As the Chinese intention to take over the island nation of Taiwan by force continues to grow in the 2020s, it behooves the nation to take a page out of the playbook of Ukraine who has done relatively well in repelling an all-out invasion from neighboring Russia. Key to the continued successes of the Ukrainian Land Forces is its reliance on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UASs) of various types offering broad over-battlefield capabilities. For Taiwan, the approach is embodied in several designs from local industry with one being the "Teng Yun" ("Cloud Rider") by the National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST).
The program was begun in 2007 and a public unveiling was had in 2015. Testing followed into 2018-2020 leading to a more advanced, reliable end-form (as the "Teng Yun 2"). The series is solely in service with the Republic of China Air Force (RoCAF) of Taiwan. At least one developmental model was lost in 2021 during testing.
The aircraft is intended for both Intelligence-Surveillance-Reconnaissance (ISR) sorties as well as direct-attack but can also be used in the general data-collecting role, humanitarian assistance, border enforcement, fisheries protection, maritime patrol, artillery-spotting, and Search and Rescue (SAR) roles - such is its versatility. It is assumed that the platform has provision to mount air-to-surface missiles (at least two such weapons) as well as rockets for attack runs while promoting high loitering times.
Externally, the Teng Yun mimics the design lines and general arrangement of the General Atomics MQ-9 "Reaper" attack drone complete with straight, clipped mainplanes at midships, outward-canted vertical tailplanes, and a bulbous nose housing. The undercarriage is fixed (non-retractable) and wheeled for ground-running. A turboprop engine is positioned at the extreme end of the fuselage and drives a three-bladed propeller unit in pusher arrangement. A single ventral fin is seated under the tail for stability. The optics set is housed in a traversing blister found under the "chin" of the aircraft providing unobstructed views of the terrain forward, below, and to the sides of the aircraft.
Operational ranges of this UAS reach 1,000 kilometers and the unit has an endurance window of 24 hours making it an ideal airborne tactical solution. The listed service ceiling is 25,000 feet.
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(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.
✓Intelligence-Surveillance-Reconnaissance (ISR), Scout
Surveil ground targets / target areas to assess environmental threat levels, enemy strength, or enemy movement.
Aircraft inherently designed (or later developed) with an unmanned capability to cover a variety of over-battlefield roles.
Houses, or can house (through specialized variants), radar equipment for searching, tracking, and engagement of enemy elements.
Design incorporates rear-facing pusher-prop arrangement, a contrast to the more conventional puller-prop layout.
Inherent ability of airframe to take considerable damage.
Can reach and operate at higher altitudes than average aircraft of its time.
EXTENDED RANGE PERFORMANCE
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.
36.1 ft (11.00 m)
65.6 ft (20.00 m)
12.5 ft (3.80 m)
4,894 lb (2,220 kg)
10,472 lb (4,750 kg)
+5,578 lb (+2,530 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the NCSIST Teng Yun production variant)
monoplane / mid-mounted / straight
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 involves use of basic, straight mainplane members.
(Structural descriptors pertain to the NCSIST Teng Yun production variant)
1 x Turboprop engine seated at the rear of the fuselage driving a three-bladed propeller unit in pusher arrangement.
(Showcased performance specifications pertain to the NCSIST Teng Yun 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)
Assumed: 4 x Air-to-surface missiles (ASMs) held at underwing hardpoints. Possible provision for aerial rockets as well.
(Not all ordnance types may be represented in the showcase above)
Hardpoint Mountings: 4
Teng Yun - Base Series Name.
Teng Yun I - Original developmental model of 2015.
Teng Yun II - Enhanced developmental model of 2020.
Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective aerial campaigns / operations / aviation periods.
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