Kuala Lumpur, 21 October
The status of the unmanned aerial vehicle
(UAV) project has been upgraded to a national project
with immediate effect.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi
said the decision was made in view of the commercial
potential of the technology, initially commissioned
by the Defence Ministry in 2006.
“This technology was initially developed
for security purposes and we are very pleased with
the results. Eventually we are looking at exporting
this technology, but of course we will have to use
it first,” he said after chairing the 5th
National Aerospace Council meeting yesterday.
Abdullah, who is also the defence minister, noted
that the government would wait for recommendations
from all stakeholders in the project for consideration.
The UAV is jointly developed by three local companies
– Composites Technology Research Malaysia
(CTRM), Ikramatic Systems and Systems Consultancy
The three companies put in RM15 million collectively
through a joint-venture company, Unmanned Systems
Technology Sdn Bhd, on top of a RM5 million grants
from the Defence Ministry, to develop the surveillance
On the national aerospace industry, Abdullah said
the government would review the current set of incentives
offered in a bid to increase foreign investment
in the industry.
“We have made a very good progress in the
industry, which is now worth around RM23 billion
and it will develop even more. We consider this
a strategic industry, hence we are taking steps
to review the incentives offered so we can attract
more foreign investment”.
Abdullah said the industry had contributed 3.65
per cent to the national Gross Domestic Product
(GDP) last year, and had provided 53,000 jobs, of
which 99 per cent were taken up by Malaysians.
He added the industry had also experience around
11 per cent growth over the past two years with
total capital investment of RM300 million last year,
half of it came from foreign direct investment.
(Source: New Straits Times)