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China Counters Drone Warfare with Air Defense Drills

China Counters Drone Warfare with Air Defense Drills

Ukraine War

The recent Chinese military air defense exercise on October 15, 2023, showcased the country’s growing concern about the rising presence of drone warfare and its potential impact on military capabilities. This exercise was mainly executed to protect China’s Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft against potential drone attacks, especially from Taiwan. The loss of an essential Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW) plane could significantly hinder the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) fighters as they majorly rely on these aircraft for Intelligence-Surveillance-Reconnaissance (ISR) purposes.

Various countermeasures were deployed during the exercise to detect, track, and neutralize simulated drone attacks while ensuring the safety and operational efficiency of AWACS aircraft. This demonstration highlights China’s effort to maintain aerial dominance in the increasingly contested airspace surrounding Taiwan.

Ukrainian Drone Technology and Strategies

The Ukrainian drones, operated by Belarusian partisans in opposition to Russia, have targeted a Russian A-50U AWACS aircraft in an incident on February 26. This attack exposed a severe shortage of AWACS aircraft within the Russian Air Force (RuAF). The destruction of the A-50U has exacerbated this problem and forced the Russian Air Force to address the gap in their airborne early warning and control capabilities. Meanwhile, Ukrainian drone technology and strategies continue to evolve, posing a growing challenge to Russian aerial defenses.

Taiwan’s Domestically Manufactured UAVs

In light of the above, Taiwan has been employing domestically manufactured Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) against China. These UAVs are focused primarily on incoming Chinese soldiers during amphibious maneuvers and attacking coastal objectives on the Chinese mainland. The domestically produced UAVs display Taiwan’s defense technology industry development and serve as a strategic asset in the face of an increasingly assertive China. Taiwan’s goal with this technology is to deter potential military action from Beijing, strengthen its national security, and protect its sovereignty.

Dachang Air Base Exercise

The Dachang air base near Shanghai hosted the air defense exercise last week. One UAV pursued and shot down a target UAV with a net, demonstrating the potential use of drones in capturing and neutralizing other aerial threats without causing collateral damage. This approach may change the way unmanned aerial vehicles are utilized in modern military and security operations.

Enhancing Coordination and Cooperation in Combating UAVs

The drill’s objective was to improve coordination and cooperation among military, police, and civilian services while enhancing armed forces’ abilities in combating UAVs. Participants practiced various tactics, techniques, and procedures to counter potential threats posed by unmanned aerial vehicles during the exercise. This collaborative effort strengthened the response capabilities of the involved agencies and fostered a better understanding of each unit’s roles and responsibilities in ensuring national security against UAV-related hazards.

Drone Detection, Interception Systems, and Tactics

To deal with the growing menace of Taiwanese drones, the exercise examined various drone detection and interception systems. It also developed tactics and procedures for dealing with UAV assaults on Chinese military airbases. Participating units honed their skills in identifying, tracking, and neutralizing potential threats posed by these unmanned aerial vehicles. The exercise aimed to improve the Chinese military’s preparedness and adaptability in countering the rising use of advanced technology in warfare.

Taiwan’s Comprehensive State-funded Drone Development Initiative

Under President Tsai Ing-wen’s administration, Taiwan launched a comprehensive state-funded drone development initiative in July. This ambitious undertaking aims to independently create attack, kamikaze, and ISR UAVs, bolstering Taiwan’s self-reliance in its defense technology sector and reducing its dependency on foreign suppliers for military-grade drones. With heightened cross-strait tensions, the development of these UAVs is seen as a strategic move to strengthen the country’s surveillance and defense capabilities against potential threats.

Construction of 3,200 Military Drones by Mid-2024

Taiwan plans to construct over 3,200 military drones by mid-2024. This ambitious project aims to enhance national defense capabilities and enable advanced reconnaissance missions in diverse environments. The drones will incorporate cutting-edge technology, ensuring they serve as a force multiplier in conventional and asymmetrical warfare scenarios.

