Malaysia announced its plans to acquire a fleet of long range, high endurance unmanned aerial systems.
The Malaysian Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) Deputy Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ikmal Hisham Abdul Aziz informed the People’s Assembly on 2 August 2022 that the tender process and selection had been completed. MINDEF’s procurement board has certified the selected tenderers which has been forwarded to Malaysia’s Ministry of Finance.
Three medium altitude long endurance (MALE) UAS including support equipment are to be acquired with initial fielding in 2025 and to be operational in 2026.
The formal contract has yet to be awarded, however, it is understood that there has been strong interest in the Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) Anka-S MALE UCAV. TAI already has, in fact, a cooperation agreement with Malaysia’s DRB-HICOM Defence Technologies (DefTech) a major supplier to MINDEF. In addition, Malaysia’s Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob visited TAI on his recent visit to Turkey.
The value of the Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) in providing persistent surveillance and information gathering in support of monitoring regional access and responding to potential incursions has been well established.
In addition, the ability of Turkish aerospace industries in providing highly capable UAS has been highlighted in the Ukraine conflict. The Malaysian forces already operate the Boeing Insitu Scan Eagle and locally developed Alliance Unmanned Development Aircraft (ALUDRA) Mk 1 tactical UAS’s.
If fielded the propellor driven turbo-diesel powered Anka-S offers an intelligence and surveillance platform with 1,4488 km (900 mi) range, 30 hours flight time, 204 kmph (127 mph) air speed and 9,144 m (30,000 ft) ceiling. It can accept various IASA payloads, as well as, armament and has satellite communication link.
by Stephen W. Miller