialised through PT Bentara Tabang Nusantara (Beta Surveillance Solutions). The Beta XLR fixed-wing aircraft is being used for oil and gas exploration, while the Beta Minibee is a 4kg vehicle designed to be operated by a single soldier in the field.

Meanwhile, Indonesia’s rescue service, Basarnas, has been employing UAVs for some time, and is displaying an example on Stand P123 in Hall D. The service is using the SwissDrones Operating SDO 50V2 vehicle, a vertical take-off UAV with intermeshing rotors.

(632 words)