"For next drone development, we will develop larger MALE drone. It can fly for a longer distance, more loads and longer flight duration which can reach 24 hours. It will be used for border surveillance operations as part of the efforts to maintain security and defense," Wahyu Pandoe of the Engineering and Designing Industry Technology of the BPPT, said in Jakarta on Sunday.
Head of BPPT's Drone Program Joko Purwoto said Indonesia would have been able to conduct a flight test for its MALE drone in 2019.
The drone is being built by the BPPT in cooperation with its consortium, consisting of, among others, Indonesia's aircraft maker PT Dirgantara Indonesia, state-owned electronic firm PT LEN, the Ministry of Defense and Security and the Bandung-based Institute of Technology.
Unlike the Alap-alap, the smaller drone built by the BPPT which consumes octane-98 gasoline, the larger MALE drone will use avtur aircraft fuel.
This drone is developed with a capability to fly for 24 hours at the altitude of 30,000 feet and with a load of not only cameras but also radars.
Previously, BPPT has developed a number of types of drones such as the Wulung and Alap-alap PA-4 and Alap-alap PA-5. The Wulung drones which were built for surveillance activities were able to fly at a radius of 120 kilometers for four hours at an altitude of 8,000 feet.