Jakarta: Indonesia plans to launch a drone plane called “Puna” next year to support national defence and monitor extremist activity, an official said Sunday.

“Puna, an unmanned small aircraft, can safely observe hard-to-reach areas. It has been tested and we’ll launch it next year,” said Surjatin Wiriadidjaja, deputy chairman of the government’s Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology.

“We equipped Puna with a camera and the military and the police can use it for surveillance,” he told AFP.

Wiriadidjaja said Puna could be used “to observe terrorist activities” and for other tasks such as monitoring forest fires.

Indonesian authorities are on guard against new Islamist attacks after the killing and arrests of extremists led by slain Malaysian Noordin Mohammed Top.

Noordin, blamed for a string of suicide blasts across Indonesia since 2003 including July hotel attacks in Jakarta, was gunned down in a police raid in September in Central Java.

Several of his alleged accomplices have been killed or arrested in the probe into the July hotel blasts, which killed nine people.