YOGYAKARTA – Minister for Research and Technology, Gusti Muhammad Hatta, said that the government would intensify the development of unmanned aircraft which is urgent to do as Indonesia is a country with many volcanoes, mountainous and vast areas unreachable for human beings to do research. “In the near future, we will produce unmanned aircraft,” said the Minister after giving a general lecture in Faculty of Engineering on Friday (5/10).
According to the Minister, the making of unmanned aircraft is along with the development of fighter plane in cooperation with South Korea. “It includes the development of aircraft for the National Police,” he explained.
Technology development such as planes or defence weapons in Indonesia seems to be lagged behind as compared to other countries, Gusti said. That is because existing companies are not given a chance. “After the President had instructed that weapons were to be bought by the country, very progressive advance was visible,” he described.
Gusti said that even Malaysia has placed an order for the Anoa tank which is a domestic product. “This is a significant progress for Indonesian defence weapon industry,” he affirmed.
Responding to a journalist’s question, the Minister said that nuclear is not the only solution for power supply despite the fact that power fulfillment for society has only reached some 67%. “(Power) not always depends on fuels. We developed solar and micro-hidro energy for remote and border areas. Energy supply can also change waste into biogas,” he revealed.
For the time being, the government is intensively using geothermal energy for electricity. “The government provides funds for geothermal survey, which has been going on, instead of the nuclear energy which has not been achievable,” he said.
Dean of Faculty of Engineering UGM who is also a member of the Board of National Energy, Dr. Ir. Tumiran, said that Indonesia has the potential of some 28,000 MW geothermal energy. Only 3000 MW, however, has been converted into electricty. “The geothermal project has been stagnant for over 7 years, but now it has been accelerated,” he concluded.