Taipei, Jun 26 (CAN) An indigenous Teng Yun 2 unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) reportedly conducted a 10-hour non-stop test flight circling the Air Identification Defense Zone (ADIZ) of Taiwan early Sunday, an achievement described by a local defense. expert as a “milestone” in the nation’s indigenous defense history.

According to the Liberty Times Chinese-language report, the Teng Yun 2 or “Cloud Rider”, developed by Taiwan’s top military research unit, the National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST), took off from East Hualien Air Base at 6 a.m. :46h Saturday.

It then headed north along the east coast following Taiwan’s ADIZ until it returned to the same airbase around 5 a.m. Sunday, the newspaper said.

The nonstop flight of more than 10 hours was the longest on record for a native UCAV, according to the report.

When contacted for comment by the ANC, NCSIST confirmed that the Teng Yun 2 had conducted a flight test, but declined to confirm details of the test, as reported by the newspaper.

Asked to comment on the reported test flight, Su Tzu-yun (蘇紫雲), an analyst at the government-funded Defense and National Security Research Institute, told CNA that while the reported success of the test flight is true, it would mark a milestone for Taiwan’s indigenous national defense industry.

The non-stop flight is said to have covered 4,500 kilometers, a distance equivalent to circling Taiwan proper four to five times, proving the domestic UCAV’s long-range flight capability and successful integration of its flight control, Mr. Su said.

The Teng Yun 2, resembling an American MQ-9 Reaper drone, is a relatively large UCAV that can conduct tactical reconnaissance and combat missions deep within the Chinese mainland given its high-flying capability. long distance, he said.

The drone is also compatible with US AGM-114 Hellfire missiles and other locally developed anti-ship missiles, boosting the military’s asymmetric warfare capabilities, he added.

NCSIST has built four prototype Teng Yun drones since 2016. Two were first-generation Teng Yun 1s and two Teng Yun 2s, while the latter was built with engines purchased from the United States, according to local media.

After one of the first-generation drones crashed into a lake in Taitung on Feb. 18, testing was moved to Hualien Air Base for safety reasons, according to reports.