Deftech develops M’sia’s 1st UAV

Autonomous tech such as UAVs or drones can enhance multi-layer capabilities of defence and security forces, says CEO 


DRB-HICOM Defence Technologies Sdn Bhd’s (Deftech) subsidiary, Deftech Unmanned Systems Sdn Bhd, has introduced Malaysia’s first locally designed and developed tactical unmanned aerial aircraft (UAV). 

Deftech group CEO Fazley Ariffin said the development of the UAV is an exciting milestone for the local defence industry. 

“Autonomous technology such as UAVs or drones can enhance multi-layer capabilities of defence and security forces. 

“It provides an avenue to safely handle undefined or even hostile situations and environments,” Fazley said during the Deftech Showcase of UAV at Defence Services Asia (DSA) and National Security (Natsec) Asia 2022.

He said the country’s first indigenous UAV also marks a new and exciting step forward for Deftech into the realm of new technologies. 

“It is always best to enhance local capabilities and move towards self-reliance for such a sensitive field,” he said. 

The UAV, dubbed Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance (ISR UAV) is capable of executing complex, autonomous drone operations in difficult to access areas, thus allowing for complex, hostile operations at minimum risk to life. 

Moreover, UAV’s capabilities include day and night aerial surveillance, as well as recognition and identification for both inland and maritime operational theatres. 

“It is designed to have a maximum take-off weight of 120kg, a ten-hour endurance with a range of 100km and can carry a pay-load capacity of 15kg,” he said. 

Notably, the UAV’s 100% local development also ensures fast technical support and response at competitive costs. 

“The bird’s body was fully developed and fabricated in-house with composite fabrication capabilities, and also fully customisable to tailor specific operations required by the users,” he added. 

According to Fazley, the ISR UAV was developed from past experience when cooperating with defence and security forces on operating drones for different operations. 

“The use of UAVs by both military and civil security will definitely be an asset for Malaysian national security, especially for critical and time-sensitive situations such as surveillance and border control,” he noted. 

Meanwhile, he said Deftech will continue to further develop local unmanned systems technologies to lessen reliance on an external party and build local capabilities in defence. 

The ISR UAV is currently on display at the DSA and Natsec 2022 at Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre from March 28 to 31.