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Indonesia eyes squadron of domestically-built drones

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The  Indonesian military has announced its intent to build squadrons of indigenous drones to bolster its surveillance and air defense capabilities.

Speaking at a recent ceremony in Jakarta, the country’s Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Muhammad Ali, said the southeast Asian nation currently possesses several unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from domestic and foreign companies.

However, he pointed out that the current progress in global drone warfare has made it pivotal to invest more in sophisticated UAVs to support both reconnaissance and attack missions.

Ali urged the Indonesian Naval Aviation Center to master the challenges of drone warfare to develop domestic UAVs.

The admiral emphasized the need to produce or hire competent personnel to facilitate technological advances.

“We have started teaching cadets at the Indonesian Navy Academy and students at Kodiklatal regarding cyber warfare, modern electronic warfare, mastery of sensors both underwater, surface, and air sensor,” Ali revealed.

Previous Drone Investments

Earlier this year, the Indonesian defense ministry announced that it procured a dozen military drones from Turkey with a total value of $300 million.

The contract also covers the provision of training and flight simulators, expected to be delivered to Jakarta by November 2025.

Although the specific type of drone under order was not disclosed, several media reports said it is the Anka combat UAV from Turkish Aerospace Industries.

In 2019, Boeing subsidiary Insitu also said it was awarded an almost $48 million contract to deliver eight ScanEagle drones to Indonesia.

The portable, low-altitude UAV boasts a flight endurance of over 20 hours and can support battlefield intelligence, reconnaissance, and surveillance operations.

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