Indonesia has started the development of local-made MALE UAV

Indonesia has developed a local-made drone in the category of MALE (Medium-Altitude Long-Endurance) named Elang Hitam (Black Eagle). The manufacturing of this new UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) could start in 2022.

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The new Indonesian-made UAV Unamnned Aerial Vehicle MALE Elang Hitam (Black Eagle). (Picture source Twitter account angkasareview)

The Elang Hitam (Black Eagle) UAV is developed by Indonesian State-owned PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PTDI) who has designed the airframe while state-owned PT Len is to build the military equipment, such as sensors, radar, and weapon systems.

According to PTDI, the new military drone has a length of 8.65 meters and is able to conduct short distance take-offs and landings within 700 meters of runway. It will also fly at an altitude of up to 9,000 m with a maximum speed up to 235 km/h, and carry payloads up to 300 kg. It will also be able to stay in flight for up to 30 hours.

The drone was jointly designed by the Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology, the National Institute of Aeronautics and Space and the Defense Ministry’s research agency.

The Elang Hitam is an armed, multi-mission, medium-altitude, long-endurance remotely piloted aircraft that could be used to perform combat missions as well as an intelligence collection asset.

The design of the new Indonesian drone is very similar to the Chinese CH-4 and the American-made MQ-9 Reaper with a slender fuselage body containing the optics fit, avionics set, fuel stores, and engine installation. The engine drives a similar three-bladed propeller unit located at the rear of the fuselage. The engine drives a similar three-bladed propeller unit located at the rear of the fuselage. It can be armed with 70 mm Folding Fin Aerial Rocket (FFAR) produced by PT Dirgantara Indonesia.

According to the Indonesian Ministry of Defense, the mass production of the new MALE UAV is plan to start in 2024.

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