Taiwan is developing at least two exploding “suicide drones” as it scrambles to counter an increasingly modern and aggressive Chinese military.
A new suicide drone appeared at the August 2019 edition of the biennial Taipei Aerospace Defense Technology Exhibition in the island country’s capital.
The unmanned aerial vehicle bears a strong resemblance to the small, hand-launched drones that are popular with U.S. forces. The other clearly draws inspiration from Israel’s Harpy anti-radar drone.
A suicide drone essentially is a small, inexpensive cruise missile, usually possessing some loitering capability. They might include a simple seeker head. Alternately, their operators remotely could steer them toward their targets.
Often based on commercial UAVs, suicide drones typically pack a small, grenade-size explosive warhead.
The Fire Cardinal drone, which first appeared at the Taipei trade show, is “an air-to-ground strike assault UAV,” according to the aviation-news website Alert 5, citing information from the show.
The twin-propeller Fire Cardinal is