Taiwan’s locally-developed military drone crashes; no one hurt

Taipei-A locally developed unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) crashed at a forest park in eastern Taiwan on Thursday evening. No one was reportedly hurt in the incident.

The UAV destroyed several trees in the park and broke into pieces.

Local firemen rushed to the area after receiving calls from eyewitnesses, but the UAV did not catch fire. About 90 minutes later, the National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST) issued a statement that said the UAV was the “Teng Yun” drone it had made.

“The Teng Yun force landed at Taitung Forest Park at 6:33 p.m. due to control system malfunction. It took off from Taitung Chihhang Air Base in the afternoon for routine training,” the statement said.

No one was hurt in the incident, it added.

NCSIST personnel had cleaned up the crash site and will analyze the flight data collected to figure out the reasons for the crash, the statement added.

The ill-fated UAV was the prototype of the Teng Yun drone, which was later dedicated only to test flights and personnel training, the NCSIST said, stressing that the incident will not affect the development of other large drones.

The Teng Yun is a medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) drone first developed in 2015 by NCSIST, the primary research and development institution of Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense (MND).

An upgraded version of the Teng Yun made its public debut at the Taipei Aerospace and Defense Technology Exhibition in 2019 and completed a rare long-distance test flight off Taitung into the Pacific Ocean a year later.

According to NCSIST, the new Teng Yun, similar to the U.S.-made MQ-9 drone, is capable of automatic take-off and landing, multi-vehicle control, ground network control and real-time video transmission.

Mass production of the UAV is scheduled to begin in 2024, Taiwan’s Vice Defense Minister Chang Che-ping (???) said last November during a legislative hearing in Taipei.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel