RBAF stages large-scale exercise using new military equipment, vehicles

(Top) The Special Force Regiment of Royal Brunei Armed Forces in action during the 'Hikmat Bersatu Exercise' at Anduki Aerodrome in Belait district. (Above) The Special Force Regiment using the Special Operation Vehicle (SOV) Al-Thalab, a light armoured assault vehicle that was newly-acquired from Jordan. Pictures: BT/Saifulizam

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

THE Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF) yesterday staged a large-scale exercise to assess the quality of newly-acquired military equipment and vehicles at the Anduki Aerodrome in Belait district.

The third "Hikmat Bersatu Exercise" was also aimed at evaluating the effectiveness and capabilities of RBAF's command and control management, which involves all units such as the Joint Force Headquarters, Royal Brunei Land Force, Royal Brunei Navy, Royal Brunei Air Force, Special Force Regiment and Royal Brunei Malay Reserve Regiment, all directorates and departments in the Ministry of Defence.

Most of the vehicles, mobile command and scout rovers were purchased from Jordan during last year's Brunei International Defence Exhibition (Bridex). The vehicles were put on display in the static exhibits set up for His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam's viewing.

Among those that were on display yesterday was the Special Operation Vehicle (SOV) Al-Thalab, which is a light armoured assault vehicle and the Rokon Desert Ranger, a two-wheel drive off road motorcycle.

During a tour of the exhibits, His Majesty was seen trying out some of the equipment as well as asking the uniformed personnel about its capabilities and effectiveness in the field.

Also on display was the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) from Malaysia, which is currently being used on a trial basis.

According to Head of Marketing for Unmanned Systems Technology from Malaysia Lt Col (Rtd) Mohd Razi Ahmad Tajuddin, the UAV is a light remote controlled unit launched by a trained personnel and controlled from a mobile command unit.

The UAV is one of the cheapest in the industries, costing RM$1.6 million for the basic package, said Lt Col (Rtd) Mohd Razi, adding that it comes with a range of camera attachments, such as night vision. The UAV is also capable of monitoring a targeted location and has been used by Malaysian enforcement agencies to monitor a range of activities, such as piracy and border controls.

The RBAF is still considering plans to acquire the equipment, hence the trial phase being put to use during the exercise.

The Brunei Times


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