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Malaysia to produce indigenous UAV in 2010

Aludra UAV during exhibition. Image Credit: Militaryphotos

LANGKAWI (BNS): Malaysia will begin producing indigenous Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) named "Yabhon Aludra" next year.

Yabhon Aludra will be produced by Unmanned Systems Technology (UST) Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Composite Technology Research Malaysia (CTRM), at its plant in Melaka.

The UAV is a joint venture of UST and Adcom System based in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE) which took eight years to develop from the initial design stage to flight testing and production.

“It is cutting edge and highly capable, its MALE level and capability are similar to Predator UAV used extensively by the United States' armed forces," Bernama news agency quoted UST head Muhammad Khalizi Abdul Razak as saying.

The length and height of Yabhon Aludra are about 5m by 2.12m while its wingspan is 6.56m with a maximum 500kg take-off weight, he said in an interview on the sidelines of the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (LIMA) Exhibition 2009 here Thursday.

The UAV can operate for 30 hours non-stop from an altitude of 4,500m covering over 500km in range using data link and satellite-based ground station. It is built from fibre-epoxy material completely vacuum-bagged for maximum strength. It is also capable of carrying special-use sensor, thermal imager, infrared sensor, laser designator, range finder and electro-optical sensors.

Muhammad Khalizi said, in Malaysia the UAV would be sold to security agencies such as the armed forces, Police, Malaysia Maritime Enforcement Agency, National Security Council and Royal Malaysia Customs.

“Our market is not confined to Malaysia alone but also regional as we find there is huge demand among homeland security agencies for every level and type of UAV from miniature to the HALE (High Altitude Long Endurance).”

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