Indonesia has announced that it will begin to mass-produce surveillance drones this year. Analysts say Indonesia’s local drone development and production is part of a broader trend of rapidly modernizing militaries in the Asia Pacific.Funded by the Defense Ministry, Indonesia initiated its surveillance drone development program in 2004. A collaborative effort between several government agencies, the Wulung, a type of unmanned aerial vehicle, or UAV, is ready to be mass-produced for the Indonesian Air Force this year. The Wulung prototype was locally designed and produced, and initially will be used for non-military purposes, such as monitoring active volcanoes, spotting illegal logging and patrolling the country’s huge maritime area. Samudro, a director at Indonesia’s Research and Technology Application Agency that jointly developed the prototype, said the drones will help Indonesia keep tabs on its 17,000 islands and multiple borders.”To monitor our borders, to monitor our illegal fishing, to monitor the human trafficking, for example, and also for search and rescue,” said Samudro. The aircraft will be placed in the country’s vast border regions, with Papua New Guinea and East Timor to the east, and Malaysia and Brunei to the northwest. While all current drones are unarmed, the Indonesia Defense Ministry says it has long-term plans for a weaponized model capable of shooting missiles or dropping bombs (Read More).