The Taiwanese government has allocated about $1.6 billion (NT$50 billion) to develop and manufacture military drones unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in preparation for a clash with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) ’s military.
According to Financial Times, this UAV development plan is expected to take three years and is carried out by private drone manufacturers from Taiwan.
Financial Times cited five anonymous sources saying that the Taiwanese government wants domestic UAV manufacturers to take orders by July next year.
A senior official in Taiwan’s government said, “Our military has so far failed to present a clear concept for the use of unmanned aerial vehicles in warfighting and to capitalize on our private sector’s significant capabilities in that field.
“The war in Ukraine has highlighted the urgency of preparing for conflict in the Taiwan Strait, and the crucial role drones can play in such a conflict.”
Speaking to the U.S. magazine The Atlantic a few days ago, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said there is a real threat of an invasion from China. However, she noted that this is “not an exaggeration.” Therefore, Taiwan needs to prepare for this situation.
In addition to developing its own UAV, Taiwan has ordered this type of aircraft from the U.S. to increase its defense capabilities.
In September this year, Taiwan agreed to buy four MQ-9B SeaGuardian unmanned aerial vehicles from the U.S.
MQ-9B SeaGuardian is a variant of the Reaper drone that the U.S. used in attacks in Afghanistan.