Taiwan Unveils New Drone, New Weapons at Defense Trade Show in Taipai

Taiwan's new unmanned long endurance drone. Photo: J. Michael Cole

Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense on August 13 unveiled a new indigenously produced long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and various weapons systems at the biennial Taipei Aerospace & Defense Technology Exhibition (TADTE).

The centerpiece of this year’s event was without doubt the Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) UAV developed by the Aeronautical Systems Research Division (ASRD), a branch of the National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST), Taiwan’s top defense research institute.

Still in the testing phase, the all-composite MALE prototype, which bears a striking similarity to the General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper, can carry multiple payloads and was designed to conduct civilian/military intelligence gathering, surveillance, reconnaissance, environmental research and coastal patrol operations. Although very little information was made available, a fact sheet provided by the designer indicated that the UAV can perform automatic takeoff and landing, automatic navigation, multi-vehicle control, aerial communication relay and ground network control, and real-time video transmission. The drone is designed for day and night civilian/military missions.

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