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Indo Defence 2022: Indonesia's maritime security agency fields Spanish-built UAVs on its largest ships

BAKAMLAʼs Alpha 900 UAV on display at the Indo Defence 2022 exhibition. (Janes/Ridzwan Rahmat)

The Indonesian Maritime Security Agency (BAKAMLA) has fielded rotor-winged unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) on two of its largest ships.

Speaking to Janes at the Indo Defence 2022 exhibition in Jakarta, a representative from the service disclosed that the UAVs have been deployed on the 110 m patrol vessel KN Tanjung Datu, and the 80 m Pulau Nipah-class patrol boat KN Pulau Marore (322).

The UAVs are based on the Alpha 900 UAV from Spanish firm Alpha Unmanned Systems, and the two units were delivered to BAKAMLA in the latter part of 2021.

“The UAVs have increased our line of sight from these ships and enhanced our ability to detect anomalies at sea including illegal fishing activities and maritime territorial incursions”, said the representative, who is also a UAV operator onboard Pulau Marore.

The Alpha 900 has a maximum take-off weight of 25 kg and a maximum cruise speed of 100 km/h. At the cruising speed of 60 km/h on its full payload, the UAV has an endurance of up to 2.2 hours.

In BAKAMLA service, the Alpha 900 has been equipped with the Epsilon 140LC dual-sensor surveillance system from Octopus ISR Systems. The surveillance system's camera sensor has a 30x optical zoom while its infrared sensor has a 4x digital zoom.

The UAV has been incorporated with an automatic take-off and landing system that can operate at up to Sea State 4 for take-offs, and up to Sea State 5 for landings.

The representative who spoke to Janes

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