| 15 July 2024, Monday |

Learning from Ukraine, Taiwan shows off its drones as key to ‘asymmetric warfare’

On Tuesday, Taiwan unveiled updated versions of its homegrown military drones, claiming that they are essential to its “asymmetric warfare” capability to make its forces more flexible in the event that they come up against the much bigger Chinese military.

China has increased military activities close to the democratically run island to compel it to embrace Chinese sovereignty despite Taiwan’s protests. China has never renounced the use of force to seize control of Taiwan.

NCSIST head Art Chang said the war in Ukraine had focused attention on drones, and his institution had teamed up with Taiwan companies to build a “national team” to develop military drones.

Taiwan’s military has announced a partnership with companies aimed at producing 3,000 drones next year.

Chi Li-Pin, director of Aeronautical Systems Research Division for NCSIST, said the armed forces should increase their adoption of drones in their strategies.

“I hope our national troops can familiarize themselves with this weapon of asymmetric warfare and use them boldly,” he told reporters at an NCSIST facility in the central city of Taichung.

President Tsai Ing-wen has championed the idea of “asymmetric warfare” to make Taiwan’s forces more mobile and harder to attack.

Taiwan’s armed forces are well-equipped but still dwarfed by China’s.

Among the drones on display was an attack drone with loitering munitions that can cruise towards a target before plummeting at velocity and detonating on impact.

China has sent its drones to areas close to Taiwan to test its responses, the island’s defense ministry has said.

Last year, Taiwan shot down a civilian drone that entered its airspace near an islet off the Chinese coast.

The island’s defense ministry said in a report to parliament this week, a copy of which was reviewed by Reuters, that China was quickly building up its combat capacity with drones, including swarms of flying robots.

In response, Taiwan will focus on developing its combat and surveillance drones, as well as anti-drone systems, the ministry said.

  • Reuters