Colours Broken Into Shades

SHAH ALAM: Colours Broken Into Shades. RMN will take delivery of the 12 Insitu ScanEagles 2 drones gifted by the US, next month. Confirming the delivery, RMN Chief Admiral Mohd Reza Sany said they expected the squadron specifically set up to run the drones will take a year to train with them before it become fully operational.

The ScanEagle squadron will be based at the Sepanggar naval base in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. Mohd Reza was speaking to the media after the welcoming ceremony for KD Keris on January 17.

The Unmanned Aerial Vehicle ScanEagle is launched from the flight deck of the Afloat Forward Staging Base (Interim) USS Ponce . US Navy

Mohd Reza said the decision to operate the ScanEagles from RMN vessels or from land will be made during the one year period. He also said that they had not decided to limit the areas where the ScanEagles even though the drone squadron is based at Sepanggar. “We can use the drones around the country and its not limited to Sabah and Sarawak or the ESSCOM AOR.

A ScanEagle being recovered while operating from a US Navy vessel

He said if there was a need for the ScanEagles to operate in Selat Melaka and other areas in the peninsular, the RMN will deploy them. RMN stood up the drone squadron on November 21, 2018 when it was first announced we were getting six ScanEagles. In May, last year, the number were raised to 12 as Malaysia had opted to take an option for six more ScanEagles.

On May 31, the Pentagon announced that Malaysia is getting 12 Scaneagles (four systems). I was told that Malaysia was originally offered six drones with an option for another six. I was told that we had exercised the option so we are getting 12 drones. It is likely the extra ScanEagles were bought for Malaysia under Pentagon’s other security cooperation funds instead of just from the MSI.

Contractor Jermaine Ofoso-Anim launches a ScanEagle unmanned aerial vehicle from the flight deck of USS Lewis B. Puller (ESB 3). US Navy

Apart from Malaysia, three other SEA countries are also getting the same drones, namely Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines.

— Malaysian Defence

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