The Professional Certificate in Air Defence Radar and Communication Program was organised by UTMSpace, UTM from 28 September to 9 October 2020. This is the second in consecutive years with last program held last year in November 2019. On behalf of UTMSpace, we thank the Royal Malaysian Air Force for their continued support of the programs we offered. The program was the first event conducted at the newly renovated facilities at UTMSpace at Taman Universiti, Skudai, which provided a more conducive learning environment. In attendance to the program were 3 officers and 6 other ranks from the various Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) bases in Johor, Penang, Kelantan, Pahang and Sarawak. The participants are involved in the operations of communications, radar systems and the various aspects of Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (C4I) for RMAF.

The highly evolving nature of warfare with advances in technology has triggered RMAF Command to initiate training programs that are technical in nature suitable for personnel involved at the operations level of RMAF. This, in-line with the human development requirements, forms part of the capability enhancement program (CAP 55). Due to its importance, representatives from PUSPEKA  (Pusat Perkhidmatan Kejuruteraan Aerospace) led by Lt. Col. Shabani Saad (RMAF), Head of Electronics Department, had also joined the program as observer in preparation for future programs suitable for technical staff who support the maintenance and upgrading of assets used by RMAF.

Unlike the previous session, representatives from the industries such as Rohde and Schwarz represented by Dr Tan Jo Lynn and G7 Aerospace represented by Lt Col (Rtd) Kamarudin Ibrahim and Mr Ahmad Hafizi Zuriadi were present to share their experience in the area of electronic support (ES). Furthermore, a session was conducted to demonstrate the use of ES equipment such as PR 200 and WPU500 sensor with time parameter analyzer (TPA) for use as part of the case study activities for the participants. The participation from the Malaysian Amateur Radio Transmitters’ Society (MARTS) was highly appreciated in the HF radio test between UTM, Johor Bahru and Kuala Lumpur which provided insight to good practices in radio communications. With the support of the industries and non profit organisation, the concepts presented in class were further visualised and presented in how they were used in practice.

The same list topics covered were radio propagation, radar systems, satellite communication and HF communication with enhancement based on feedback from the previous program. Besides in-class lectures at UTMSpace facilities, participants were also exposed to lab work, case study with presentation and site visits. Lecturers who conducted this program have the necessary experience to deliver the material relating theory with practice. The lecturers were: Prof. Dr. Jafri bin Din, Assoc. Prof. Dr Nor Hisham bin Haji Khamis and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ahmad Zuri bin Sha’ameri. As mentioned previously, the participation of the industries and non profit organisation for this program had greatly enhanced the delivery of the program.

The closing ceremony was conducted on the last day of the program on the 9th October 2020. In attendance representing RMAF was the representative for the Commanding Officer of Squadron 323, Major Mohd Aminul Habibi bin Saleh Mansari (RMAF) and Lt. Col. Shabani bin Saad (RMAF), and representing the School of Electrical Engineering was Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ahmad Zuri bin Sha’ameri. The Director for Livelong Learning, UTMSpace, Assoc. Prof. Sr Dr. Zakaria bin Mohd Yusof, was present to award the certificates for all the participants. The ceremony was concluded by noon and lunch was provided for all who attended.

At the end of the program, the objectives were met and the participants had completed the required program contents. The knowledge acquired may not be directly related to their daily duties at RMAF. However, it will improve the capability of the participants to handle their equipment, involvement with technology transfer activities with their respective vendors and better assessment of the acquisition of new technologies.  The success of this program will ensure continuous support by RMAF with future conduct of similar programs for the other branches of the Malaysian Armed Forces.