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NCSIST Albatross (Chung Xiang II)

ISR Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS)

Taiwan | 2007

"The NCSIST Albatross is a locally-designed and developed Unmanned Aircraft System serving the modern Taiwanese Navy force."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 03/17/2023 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
Developed by Taiwan's own National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST), the "Albatross" (also the "Chung Xiang II") is a wholly-indigenous, wholly-modern Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) operated by the Republic of China Navy (RCN). The design is rather conventionally arranged with a fixed (straight) mainplane featuring clipped tips, a fixed, wheeled tricycle undercarriage, and twin-boom tail configuration. Over thirty units are thought to have been produced for the military by local industry as the island nation continues to modernized under the invasion-minded shadow of neighboring China.

The aircraft appeared in its prototype form back in August of 2005 and service entry of the Albatross followed in 2007 (as well as its public unveiling via military parade). The "Albatross II" has since become an upgraded offering of the same aircraft though with enhanced operating specifications (including a 16-hour loitering window) and an inherent attack functionality (this feature lacking in the original Albatross). The II-model also fits a synthetic aperture radar unit.

The Albatross is designed for general over-battlefield sorties. As such, its payload is restricted to cameras and sensor equipment useful in the Intelligence-Surveillance-Reconnaissance (ISR) role in the maritime setting. It can also be used in Search and Rescue (SAR), artillery-spotting, humanitarian assistance, border patrol, and fisheries protection actions as needed where its "eye-in-the-sky" capability aids ground commanders in decision-making. The system can operate in both day and night environments which places it on par with contemporaries.

Dimensions of the aircraft include a running length of 17.4 feet and wingspan of 28.2 feet. Mainplanes are shoulder-mounted near midships and each has a boom assembly reaching aft to vertical tailplanes. The tailplanes are joined by a shared horizontal plane. Gross weight reaches 700lb. Operational range is out to 110 miles with a 12-hour endurance window wile capable of reaching altitudes of 13,000 feet.

As with other UASs of this class, the product carries an Electro-Optical (EO) set in a traversing blister held under the fuselage. It is powered by a conventional engine unit is housed in the aft-section of the body, driving a two-bladed propeller assembly in a "pusher" arrangement.

Delivered to Taiwan Army forces in 2014, the system was passed on to the Navy service in 2017 to continue their flying and testing careers. Its service record has not been without issue - three units have been lost to crashes since their inception.

Beyond Taiwan, Malaysia is a known operator of the Albatross series.

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the NCSIST Albatross I ISR Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS).
1 x Conventional engine fitted to rear of fuselage driving two-bladed propeller unit in pusher arrangement.
93 mph
150 kph | 81 kts
Max Speed
62 mph
100 kph | 54 kts
Cruise Speed
13,123 ft
4,000 m | 2 miles
Service Ceiling
1,336 miles
2,150 km | 1,161 nm
Operational Range
City-to-City Ranges
Operational range when compared to distances between major cities (in KM).
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the NCSIST Albatross I ISR Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS).
17.4 ft
5.30 m
O/A Length
28.2 ft
(8.60 m)
O/A Width
661 lb
(300 kg)
Empty Weight
694 lb
(315 kg)
Design Balance
The three qualities reflected below are altitude, speed, and range. The more full the box, the more balanced the design.
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the NCSIST Albatross (Chung Xiang II) ISR Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) .
Albatross I: None. Payload restricted to sensor and camera equipment for ISR role.

Albatross II: Optionally-armed variant with provision for "Sky Sword" Air-to-Air Missiles (AAMs) and 2.75" aerial rockets.
Notable series variants as part of the NCSIST Albatross (Chung Xiang II) family line.
Albatross - Base Series Name.
Albatross I - Original unarmed form of 2007.
Albatross II - Enhanced attack model with improved range and general capabilities as well as radar.
"Chung Xiang II" - Local, alternative series name.
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the NCSIST Albatross (Chung Xiang II). Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 35 Units

Contractor(s): National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST) - Taiwan
National flag of Malaysia National flag of Taiwan

[ Malaysia; Taiwan ]
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Image of the NCSIST Albatross (Chung Xiang II)
Image from official NCSIST marketing materials; Public Release.

Going Further...
The NCSIST Albatross (Chung Xiang II) ISR Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) appears in the following collections:
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