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Will Taiwan’s anti-drone industry prevent a Chinese invasion?

Updated: Sep 3

Eitan Divinsky

With the threat of war with China on the horizon, Taiwan has been arming itself with the newest technologies in an effort to counter a possible invasion.

Drones and anti-drone systems have not gone unnoticed by Taiwanese military experts. The country has said it hopes to build a drone fleet composed of up to 3,200 UAVs by June, 2024 alongside an anti-drone department that will enable the army to counter enemy drone swarms.

Over the past few years, China’s army has made numerous incursions into Taiwan’s airspace, conducting a number of navy and air exercises in an attempt to intimidate Taiwan’s populace and force the country into making pro-Chinese reforms. According to the AFP database, 1,727 Chinese sorties into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) took place in 2022 – a significant uptick from only about 960 in 2021 and 380 in 2020.

These efforts have paid only partial dividend. While Taiwan has refrained from moves that would likely be perceived as provocative by the mainland, it has also hosted a slew of senior US officials including Nancy Pelosi in August of 2022.

According to the Defense News site, Yu-Jiu Wang, CEO of Taipei-based Tron Future Tech, says his company hopes to offset Taiwan’s underdeveloped drone industry with two crucial moves. “The first is the Drone National Team which focuses on building and producing a variety of military drones with the help of nine private companies. The second centers around counter-drone systems, and its sole prime contractor is Tron Future,” explains Wang.

The military expert adds that his country is entering advanced stages of amassing “one of the world’s most comprehensive drone-defense capabilities,” pointing out that any anti-drone system must be capable of neutralizing autonomous drone swarms with the help of advanced sensors, AI, and disseminated control systems.

While Taiwan continues repeating that it hopes to avoid conflict with China, the island state also says it's prepared for war and will defend its shores in case of an attack. A tough stance by the US administration can go a long way toward convincing Beijing that it cannot afford the price of war, but technological advances on the part of Taipei, such as the ones promoted by the drone industry, will do its part dissuading China from attacking its neighbor.

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