Taiwan conducts flight demonstration of new Albatross unmanned aircraft

According to the Central News Agency (CNA), Taiwan’s Navy conducted a successful first-ever fly-over demonstration using the locally developed Albatross tactical unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in Pingtung.

The drone, developed by National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST), gave its first public takeoff, landing and fly-over demonstration at a military base in Pingtung on Thursday.

The Albatross Tactical UAS were designed in composite material structures and modular system. It is equipped with optical EO/IR payloads and characterized by long endurance flight, GPS navigation systems, autopilot ability, real time data and video transmission and communications relay.

In military applications, the UAS are used for day and night surveillance and reconnaissance, target acquisition and designation and battlefield damage assessment, etc. All the real time imagery and data can be transmitted to ground control station for the relay transmission system to assist to transmit information to the C4ISR, which play preemptive and combined operations effects.

The joint military operation simulated a scenario in which an Yilan (DDG-1802) Keelung-class guided-missile destroyer and Kun Ming (FFG-1205) Kang Ding class frigate were sent into waters off Taiwan to protect the country from ballistic missile attacks, while the Albatross drone was dispatched to gather aerial intelligence and send back real-time images.

After several reported crashes involving Albatross UAVs over the past few years, including one when a drone crashed into the sea during a military exercise off Taitung on Jan. 24 due to suspected mechanic failure, Navy officer Hsieh Min-chang said the Navy will continue to gather data and information about drone operations so NCSIST can modify and improve the model.

Some source added that new unmanned aircraft developed to monitor Chinese military activities.

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