Taiwan unveils its first portable attack drone

Taiwan showed off new models of its domestically produced military drones, saying they are key to its “asymmetric warfare” capability should it have to take on China

Taiwan unveiled its first portable attack drone on Tuesday , a model similar to the American one being used in Ukraine’s war against Russia as China intensifies its military pressure on the island.

The single-use weaponized drone was unveiled by the National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology, and was designed to be carried in a backpack and has the ability to hover for 15 minutes .

“Because it’s light and portable, it’s like a big grenade that flies,” said Chi Li-pin, head of the institute’s Aviation Systems Research division.

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The apparatus is similar to the US-made Switchblade 300 used by Ukrainian soldiers.

“It is effective for attacking targets close to our coasts,” Chi added, noting that its maximum flight capacity is 10 km.

Taiwan ‘s 23.5 million people live under constant threat of invasion by China , which considers the democratically-ruled island part of its territory and has vowed to take it one day, even by force.

The threats from Beijing have intensified in recent years under President Xi Jinping.

Taiwan is also developing the next generation of attack drones , Chi said, including versions that can be used for attacks at longer ranges. (AFP)