Local institute showcases UAVs, simulators


TAIPEI — Taiwan’s main weapons research and development unit displayed its unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), simulator systems and engines during a media tour Tuesday in Taichung.

The products showcased at the National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology’s Aeronautical Systems Research Division included two types of UAVs designed mainly for military use.

The Cardinal Mini-UAV, which weighs about 5 kilograms, can be used for reconnaissance missions, the institute said. It has a remote control flight range of about 8 kilometers and can remain in the air for up to an hour at a time, the institute said.

The UAV does not need a runway for takeoff, but instead can be thrown into the air, the institute explained during a demonstration. When it is time to land, a parachute opens and the UAV floats to the ground.

��The Navy is interested in the design,�� said an institute official responsible for the UAV. ��We are expecting to conclude a deal next year.��

Ma Wan-june, director of the division that is located in the central city of Taichung, said the design is based on military needs and performs well in terms of safe transmission of confidential information.

The other design is the Albatross UAV, which can be used for longer reconnaissance missions, night or day. It can remain in the air for more than 10 hours and has a range of 150 kilometers from its control system, the institute said.

The Albatross, which weighs about 317 kilograms and has a wingspan of 8 meters, is currently being used by the Army, the institute said.

During the tour, the institute also showcased different types of turbofan engines it has developed over the years.

Its TFE-1042 engines have been used to power the locally developed Indigenous Defense Fighter jet, one of Taiwan’s main combat aircraft, Ma said.

The institute has also developed a smaller version of the turbofan engine, which it said can be used to power missiles. The Taiwan-made Hsiung Feng 2E missile is said to be powered by a turbofan engine developed by the aeronautical systems division.

During the tour, reporters were also shown several simulator systems developed by the institute for military and commercial use.