Taiwan has displayed its state-of-the-art kamikaze drones as part of its latest defence preparations days after China showcased its aerial firepower at the Zhuhai Airshow. Following in the lead of Ukraine’s Armed Forces, which has found success against Russia with inexpensive Bayraktar TB2 unmanned aerial vehicles from Turkey, which carry lightweight, laser-guided bombs, Taiwan has invested in three drones to help stave off a Chinese invasion. In footage shown by Sky News Australia, the Chien Hsiang drones can be seen being propelled from a stationary vehicle, with a leading Taiwanese military scientist Chi Li-ping telling journalists he believes unmanned aerial combat vehicles are a “future trend”.
Showing footage of a drone being launched into Taiwanese airspace, reporter Brent O’Halloran said: “If war comes to the shores, this may turn the tide. Less than two metres long, rocket and propeller-powered, and designed to observe and destroy.”
Chi Li-ping, who runs the Aeronautical Systems Research Division of the National Chung Shan Institute (NCSIST), the state-affiliated weapons provider, said: “We think that unmanned aerial combat vehicles are a future trend. This is why we are doing research about them and laying out some strategies.”
Mr O’Halloran added: “Drones are central to Taiwan’s defence strategy. Fired from trucks, these Chien Hsiang drones can be deployed closer to the front line, while these helicopter-designed drones can scope the sky for a longer period. Taiwan has just ordered 100 of them.”
Chi said: “The images taken can be swiftly linked to the system so that they can be shared with all the combat units.”
Dozens of the single-use Chien Hsiang suicide drones, officially termed loitering munitions, can be carried on a truck at any one time. They are guided by a propeller engine before crashing into their target.
While Ukraine has been using the Bayraktar TB2 vehicles in combat, Russia has been using its Lancet drones, as well as the Iranian Shahed-136 kamikaze drones, to destroy cities deep behind front lines, damaging critical energy infrastructure and killing civilians.
According to Taiwan, their indigenous anti-radiation loitering munitions will be used to destroy enemy radars stationed at sea, along the coast, or inland. Chi also added that these loitering munitions could destroy other UAVs.
READ MORE: Kamala Harris to visit Philippine islands in move that may enrage Chin [REPORT]