Taiwan to develop over 100 ‘radar killer suicide drones’ by 2025
Chien Hsiang’s suicide drones. Twitter/@SiteTaiwanInfo
Taiwan’s military has partnered with a state-run weapons developer to produce 104 suicide drones by 2025, the head of the National Institute of Science and Technology Chung-Shan (NCSIST) said.
According to the media Focus Taiwan, NCSIST official Chi Li-ping said the production and delivery of the drone were on schedule. However, he did not specify the number of drones ordered by the military.
NCSIST first showcased the Chien Hsiang anti-radiation drone in 2017, drawing comparisons to Israel Aerospace Industries’ Harpy anti-radiation weapon system.
Taiwan military invests $2.57 billion in drones
In 2019, the Taiwan military confirmed plans to invest $80 billion New Taiwan Dollars ($2.57 billion) in the development of the drone over five years. The military had claimed that the cost of building an anti-radiation drone would be lower than the American-made TC-2A anti-radiation missile or AGM-88A/B HARM anti-radiation missile.
Taiwan targets China?
Truck-launched drones are designed to detect airborne, waterborne, ground-based, and electromagnetic radars through their emissions and strike.
Chi said the anti-radiation suicide drone had a maximum flight time of more than five hours and would be capable of hitting targets 1,000 km away. He added that its range allows it to target Chinese maritime, coastal and inland radar systems.
According Alert 5, the drone weighs 6 kg (13 pounds) and is 1.2 meters (4 feet) long and 2 meters (6.56 feet) wide. It finds the target with an electro-optical or infrared payload and selects it via a “smart object detection system”.
Focus Taiwan reported that the drone hovered over a target for several hours until it was activated, plunging at a speed of 600 km (373 miles) per hour to crash into it. Chi believes it is possible to deploy clusters of 12 Chien Hsiang drones, which can take flight without a track.
Chi said NCSIST is developing two versions of the drone, one for attack while the other as a decoy to protect critical systems from attack by anti-radiation missiles or enemy UAVs. He further showcased NCSIST’s rotary-wing unmanned aerial reconnaissance vehicle, which can withstand strong breezes of up to 50 km per hour.
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