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Thursday, October 22, 2020

Indonesia’s Medium Altitude Long Endurance Drone

PTDI’s National MALE Drone Progress, Medium-Altitude Long-Endurance, MALE,

(airspace-review.com) – During the work visit of the Minister of Research & Technology of the Republic of Indonesia Bambang Brodjonegoro to PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PTDI) on Thursday (12/12), a photo of a new drone sighting was displayed alongside Wulung drones.

It makes me curious, of course, because PTDI did not mention or provide information about the existence of the photos with green livery and uploaded on the media.

The Airspace Review (AR) Team last year on 9 July 2018 visited PTDI. One of the coverage at the time was the National Drone project of the MALE (Medium-Altitude Long-Endurance) class.

Now, to get the latest information about this National Drone project, AR returned to contact Nainar as the PTDI PUNA Project Engineer who was interviewed at the time.

“That’s right, the airframe made by PTDI in collaboration with BPPT and the Ministry of Defense Balitbang where BPPT contributed to the design structure of more than 70%,” he said.

The development of the MALE drone is indeed slightly backward from the initial target. Originally planned to fly firstly between 2019-2020, but shifted to the range of late 2020 or early 2021.

As is known, the development of Unmanned Aircraft (PTTA) or Nir Awak Aircraft (PUNA) MALE began in 2015, which is a follow-up to the success of the PUNA / PTTA Wulung Project for the Air Force.

The National MALE Drone Project is run by the same team as the Wulung project. Namely collaboration between the Ministry of Defense, the Air Force, PTDI, BPPT, PT LEN Industri, and the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB).

Wulung is only four hours long and acts as a surveillance drone. While MALE drones can operate for 24 hours and carry out full ISR (intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance) missions.

It was revealed, the MALE drone would be built in four phases or the so-called ‘Block’. First is Block O, then Block L, Block D, and finally Block C.

In the initial phase or Block O (O = empty), the drone is not equipped with a mission system. This phase is proof of concept whether an aircraft can fly according to a predetermined target or performance.

Then the second phase or Block L (L = LEN) starts implementing the mission system developed by PT LEN Industri.

Next Block D (D = Data link-BLOS), the drone began to be equipped with a system related to its role as an ISR aircraft. Finally Block C (Combat) where the drones will be armed.

In Block O and Block L, the drone landing gear system has not yet been incorporated into the fuselage (fixed landing gear). However, in the 3rd and 4th stages the wheel system has been designed to be retractable landing gear which will also improve the aerodynamics of the aircraft.

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