Taiwan Army tests helicopter drone in airport defense drill

01/19/2021 09:12 PM
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CNA photo Jan. 19, 2021
CNA photo Jan. 19, 2021

Hsinchu, Jan. 19 (CNA) Taiwan's military on Tuesday tested the capabilities of its tactical helicopter drone for the first time, during an airport defense drill.

The drill was carried out by the combined arms battalion of the Army's 584th brigade in Hukou Township, Hsinchu City, ahead of the Lunar New Year.

Simulating an attack by China's People's Liberation Army on Taoyuan International Airport, the Army deployed a trainer version of the unmanned helicopter to detect the enemy's position, after using mortars against the first wave of attack.

CNA photo Jan. 19, 2021
CNA photo Jan. 19, 2021

Gaining an advantage in battlefield transparency, the Taiwanese soldiers launched a counterattack, taking out the enemy commander with a sniper shot and retaking the airport's main structure with the use of armored vehicles and tanks.

The helicopter drone, which will serve as the Army's eye in the sky, has a service ceiling of 3,000 meters and a communication range of 5,000 meters, the battalion's commander Huang Yu-ting (黃煜庭) told reporters after the drill.

It can operate in winds of up to 49 kilometers per hour and scout hostile targets from afar, he said.

CNA photo Jan. 19, 2021
CNA photo Jan. 19, 2021

The Army plans to provide its combined arms battalions with 50 such helicopter drones by the first quarter of 2022, according to military sources.

The drones will be produced by National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST), sources said.

Taiwan currently has 22 combined arms battalions, comprising soldiers from different branches of the military, which are capable of operating independently on the battlefield.

(By Matt Yu and Emerson Lim)

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