Najib: Army set to use made-in-Malaysia drones

MALACCA: The army will soon use made-in-Malaysia unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to conduct surveillance of the country’s land and sea borders. 

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said that once a contract is signed between the army and the manufacturer, the UAV would be upgraded to meet military specifications.  

Three local companies – Composites Technology Research Malaysia (CTRM), Systems Consultancy Sdn Bhd (SCS) and Ikramatic Sdn Bhd – which formed a partnership called Unmanned Systems Technology Sdn Bhd (UST), manufacture the UAV. 

Najib said the Malaysian-made UAV, which was designed and built by UST was a pride to the country. 

Silent observer: Najib (third from right) checking out the UAV in Malacca yesterday.

“The UAV was designed by the companies whereby the body of the vehicle uses composite parts manufactured by CTRM, and the software used in the remote system is also by a local company. 

“And although the engine and camera are from overseas, we still consider the UAV a Malaysian product,” said Najib after chairing the Malaysia Defence Industry Council meeting here yesterday. 

Najib, who also witnessed a flight demonstration of the UAV earlier, said he was satisfied with the vehicle’s current performance and capability.  

“It fulfils all basic needs and can fly remotely with no landing problems. The data link images from the camera are also very good but we intend to buy higher capacity engines and also better quality cameras to fulfil the army’s specifications. 

“This vehicle can also be used by the police force, Customs Department, Fire and Rescue Department and other relevant agencies,” said Najib. 

UST executive director Col Rosdi Mahmud said that other than the armed forces, the company also hoped to market the UAV to other local authorities and the private sector. 

“As it is fully developed and designed using local technology, clients will be assured that the maintenance, training as well as the operation can be carried out at a lower cost compared to foreign systems,” he said.  

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