Air Platforms

Indo Defence 2018: Indonesia restarts acquisitions of MALE UAVs, passive surveillance system

11 November 2018

TAI showcasing the Anka UAV at Indo Defence 2018. Source: IHS Markit/Ridzwan Rahmat

Key Points

  • Indonesia has restarted acquisition processes for strike-capable UAVs, and a passive tracker system
  • Processes are being restarted to maximise involvement of local industry players in the respective programmes

The Indonesian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has restarted the acquisition processes for four weaponised medium-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicles (MALE UAVs), and a passive electronic support measure (ESM) tracker that is meant to strengthen defences around Ranai airbase.

These acquisitions have been restarted because of a variety of issues including disagreements over localised production processes and funding arrangements, an official from the ministry told Jane's at the Indo Defence 2018 exhibition in Jakarta.

Jane's first reported in February 2018 that Indonesia has acquired four units of the Wing Loong UAV rom Chinese state-owned aerospace and defence company Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) to fulfil the country's unmanned strike capabilities.

Further details of the acquisition emerged in March 2018 with the release of a biography on Hadi Tjahjanto, Commander of the Indonesian National Armed Forces, who defended the acquisition of Chinese UAVs in the book amid mounting criticism over the choice. "China has no restrictions over who can manufacture the UAVs, and we can benefit from the technology transfer," he said in the biography.

But now that the acquisition has been restarted, among systems being considered for the requirement include the Anka MALE UAV from Turkish Aircraft Industries (TAI).

A company official Jane's spoke to at Indo Defence 2018 has confirmed that the company is aware of Indonesia's interest on the system, and has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Indonesian state-owned aerospace company PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PTDI) to collaborate on a variant of the UAV should a contract for it materialise.

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