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15 April 2016

UMS SKELDAR provides Indonesian Army with Three F-330 RPAs

UMS SKELDAR, one of the world’s largest designers and manufacturers of remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPA), has announced the commencement of a managed services contract in the APAC region, flagged as the company’s priority market.

The programme, which has been organised through APAC logistics partner CWT, involves roll out of a six-week training course to the Indonesian Army and according to UMS SKELDAR’s Chief Executive and former Swiss Military Two Star General (MG) Jakob Baumann, speaking at DSA 2016, the Defence Services Asia Conference & Exhibition in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: “Contracts such as this confirm the importance of IRS (Intelligence, reconnaissance, surveillance) strategies in this region with complex territories that require deployment of RPAS solutions.” According to Baumann, the region and military and civilian agencies require partners “who understand the various demands of ISR, SAR (Search and Rescue) and how UAVs can be used as a stand-alone or integrated platform deployed from land bases or seaborne.”

Incorporating three F-330 fixed wing systems, which can be deployed in applications including convoy support, route surveillance, reconnaissance and direct support, the intensive training programme has been designed to provide operatives with all aspects of UAV management from ISR through to UAV piloting. The programme will be delivered by teams led by UMS SKELDAR Training Director Ewen Stockbridge Syme, who was instrumental in introducing ISR as a capability to the UK Military and in assisting the US Air Force to understand and implement tactical real time intelligence generation.

The Indonesian Army is looking to improve its border security and border control and will soon start trials patrolling its huge coastline and territorial waters. Indonesia's total land area is 1,919,317 square kilometres (741,052 sq mi). Included in Indonesia's total territory is another 93,000 square kilometres (35,908 sq mi) of inland seas (straits, bays, and other bodies of water) and is ranked by some as the world’s second longest coastline. The additional surrounding sea areas bring Indonesia's generally recognised territory (land and sea) to about 5 million square kilometres.

George Duncan, Asia-Pacific Business Development Director for UMS SKELDAR, explains: “The contract with our Indonesian partner, Putrindo Adiyassa Perkasa, is a prime example of the type of service we offer. We are not just a hardware manufacturer; instead we provide a total UAV and systems ground control package, incorporating all of the training, management protocols and documentation an organisation requires to gather the intelligence it needs to complete the surveillance tasks at hand.

“Close on the heels of the Australian Defence White Paper and numerous border disputes between China and ASEAN countries, RPAS strategies are becoming increasingly important, given the vast expanses of ocean and difficult land terrains,” added Duncan, a former RAF officer and helicopter pilot with 6,500-plus flying hours under his belt.