Taiwan’s Republic of China Navy (RoCN) has announced that its entire fleet of Albatross (Ruo Ying) unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) will be upgraded to improve both mechanical reliability and operational safety.
The move follows a series of at least eight recorded incidents during Albatross UAV missions in the period 2016-2019.
The indigenous tactical-class UAVs, produced by the Taiwanese principal defence science and technology agency: National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST), were first commissioned in 2013 and operated by the Army Aviation and Special Forces Command as the service’s principal unmanned intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance (ISTR).
The Albatross Tactical UAV was designed in composite material structures and modular systems. The system is equipped with optical EO/IR payloads and characterized by long-endurance flight, GPS navigation systems, autopilot ability, real-time data, and video transmission and communications relay.
In military applications, the UAV is used for day and night ISTR missions. All the real-time imagery and data can be transmitted to the ground control station for the relay transmission system to assist to transmit information to the C4ISR, which plays preemptive and combined operations effects.
The systems can also be used for civil applications such as agriculture, fisheries, animal husbandry, disaster monitoring, environmental protection, traffic control, target searching, position recognition, coastal patrol, communications relay, and hazardous terrain survey, etc.