Indonesia’s ability to develop drones continues to grow. Indonesia is not only targeting to make and mass produce ‘spy’ drones but also combatants who can carry deadly weapons such as bombs. The consortium consisting of BPPT, Ministry of Defense, Air Force, PT DI, PT Len, and ITB has been able to make prototype drones of the type Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) named ‘Black Eangle’ or Black Eagle.

This MALE drone is capable of flying for 24 hours and reaches an altitude of 30,000 feet, this drone carries a camera and radar. This aircraft is for border surveillance which is used for defense and regional security. This drone has a body length of 8.3 meters and a wingspan of 16 meters.

BPPT also had time to develop a smaller Alap-Alap PA-06D type drone with a wingspan of 3.2 m, a maximum weight at takeoff (payload) of 31 kg, long flight time of only 5 hours. In addition, there are Wulung drones capable of flying from the center of take-off only a radius of 100-120 kilometers (km), and are able to fly only for 4 hours non-stop. Wulung is capable of flying at an altitude of 8,000 feet.

BPPT Deputy for Industrial Design and Engineering Industry Wahyu Widodo Pandoe said the price of the MALE “Elang Hitam” drone was still a secret. However, it is certainly cheaper than imported drones that have been bought by Indonesia. The TNI has imported drones including from China under the name CH-4.

“The price cannot be released yet, but it is far below the price of drones from outside,” Wahyu told CNBC Indonesia on Monday (12/30)

As an illustration, the price of CH-4 drones as quoted by Business Insider, CH-4 drones made in China around US $ 4 million or Rp 56 billion. The CH-4 Drone had enlivened the 74th anniversary of the TNI. As quoted by AFP, the drone which is capable of flying at an altitude of 15 thousand feet is the latest military equipment owned by the TNI. The medium altitude long endurance (MALE) unmanned aircraft can even fly with its radius of action range of 1,000 kilometers when using beyond line of sight (BLOS) satellites.

CH-4 is an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) made by China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC). CH is an abbreviation of Cai Hong or Pelangi. Despite its cute name, this is a fierce fighting tool. CASC makes 13 types of drones and CH-4 is the biggest. The appearance of this drone resembles an American-made drone, the General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper. The difference is only in the V-tail aircraft fins that are not in the CH-4.

CH-4 consists of 2 versions, 4A and 4B. The CH-4B can conduct surveillance and attack by carrying 6 weapons and a payload capacity of 250-345 kg. The CH-4 is capable of firing air-to-ground missiles from a height of 5,000 meters. So that the CH-4 is safe from the range of anti-aircraft guns. These drones are exported to Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Algeria and Iraq. This drone is widely used in the war against ISIS in Mosul and Ramadi.

Quoted from the Military Factory site, the CH-4 specifications are 11 meters long, 20 meters wide, 3.8 meters high, empty weight 1,600 kg, and carrying weight of weapons up to 4,500 kg. CH-4 specifications are certainly superior in terms of dimensions compared to MALE drones. This drone has a 900 horsepower engine and a propeller. CH-4 is capable of racing 350 km / h with a peak height of 14,440 meters. There are 500 CH-4 drone units produced.

In addition to the appearance of the combatant Male drone, Hammam delivered a statement Minister of Research and Technology (Menristek) Bambang P.S. Brodjonegoro, who gave the name Male drone as a black eagle or Black Eagle.

Meanwhile, President Director of PT Dirgantara Indonesia Elfien Goentoro said, the development of the Male type drone was carried out entirely by Indonesian children. “The target’s ability to take off and landing is around 700 meters with a height of 20,000 feet and a maximum speed of 235 km / h and a flight length of 30 hours,” Elfien said.

He added, this drone will be targeted for its first flight test in 2020.

“Next year the target can fly first. Now (the roll out event) is still in development manufacturing,” he said. In 2020, two prototype units will also be built, each for the purpose of flight testing and structural strength testing at BPPT. In the same year, the process of certifying military products will also begin and it is hoped that by the end of 2021 a type certificate will be obtained from the Indonesian Ministry of Defense’s Feasibility Center (IMAA).

“The activity of integrating weapons systems on the PUNA Male prototype was carried out from 2020 and it is projected to have received military product type certification in 2023,” Elfien said.

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