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A combat drone developed by Taiwan’s top military research unit is undergoing initial flight tests before it enters combat testing in June.
Tests of the second-generation Teng Yun prototype are being conducted after a previous version crashed in eastern Taiwan in February, delaying the drone’s development.
The second-generation prototype developed by the Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST) has been upgraded from the first-generation drone, a military source said.
The first drone was scheduled to undergo combat testing in June this year. The institute has attributed the crash near Taitung Air Base to “a system anomaly.”
As Taiwan’s main weapons research and development unit and being affiliated with the Ministry of National Defense, the institute expects to conduct combat testing of the new drone in June, the source said.
According to taipeitimes.com, the Teng Yun is a medium-sized UCAV that resembles US-based General Atomics’ MQ-1 Predator and is compatible with the AGM-114 Hellfire air-to-surface missile. A prototype was first displayed publicly in 2015.
The military has a five-step weapons development process of conceptual design, engineering development, initial testing, combat readiness testing and production.