Indigenous Teng Yun 2 drone falls short in combat readiness testing

ROC Central News Agency

01/28/2024 05:16 PM

Taipei, Jan. 28 (CNA) The indigenous unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) Teng Yun 2 has not passed its combat readiness testing phase, with initial results finding there was still room for improvement in its design, a source with knowledge of the matter said.

Further combat testing will be conducted after hardware and software changes have been made to improve the drone’s performance, the source said.

The Teng Yun 2 combat and reconnaissance drone, or “Cloud Rider,” developed by the National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST), has evolved from a first-generation drone that did not meet the needs of the military.

The second-generation version is a long-endurance, satellite-guided drone that has a new engine as well as an improved and enhanced configuration and flight control system compared to the first-generation prototype.

It is capable of autonomous take-offs and landings and satellite navigation, and can stay in the air for nearly 24 hours, according to the source.

The new version completed its first-phase flight tests in March 2022, and Air Force members were trained to use it by the NCSIST in January and February 2023 before the drone entered combat readiness testing in March.

Initial combat testing results indicated, however, that there was still room for improvement, the source said, noting that efforts to improve the design of the new version are underway and that further tests will be carried out soon.

The combat readiness testing phase is the final hurdle the drone has to clear before it can be manufactured for military use.

Under the Ministry of National Defense’s five-step process for developing weapons, drones need to make it through an initial conceptual design stage, an engineering development stage, initial weapon testing, and combat readiness testing before they can enter mass production.

(By Matt Yu and Evelyn Kao)

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