Monday July 2, 2012
CTRM tageting regional countries to market UAV segment
By ZAZALI MUSA
JOHOR BARU: Composites Technology Research Malaysia Sdn Bhd (CTRM) is targeting countries in the region to market its unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).
Group chief marketing officer Datuk Wan Abd Halim Abd Majid said prospects for the UAV segment in the region was good as there were only few players involved the related activity.
He said the company was currently negotiating with several parties in Cambodia, the Philippines and Thailand which had shown interest to purchase its UAV to be used in the military and defense-related operations.
Wan Abd Halim said apart from the three countries, Indonesia and Vietnam had also shown similar interest to purchase the company’s UAV.
“What sets us apart from others in the region is that we designed, developed, manufactured and operate the UAV while our rivals only involve in one of those,’’ he said.
Wan Abd Halim said this in a press conference after signing the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between CTRM and University Teknologi Malaysia (UTM).
UTM was represented by its deputy vice-chancellor (Research and Innovation) Professor Dr Mohd Azrai Kassim.
He said the UAV was something new to many countries in the region; hence not many players were involved in the activity as it involved high-precision engineering.
Wan Abd Halim said the company first started producing the UAV’s Aludra (Alliance Unmanned Defense Research Aircraft) via its subsidiary Unmanned Systems Technology Sdn Bhd (UST) at its manufacturing plant in Composites Technology City at Batu Berendam, Malacca.
“This has given us the advantage compared with our rivals in the region and our main goal is to become one of the leading UAV players in the world,’’ he added.
UST chief executive officer Lt Col (Retired) Mohd Radzi Mohd Tajuddin said the company had produced 15 Aludra since 2007 and sold them to the Defence Ministry.
He said it was cheaper but the Malaysia-developed UAV compared with the US-developed product as end users only pay RM12mil for two aircraft and ground station.
“Buying from the USA will cost you US$10mil and you are subjected to several questions from the Americans and even then it doesn’t mean they will sell it to you,’’ said Mohd Radzi.
He said UAV Aludra was certified by the Directorate General of Technical Airworthiness which allowed the aircraft with the 200kg take-off weight and load between 30 and 50kg to fly over populated areas.
Mohd Radzi said the usage of the UAV was not limited only to the military and defense-related operations and it could be used in the commercial activities.
“Among the activities are in the agriculture, oil and gas, fishery and forestry and the UAV will help to collect data such as oil spills and illegal loggings,’’ he said.