Taiwan unveils portable attack drone as China tensions rise

Taiwan unveils portable attack drone as China tensions rise

“Because it is lightweight and portable, it is like a big grenade that can fly,” said Chi Li-pin, head of NCSIST’s Aeronautical Systems Research division.

“It is effective in attacking targets near our shores,” he added, noting its maximum flying distance is 10km.

Taiwan is also developing its next generation of “suicide” attack drones, Chi said, including larger versions that can be used in longer distance attacks.

Attack drones can hover in the air while carrying explosives before crashing into a target to eliminate it.

Tensions soared last year after Beijing launched major military exercises in response to a visit by then-US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taipei, in what some experts saw as a rehearsal for an invasion of the island by China.

Allies have urged Taiwan to adopt an asymmetric “porcupine strategy” that would make it hard for China’s larger military to invade, an argument that has been bolstered by the stout defence that Ukraine’s much smaller forces have put up against Russia.

That strategy emphasises purchasing comparatively inexpensive and mobile weapon systems, and training civilians to fight.