The military is scheduled to showcase some of its latest domestically developed armaments and defense technology at the Taiwan Aerospace & Defense Technology Expo, which is being held this week for the first time in four years after the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Armaments Bureau and the Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology are to showcase a newly made loitering munition, or “suicide drone,” similar to the US-made AeroVironment Switchblade 300, a military source who asked to remain anonymous said.
The miniature loitering munition has a range of 10km, can fly for 15 minutes and can fit inside a rucksack, Chi Li-pin (齊立平), head of the institute’s Aeronautical Systems Research Division, has said.
Photo: Taipei Times
The device, which has a high-performance electro-optical and infrared sensor, can be carried by a single soldier and can destroy high-value, high-risk vehicles, as well as target personnel, Chi said.
“It is like a large grenade capable of flying,” he added.
The military is also to unveil the latest version of its locally made powered exoskeleton suit, which is a mechanized wearable system designed to be used in wartime or during post-disaster rescue and relief missions, the source said.
The institute previously said that the 10kg lower-body exoskeleton, which is designed to boost the strength and endurance of its users, can move at 6kph.
The exoskeleton delivers the right torque at the right time to assist knee flexion and extension to reduce the energy wearers expend when crossing terrain, squatting or kneeling, and to increase mobility and reduce fatigue, the institute said.
The Armaments Bureau is also to showcase a new assault rifle, the XT112, that is being developed by the military, the source added.
The new rifle, expected to be delivered to the armed forces next year, would be lighter and have a longer range, making it more effective in the context of modern urban warfare, the Ministry of National Defense has said.
Taiwan’s combat units use T91 rifles produced by the 205th Armory that have been in service for nearly 20 years.
T91 rifles are based on the T86 assault rifle, incorporating features from M16 and AR-18 rifles, but with modern features.
Meanwhile, the nation’s reserve units use the older T65K2 rifles developed and manufactured by the Combined Logistics Command, and have been in service since the late 1970s.
The biennial exhibition, which is to run from tomorrow to Saturday, would be the largest show ever, with nearly 280 exhibitors participating, and all 970 exhibition booths occupied at the Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center’s Hall 1, the organizers said.
The American Institute in Taiwan and the Czech-Taiwan Business Chamber have organized a USA Pavilion and Czech Pavilion for the three-day show, they added.
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