Research and Technology Minister Gusti Muhammad Hatta said that the country would build a drone squadron in 2013 for surveillance and reconnaissance missions, funded by the Defense Ministry.
The development of the drone squadron is one of the main objectives of this year's National Technology Awakening Day.
The drone squadron will also be able to create artificial rain, according to the minister.
"The drone squadron will be able to create artificial rain. It can also be used to monitor active and dormant volcanoes, illegal fishing and logging activities,” Gusti said on Thursday as reported by Antara news wire, adding that the Defense Ministry will provide the funds.
The Ministry will work closely with the National Institute of Aeronautics and Space (LAPAN) and the Agency for Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT) to build the drone squadron.
"LAPAN has built one small drone, while BPPT has developed three different sizes of drones: small, medium and large," he said.
Gusti pointed out that his ministry was developing the technology to manufacture tanks.
"We have built an Armored Personnel Carrier [APC]. Now, we want to develop tanks.”
The Jakarta Post