Taiwan displayed two drones at the Taipei Aerospace and Defense Technology Exhibition (TADTE) currently on in Taipei today which are aimed at defending itself against China as well as target China’s highly successful drone export market.
The two drones are ‘Jian Hsiang’ and ‘Teng Yun.’
The former is an anti-radiation drone also called ‘Flying Sword’ intended to take out radar stations. The warhead is built into the drone’s fuselage allowing it to crash into its target.
“Prototype of the drone is complete. A six-year program to build more drones would begin soon,” said Chi Li Pin, aerospace director at Taiwan’s National Chung Shan Institute of Science and Technology.
“Rather than holding a separate high-explosive warhead, the drone itself is the main munition once it finds its target and sets off its self-destruction,” he added.
The Teng Yun is a medium altitude long range (MALE) drone intended for reconnaissance, surveillance and communications relay. Prototype of the drone will be ready by December of this year. It will enter "testing" stage in January 2020 and combat tests will be conducted beginning 2021, Chi revealed.
Detailing the features of the Teng Yun, Chi said that this new version “has an enhanced thrust, greater-range, enhanced flight control system, a triple-backup power system, and ability to carry multiple payload.”
Prototype of Cloud Leopard M2 armored vehicle, models of various advanced jet trainers, the Hsiung Feng III supersonic missile and the Tien-Kung III surface-to-air missile are also expected to be showcased at the event.
“The domestic aerospace industry reached NT$100 billion (US$3.18 billion at the current exchange rate) in 2016 and NT$120 billion last year,” Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen said at the opening ceremony of the exhibition.
Overseas firms have continued to place more orders, and the export value of the industry has grown 60 percent, she said, adding that these results show that the domestic aerospace industry is recognized internationally.