While pioneered over decades by powers such as Israel and the United States, the explosion of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) was not truly seen until the 2000s and the subsequent American-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq following the events of 9/11. Since then, global players have moved on from foreign procurement of such systems, from a few select sources, to establishing local industry to better handle general demand and specific mission requirements. This has proven the case for the nation of Indonesia, a Top 15 ranked global military power according to the defense aggregate GlobalFirepower.com. Its "Wulung" UAV is such a solution, having been developed by Dirgantara Indonesia to fulfill the Intelligence-Surveillance-Reconnaissance (ISR) role critical to over-battlefield military operations today.
At least three examples are in active service with the Indonesian Air Force (2023).
The unmanned aircraft relies on a proven configuration which sees a centralized fuselage - housing the engine, optics, and other pertinent mission / operating equipment - with shoulder-mounted, straight mainplanes, and fixed wheeled tricycle undercarriage. The tail encompasses a single boom capped by a single vertical fin with high-mounted horizontal plane. The twin-bladed propeller unit is seated at the end of the fuselage, over the boom, in the pusher configuration to keep the nose clear for optics. The engine is gas-fueled, piston driven.
The Wulung features a maximum speed of 115 miles-per-hour and typically cruises at 70mph. It requires a run of 1,150 feet and can remain airborne for four hours covering a radius of 75 miles. Dimensions include an overall length of 14.5 feet, a wingspan of 20.8 feet, and a height of 4.85 feet. MTOW is 275lb when fully laden, 145lb otherwise. The payload maximum - limited to sensors and optics - is listed at 80lb. Composite materials are used throughout its construction to retain the needed strength yet still deliver overall structural flexibility.
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Dirgantara Indonesia (DI) - Indonesia Manufacturer(s)
Design utilizes a single primary wing mainplane; this represents the most popular modern mainplane arrangement.
Mainplanes are mounted at the upper section of the fuselage, generally at the imaginary line intersecting the pilot's shoulders.
The planform involves use of basic, straight mainplane members.
1 x Gas-fueled piston-driven engine powering twin-bladed propeller unit in pusher arrangement. Propulsion
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