Drone technology transfers to the private sector have attracted Southeast Asian governmental buyers, a high-ranking military official said.
Responding to inquiries about the Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology’s (CIST) participation in the Japan International Aerospace Exhibition last week, the official — speaking on condition of anonymity — said the exhibit showcased 34 Taiwanese-made gadgets.
The systems on display included “Hung-Chueh II,” a hand-launched micro-uncrewed aerial vehicle (UAV); “Chung Hsiang,” a medium-sized drone; and “Tengyun,” a heavy drone; as well as the Anti-UAV Defense System (AUDS), which is designed to intercept small drones, the official said.
Southeast Asian governmental buyers had expressed interest in several Taiwanese systems and components, which showed that the CIST’s strategy of technology transfers to the private sector has succeeded, the drone technology is nearing maturity and that Taiwan’s defense industry has a role to play in the government’s “new southbound policy,” he said.
The military is evaluating the Hung-Chueh II, the Chung-Hsiang and the Tengyun as platforms that are primarily for reconnaissance missions, the official said, adding that the CIST is testing drones designed for “combat missions,” in an apparent reference to armed drones.
The participation of manufacturers from the private sector in the institute’s program to develop brushless generators had led to breakthroughs in the design of “digital drive controllers,” a critical component not available for export due to Western embargoes on sales to other countries, the official said.
Taiwan’s research and development of the component and others like it is to make the nation an important global supplier, while the manufacturer that possesses the technology had reportedly obtained contracts worth NT$400 million (US$12.59 million), the official said.
The official said Taiwan’s development of digital drive controller technology had drawn “attention” from the US government, without clarifying what that meant.
Another private-sector manufacturer that participated in the technology transfer program to design a laser rangefinder with broadband radio communications had, following its successful development of encryption technology for broadband transmissions, established a manufacturing capacity for laser designators, the official said.
Globally, the laser manufacturer had secured third place among the manufacturers of broadband radio components for drones and its equipment is purchased by the military, law enforcement and national security organizations in Taiwan and Southeast Asia.
Taiwan’s breakthroughs in drones has tremendous commercial value in the international market and is to play an important role in international trade, the official said.
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