The Indonesian Navy (Tentara Nasional Indonesia – Angkatan Laut: TNI-AL) is currently anticipating the delivery of four Insitu ScanEagle surveillance unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from the US government, a source from the service’s headquarters told Jane’s on 23 February.
The UAV system and its associated equipment and launchers are provided under a grant by the US government under a capacity building programme for Southeast Asian navies known as the Maritime Security Initiative (MSI).
The MSI was first announced by then US secretary of defense Ashton Carter at the 2015 iteration of the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore. The initiative seeks to improve maritime capabilities of partner countries in the region, namely Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam.
Specifically, for Indonesia, the MSI seeks to improve the country’s maritime patrol capabilities, ISR integration, and equipment maintenance capacity. The aim is to ensure that Indonesia has the capacity to adequately safeguard its maritime territories and economic resources, and contribute to regional security and stability, according to a note on the programme from the US government’s website.
Besides the TNI-AL, other Indonesian beneficiaries of the MSI programme include the country’s coastguard, which will receive assistance in organizational development and technical skill training from the US government.
The ScanEagle UAV can be equipped with a range of payload types including electro-optical imagers, long-wave infrared sensors, and X-band radars. Information on the type of sensors that will come along with the Indonesian UAVs is currently not available.