Taiwan’s domestically-built Teng Yun 2 combat drone has completed a 10-hour flight around the country’s air identification zone, according to a report by Chinese-language media outlet Liberty Times.
Local defense experts see the non-stop flight test as a “major milestone” in the country’s ability to produce long-endurance systems for the military.
According to the report, the Teng Yun 2 took off from Hualien Air Base before 7:00 PM and headed north along the east coast of the island.
It returned to base at around 5:00 AM, recording the longest flight test of an indigenous combat drone in Taiwan’s history.
The flight reportedly covered 4,500 kilometers (2,796 miles).
Institute for National Defense and Security Research analyst Su Tzu-Yun said that the record-breaking flight not only proved the long-range flight capability of the drone but also the successful integration of its flight control software system.
The Teng Yun 2
Developed by the National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology, the Teng Yun 2, or “Cloud Rider,” is a relatively large combat drone that resembles an MQ-1 Predator.
It can fire AGM-114 Hellfire missiles and other, indigenous anti-ship missiles to neutralize enemy assets.
Four Teng Yun drone prototypes have been available for the Taiwanese armed forces since 2016, with the latest prototypes built with engines from the US.
The drones are reportedly designed to complement the country’s four US-made strategic drones, especially amid increasing pressure from China.
The Teng Yun features various capabilities, including day and night aerial image surveillance, electronic parameter reconnaissance, and electronic interference.