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NCSIST Chien Hsiang (Rising Sword)

Loitering Munition Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) [ 2024 ]

The NCSIST Chien Hsiang is a loitering munition option now given to the island nation of Taiwan as it seeks to remain autonomous from Chinese rule.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 03/17/2023 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

Taking a page out of the West's Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) battlefield approach, the nation of Taiwan has locally-developed their own loitering munition option in the "Chien Hsiang" ("Rising Sword"). Loitering munitions have grown in popularity since the start of the 2020s and have more than proven their worth in the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian War (2022-Present). These weapon types, generically referred to as "kamikaze drones" by Western media sources, are essentially self-guided, relatively accurate controllable "missiles" which are wholly-expended in the resulting attack action. As such, they are typically inexpensive to manufacture en masse and are proving ever-popular with even smaller military forces the world over.

The Chien Hsiang is the product of the National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology - NCSIST - and is solely in service with the Republic of China (Taiwan) Air Force (RoCAF). The drone was first unveiled in 2017 as part of a major Taiwanese military modernization effort.

The aircraft takes on a simply "missile-like" form complete with a rounded nosecap, cylindrical body/fuselage, and cut-down tail section housing the conventional engine unit driving a two-bladed propeller assembly (in "pusher" fashion). The mainplanes use a large surface area design with thick roots and natural sweepback leading to upturned wingtip vertical planes ("winglets"). An optics set is seated under the fuselage for unobstructed views of the terrain below.

The air vehicle has a length of 1.2 meters with a wingspan of 2 meters. It is powered through liquid-fueled powerplant and can reach operating speeds of 115 miles-per-hour. The guidance system relies on an Electro-Optical (EO) and inertial fit. Launching is by way of a box launcher unit sat over the rear of a tractor trailer vehicle which can carry some twelve ready-to-launch drones. Beyond this, the drone can just as easily be launched from a static installation or from the decks of warships if a less-mobile or more-mobile (respectively) approach is desired.

Two versions beyond the attack form have been developed by NCSIST, these encompassing a standard air defense decoy model and a more explosive anti-ship variant. The latter is of particular note and would undoubtedly be brought into play during a Chinese amphibious attack on the island.

The drone is expected to reach quantitative levels for service use sometime in 2024 or 2025.©MilitaryFactory.com
Note: The above text is EXCLUSIVE to the site www.MilitaryFactory.com. It is the product of many hours of research and work made possible with the help of contributors, veterans, insiders, and topic specialists. If you happen upon this text anywhere else on the internet or in print, please let us know at MilitaryFactory AT gmail DOT com so that we may take appropriate action against the offender / offending site and continue to protect this original work.


Service Year

Taiwan national flag graphic


National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST) - Taiwan
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National flag of Taiwan Taiwan
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Ground Attack (Bombing, Strafing)
Ability to conduct aerial bombing of ground targets by way of (but not limited to) guns, bombs, missiles, rockets, and the like.
Close-Air Support (CAS)
Developed to operate in close proximity to active ground elements by way of a broad array of air-to-ground ordnance and munitions options.
Special-Mission: Anti-Ship
Equipped to search, track, and engage enemy surface elements through visual acquisition, radar support, and onboard weaponry.
Unmanned Capability
Aircraft inherently designed (or later developed) with an unmanned capability to cover a variety of over-battlefield roles.

Design incorporates rear-facing pusher-prop arrangement, a contrast to the more conventional puller-prop layout.
Mainplanes capped with winglets, providing improved fuel efficiency and enhanced handling.
Can reach and operate at higher altitudes than average aircraft of its time.
Capability to travel considerable distances through onboard fuel stores.
Ability to operate over ocean in addition to surviving the special rigors of the maritime environment.
Design features ability to fly sans pilot, actions controlled onboard through programming and / or ground-based operator.
Payload supports photographic equipment providing still and / or real-time image / video results.

3.9 ft
(1.20 m)
6.6 ft
(2.00 m)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the NCSIST Chien Hsiang production variant)
monoplane / mid-mounted / swept-back
Design utilizes a single primary wing mainplane; this represent the most popular mainplane arrangement.
Mainplanes are mounted along the midway point of the sides of the fuselage.
The planform features wing sweep back along the leading edges of the mainplane, promoting higher operating speeds.
(Structural descriptors pertain to the NCSIST Chien Hsiang production variant)
Installed: 1 x Conventional engine driving twin-bladed propeller unit at rear of fuselage.
Max Speed
115 mph
(185 kph | 100 kts)
Cruise Speed
87 mph
(140 kph | 76 kts)
Max. Speed Diff
+28 mph
(+45 kph | 24 kts)
4,003 ft
(1,220 m | 0 mi)

♦ MACH Regime (Sonic)
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030

(Showcased performance specifications pertain to the NCSIST Chien Hsiang production variant. Performance specifications showcased above are subject to environmental factors as well as aircraft configuration. Estimates are made when Real Data not available. Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database or View aircraft by powerplant type)
Warhead in nosecone (entire system is expended in attack action).

Supported Types

(Not all ordnance types may be represented in the showcase above)
Hardpoint Mountings: 0

Chien Hsiang ("Rising Sword") - Base Series Name.
Chien Hsiang AS - Anti-Ship model of 2023; increased lethality.
Chien Hsiang DC - Air defense decoy model.

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