New Drone Models from National Chung-shan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST)

In March, the NCSIST introduced five new drone models, including the Albatross II UAV for extended surveillance and the portable Cardinal III UAV for coastal monitoring. These new drone models showcase Taiwan’s advancements in unmanned aerial vehicle technology. The Albatross II UAV’s extended range capabilities and the Cardinal III UAV’s compact size demonstrate NCSIST’s commitment to providing efficient and innovative solutions for aerial surveillance and monitoring.

Loitering Munition UAV Empowers Foot Soldiers

The latest addition to combat drones is the Loitering Munition UAV, which can be controlled by an individual soldier. This state-of-the-art unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) combines surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities with its ability to target and engage hostile forces on the ground. As a versatile and user-friendly platform, the Loitering Munition UAV allows foot soldiers to make informed real-time decisions while drastically reducing their exposure to risk in combat situations.

Frequently Asked Questions

What was the purpose of the Chinese military air defense exercise?

The exercise aimed at showcasing China’s growing concern about drone warfare and its potential impact on military capabilities. It focused on protecting China’s Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft against potential drone attacks, especially from Taiwan.

How has the Ukrainian drone technology and strategies impacted other countries?

Ukrainian drone technology and strategies have exposed a severe shortage of AWACS aircraft within the Russian Air Force (RuAF), forcing them to address the gap in their airborne early warning and control capabilities. They also pose a growing challenge to Russian aerial defenses.

What is the focus of Taiwan’s domestically manufactured UAVs?

Taiwan’s domestically manufactured UAVs focus primarily on defending against incoming Chinese soldiers during amphibious maneuvers and attacking coastal objectives on the Chinese mainland. Their aim is to deter military action from Beijing, strengthen national security, and protect Taiwan’s sovereignty.

What kind of tactics were demonstrated during the Dachang Air Base exercise?

The Dachang Air Base exercise showed one UAV pursuing and shooting down a target UAV with a net, demonstrating the potential use of drones in capturing and neutralizing other aerial threats without causing collateral damage.

What was the objective of the drill focusing on enhancing coordination and cooperation in combating UAVs?

The drill aimed to improve coordination and cooperation among military, police, and civilian services while enhancing armed forces’ abilities in combating UAVs. It also strengthened response capabilities and fostered a better understanding of each unit’s roles and responsibilities in ensuring national security against UAV-related hazards.

What is Taiwan’s comprehensive state-funded drone development initiative?

Taiwan’s state-funded drone development initiative aims to independently create attack, kamikaze, and ISR UAVs, bolstering the country’s self-reliance in its defense technology sector and reducing its dependency on foreign suppliers for military-grade drones.

How many military drones does Taiwan plan to construct by mid-2024?

Taiwan plans to construct over 3,200 military drones by mid-2024 to enhance national defense capabilities and enable advanced reconnaissance missions in diverse environments.

What are some new drone models introduced by the National Chung-shan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST)?

In March, NCSIST introduced five new drone models, including the Albatross II UAV for extended surveillance and the portable Cardinal III UAV for coastal monitoring.

What is a Loitering Munition UAV, and how does it empower foot soldiers?

A Loitering Munition UAV is a state-of-the-art drone that combines surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities with the ability to target and engage hostile forces on the ground. It can be controlled by an individual soldier, allowing them to make informed real-time decisions while drastically reducing their exposure to risk in combat situations.

First Reported on: eurasiantimes.com
Featured Image Credit: Photo by Colin Lloyd; Unsplash; Thank you!

Johannah Lopez

Johannah Lopez is a versatile professional who seamlessly navigates two worlds. By day, she excels as a SaaS freelance writer, crafting informative and persuasive content for tech companies. By night, she showcases her vibrant personality and customer service skills as a part-time bartender. Johannah's ability to blend her writing expertise with her social finesse makes her a well-rounded and engaging storyteller in any setting.
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