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DSA 2022: Malaysia showcases indigenous ‘Kawbra' UGV

Malaysia's Kawbra UGV, pictured above, has been developed by the government's Science and Technology Research Institute for Defence (STRIDE). (Janes/Jon Grevatt)

Malaysia's Science and Technology Research Institute for Defence (STRIDE) has unveiled a new unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) it is developing for the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF).

A representative from STRIDE – an institute under the Ministry of Defence (MoD) – told Janes on 30 March at the DSA exhibition in Kuala Lumpur that the new ‘Kawbra' UGV has been in development since 2019. According to the institute, the project is the first of its kind in Malaysia.

STRIDE's work on the Kawbra programme has been undertaken in collaboration with local digital engineering firm DreamEdge. The partners plan to start MAF field trials of the UGV later this year. Further enhancements of the UGV are expected to follow.

“The aim of this programme is to develop and acquire unmanned vehicle technology locally,” said a STRIDE official. “This UGV will have capabilities for surveillance, reconnaissance, logistics, and possibly combat.”

Combat capability is being provided through a separate STRIDE project to develop a remote-controlled 7.62 mm gun. Eventually, STRIDE intends to integrate the two programmes to develop a dedicated combat Kawbra UGV.

STRIDE said the electric-motor-powered UGV has an endurance of four hours, and is capable of carrying payloads of up to 400 kg. The UGV is fitted with infrared and GPS sensors, has all-angle cameras, and can reach a top speed of 50 km/h. It has a length of 2.5 m and a curb weight of 400 kg.

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