TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said on Wednesday (June 15) that a new research and development center for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) will open in Chiayi in August as Taiwan ramps up its asymmetric warfare capabilities.
Tsai made the remark at a presentation on the development and strategic role of the country’s drone industries delivered by Chairman Lo Cheng-fang (羅正方) of GEOSAT Aerospace & Technology Inc.
The new facility will tap into AI technologies for indigenously-built drones, bolstering Taiwan’s defense supply chain. It will also serve to drive local economic growth through industry clustering, Tsai was quoted by Democratic Progressive Party Spokesperson Hsieh Pei-fen (謝佩芬) as saying.
Tsai observed that UAVs have assumed a critical role in the Ukrainian battle against Russia, serving as an example of how a country can employ asymmetric warfare tactics to counter an enemy of greater military might, per CNA.
The aircraft will also play an essential part in non-military applications from agriculture and disaster relief to remote area deliveries. The government will spearhead integrating military and civilian sectors, Tsai vowed.
Ukraine has carried out drone attacks that hit Russian armored vehicles and battleships. Turkish drone maker Baykar, which has established its reputation through the war, claimed demand is so high “the whole world is now a customer,” Reuters reported.