Ever found yourself musing over the future of combat at sea? I mean, it’s not your everyday chatter, but imagine the ocean teeming with these sleek, unmanned vessels zipping around like speedboats.
Well, that future might be closer than you think, with Taiwan gearing up to potentially kickstart mass production of maritime drones by 2026. But what’s the big deal with these drones?
Unmanned, Unleashed: Taiwan’s Foray into Maritime Drones
Taiwan’s Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology is the brain behind these maritime drones.
Picture this: a vessel without a soul onboard, equipped with the works—remote controls, real-time video feeds, and even the ability to play a mean game of “mimic the enemy” with all kinds of signals.
These drones are not just fancy remote-controlled boats. They’re the whole package, designed to dupe radar and throw off the enemy with heaters, flame launchers, and radar signal reflectors. They can simulate a whole range of scenarios, making military training as real as it gets without actual boots on the deck.
The Cost of Cutting-Edge Warfare
Taiwan isn’t just dabbling in drones for the thrill of it. They’re staring down a hefty price tag of NT$812 million—that’s a cool US$25.14 million—to create two different types of these unmanned attackers. And they’re not skimping on the tech either. We’re talking an increased remote guidance range from 60km to 70km.
But hold your horses—it’s not all about making things go boom. These drones are part of a bigger strategy. Taiwan is on the move to shore up defenses against threats, and incorporating these drones into the mix is like adding a pinch of wasabi to your sushi—it gives it a kick.
From Sea to Shining Sea: The Multi-Domain Drone Approach
Taiwan isn’t just thinking about the water’s surface. They’re going all-in, integrating drones in the air, on land, and below the waves. It’s all about having eyes and ears (and a bit of firepower) everywhere.
And with the mandatory conscription system gearing up again, they’re doubling down on arming their forces with the latest gear like the Kestrel rocket launchers.
These Kestrel beauties are something else. Lightweight, disposable, and they pack a punch that can turn a 30cm-thick brick wall to rubble. That’s the kind of firepower that can make an enemy think twice.
- https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/front/archives/2023/11/06/2003808744 ↩︎