Taiwan will expedite the development of military drones in light of the lessons learned from the conflict in Ukraine and the danger presented by China, the island’s defense minister announced on February 7.
Since the full-scale invasion of Ukraine by Russia in February 2022, unmanned aircraft have played a key role on both sides. According to Ukraine’s military minister, drones represent the future of contemporary warfare.
Taiwan, which faces a growing threat from China to use force to put it under Beijing’s control, has frequently stated that it is closely monitoring the conflict and absorbing lessons it may employ to repel a Chinese assault, such as how Ukraine has fought a numerically superior army.
Sun Li-fang, a spokeswoman for Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense, told reporters that the island is accelerating the research and manufacture of drones.
“In response to the current enemy danger and using the general experience of drones in the Ukraine-Russia war, the defense ministry is accelerating research and development and manufacture of various drones in order to create asymmetric fighting power for our country’s drones,” Sun stated.
He noted that the National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology, which is owned by the military, will head the development effort, which will also involve private enterprises.
Director of the institute’s Aeronautical Systems Research Division Chi Li-ping described military drones being developed for reconnaissance missions.
“Our country’s drones have already met international criteria for their design, capabilities, and related technologies,” he stated.
In a report to parliament last year, the institution outlined its ambitions for the missiles and drones it is developing, while the defense ministry had already stated its intention to begin producing undefined “attack drones.”
Taiwan has also dealt with Chinese drones that have buzzed Taiwan-controlled islets off the coast of China.