Malaysia expected to move towards MALE UAV acquisition
At DSA 2018, held 16-19 April in Kuala Lumpur, General Atomics promoted its PREDATOR XP UAV, an export variant of the PREDATOR UAV designed specifically to be unable to carry weapons, to meet the ISR requirements of countries in Asia.
The company’s Director of International Strategic Development, Air Vice-Marshal (Ret.) Warren Ludwig said that the PREDATOR XP had the advantage of being operationally proven and its systems would be able to integrate and interface seamlessly with many of the Western equipment systems used by the militaries in the region unlike its competitors from Turkey and China.
Mr. Ludwig stated that with the PREDATOR XP, there was great potential for sales to both militaries and civilian agencies, and the Sea GUARDIAN programme with India, when finalised, is likely to lead to other countries to consider the PREDATOR XP for their ISR needs. In regard to Malaysia, Mr. Ludwig stated that while no finances has been allocated nor an official requirement put out, General Atomics was laying the ground for when the requirement eventually emerges particularly in regard to the finances required for procurement of the system.
Malaysia is expected to move towards acquisition of a Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) UAV, given the countries long coastlines and extensive maritime zones. Malaysia’s Deftech is working with Turkey’s TAI in promoting the ANKA UAV towards such a future requirement and also towards an armed UAV requirement should it emerge as well.