Taiwan will not seek to acquire the Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk from the USA, but will instead develop its own indigenous unmanned air vehicle.

"We have no plans to buy the Global Hawk right now," says a source in Taiwan's military. "Taiwan still plans to develop its own UAV."

A recent media report from Taiwan quoted defence minister Kao Hua-chu as saying its air force had identified a need for a UAV, but that its procurement list did not include US-built reconnaissance aircraft.

The source says the Chung-shan Institute of Science and Technology, whose focus is military research, will develop the new air vehicle. According to its web site the institute has been involved with a range of defence projects since its founding in 1969, including several missiles and Taiwan's Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation F-CK-1 Ching-kuo indigenous defence fighter.

The institute has also developed two earlier UAVs, the Kestrel II and Chung Shyang II.

Source: Flight International