Taiwan’s Tactical Shift Arms Drones for Combat

Taiwan is bolstering its defense by retrofitting its tactical reconnaissance drones with combat abilities, readying itself for potential cross-strait conflict. These modifications are a part of Taiwan's continual efforts to showcase its defense determination in the face of Beijing's sovereignty claims.

The Taiwanese military has procured 50 tactical drones, costing NT$780 million (US$25.1 million), from the National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology, a government-funded institution. Of these, 32 have already been received; the remaining are slated for delivery later this year. Initially designed for reconnaissance and surveillance, these drones are now being adapted for combat.

“The institute is in the process of customizing the drones, with some of them being fitted with the laser target system and others with the ammunition system,” reported the Central Agency.

Drone operators can accurately identify targets and transmit coordinates to an army base with a laser system. Furthermore, a drone equipped with the ammunition system could respond to unexpected attacks during reconnaissance missions, dropping up to eight rounds of 60mm mortars.

In related news, prototypes of a new variant of the Clouded Leopard armored vehicle are undergoing testing. The defense ministry affirmed that the “initial operational testing and evaluation of the two prototypes is underway and is expected to be completed by October,” promising mass production as soon as final testing is passed.

This NT$769 million project, developed by Taiwan's Armaments Bureau, aims to enhance the island's infantry firepower and quick strike capabilities. The vehicle comes with a 105mm cannon, a 7.62mm coaxial machine gun, and a remote weapon station with a 12.7mm machine gun.

The ramped-up defense comes amidst increasing concerns of cross-strait conflict following the People's Liberation Army's unprecedented live-fire drills around the island. While most , including the US, do not officially recognize Taiwan as an independent state, they oppose any forceful change in the status quo.

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Haye Kesteloo
Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Founder of DroneXL.co, where he covers all drone-related news, DJI rumors and writes drone reviews, and EVXL.co, for all news related to electric vehicles. He is also a co-host of the PiXL Drone Show on YouTube and other podcast platforms. Haye can be reached at haye @ dronexl.co or @hayekesteloo.

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