Taiwanese military scrambles to field counter-UAV systems

Taiwanese soldier with C-UAV gun
Taiwanese soldier with C-UAV gun.

The Taiwan Ministry of National Defense (MND) announced the deployment handheld of counter-unmanned aerial vehicle (C-UAV) guns to Kinmen and Matsu, which are a group of islands located close to the Chinese mainland by controlled by Taiwan.

The move follows several incidents involving UAVs – believed to be commercial or hobby-class platforms – originating from the mainland which have captured photos and videos of Taiwanese soldiers stationed on Kinmen islands. In one incident, surprised troops could be seen throwing rocks at the intruding UAV in an attempt to disable it. Another instance saw Taiwanese troops shooting down a UAV near the Kinmen islands.

The new C-UAV guns constitute part of a new approach to address such harassment tactics, the MND stated. The devices are designed to disrupt communication between the UAV and its controller, causing it to perform a forced landing or return to its point of origin. The MND also revealed that at least one UAV had been repulsed from Kinmen islands by a C-UAV system on 3 September.

The MND earlier announced that it will roll out new C-UAV defences at its bases in 2023, with bases on its outlying islands given priority. The ministry said development of a remote-controlled defence system has been completed and will be deployed at 45 facilities across Taiwan through 2026.

It did not disclose details of the new C-UAV capability, but local media reports indicate that development has been led by the state-run National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST) under a contract worth about US$147 million. NCSIST will reportedly install the systems at critical facilities such as air, naval, and missile bases, including those in remote areas and on outlying islands.

NCSIST has stated that the C-UAV system can detect, track, and classify suspicious UAVs, and can offer several modes of disruption to halt UAV incursions.

by Jr Ng