Philippine government buys hovercrafts for coastal security

Published 11 December 2007

As law enforcement authorities look for versatile machines to help them deal with changing threat environment, hovercraft manufacturers may be rewarded

Here is a technology we are likely to hear about more in the future, as law enforcement forces look for more versatile machines: Hovercraft. The first Malaysian flying hovercraft builder GIG Technology aims to move forward after having sold the Campro 1.8cc engine-powered craft to the Philippine government last August. Company’s director Megat D’Shahriman said the RM800,000 hovercraft, with the ability to travel two meters above the surface of the water, was delivered during the Asia-Pacific Intelligence Chiefs Conference in September. “We want to move forward so that this innovation can be used for the role of search and rescue, sea inspection, waterway patrols, anti-piracy activities and high-speed infiltration into hostile areas in this region,” he said. He said the cost of the craft depended on customers’ preferences of the specifications, particularly ammunitions and armaments. D’Shahriman said GIG was aiming to sell more of its state-of-the-art hovercraft by giving demonstrations to the maritime enforcement agency, police, navy, and Defense Ministry in early February. “With the demonstrations, we hope that these agencies can see for themselves the hovercraft’s performance and how it can suit their needs,” he said.

The single hull commercial hovercraft has two different speeds — the flying mode at 60 knots (110km/h) and the hover mode at 38 knots (70 km/h). The craft is powered by a petrol diesel engine and its lightweight and easy maneuverability enables it to cover long distance with low fuel consumption. GIG Technology is a versatile company: It specializes in providing information technology solutions with focus on information security, application development, integration, and courseware development. The company is also involved in defense and enforcement related technology, providing solutions to defense organizations and law enforcement agencies locally as well as around the Asean region, Megat said. “Due to our expertise in this area, the products in our catalogue have been tested and approved to meet internationally recognized quality standards,” he said.