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Indonesia unveils prototype of indigenously developed strike-capable UAV

Indonesian state-owned aerospace company PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PTDI) has unveiled a prototype of an indigenously developed medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).

Indonesia's PTDI unveiled its Elang Hitam (Black Eagle) strike-capable MALE UAV on 30 December.

The strike-capable UAV, which has been dubbed Elang Hitam (Black Eagle), was unveiled to the public on 30 December at PTDI’s facilities in Bandung. The platform is the product of an Indonesian consortium that includes state-owned electronics company PT Len, the Indonesian Air Force (Tentara Nasional Indonesia – Angkatan Udara: TNI-AU), and the National Institute of Aeronautics and Space.

The Elang Hitam is 8.65 m long, 2.6 m high, has a wingspan of 16 m, and has incorporated several design aspects of China's CH-4 UAV. It has a maximum take-off weight of 1,300 kg, a maximum payload of 300 kg, and a fuel capacity of 420 litres.

At full payload the UAV needs a minimum take-off distance of 700 m, has a cruising altitude of between 3,000 m and 5,000 m, and a service ceiling of 7,200 m. It has an endurance of more than 30 h, and an operational radius of up to 250 km. The UAV cruises at between 50 km/h and 180 km/h, and can attain maximum speed of 235 km/h.

PTDI's Elang Hitam (Black Eagle) strike-capable UAV is the product of an Indonesian consortium that includes PT Len, the TNI-AU, and the National Institute of Aeronautics and Space.

Initial mission payloads set to be incorporated onto the UAV once it begins flight trials in 2020 include electro-optical/infra-red sensors, and laser-range finders. The consortium also plans to install hardpoints to accommodate various weapons by 2023.

PTDI has disclosed that construction of a second example of the Elang Hitam is now under way, with the platforms set to begin flight trials after being equipped with an ‘off-the-shelf’ UAV flight control system developed in Europe. The company did not reveal the specifics of this system, including its supplier.

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