UAV Jianxiang: Taiwan’s Asymmetric Warfare in the Sky—The Kamikaze UAV Carrier Killer

In an era marked by technological advancements in military hardware, Taiwan has unveiled an ace up its sleeve that could alter the dynamics of conflict in the Taiwan Strait. The National Chung-Shan Institute of Science & Technology presented the Jianxiang unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) on November 15, a kamikaze or “suicide” drone designed as a “carrier killer.” Aimed at neutralizing radar systems and vessels in the region, including those from China, the Jianxiang is a critical component in Taiwan’s strategy for asymmetric warfare.

Technical Specifications

General Features:

• Operating Radius: Over 1,000 km
• Endurance: 5-6 hours
• Max Speed: 200 km/h
• Dive Speed: 500-600 km/h
• Payload: Several kilograms of high-explosive fragmentation warhead

Advanced Capabilities:

• AI System: Enables autonomous evasion of enemy fire and target acquisition
• Passive Radar Homing Head: For target search and strike on any radiating object
• Maneuverability: Tailless scheme with a cylindrical fuselage, triangular wing, and keel tips make it agile in air operations

Strategic Implications

The Jianxiang UAV is integral to Taiwan’s approach to asymmetric warfare, providing a cost-effective means to challenge China’s naval and aerial superiority. Its ability to operate autonomously within an impressive range of over 1,000 km poses a direct threat to China’s radar installations in its Southeast coastal provinces, as well as to vessels operating in the Taiwan Strait.

Project Overview:

• Budget: NT$11.9 billion
• Production Rate: At least 48 units per year
• Completion Date: 2025

Operational Mechanics

Once launched, the Jianxiang utilizes its AI capabilities to autonomously navigate towards its target. Employing passive radar homing technology, the UAV can pinpoint and execute a strike on radiating objects, such as enemy radar installations. Upon target acquisition, the UAV crashes into it, detonating its warhead.


Priced at less than NT$25 million per unit, the Jianxiang is a significantly economical alternative to other anti-radiation missiles like the “Tianjian-2A” and the US-made AGM-88, which cost hundreds of millions of yuan.


The Jianxiang UAV exemplifies Taiwan’s ingenuity in leveraging technological advancements for its defense. By fulfilling multiple roles—from neutralizing radar installations to posing a threat to naval vessels—this UAV is a game-changer in the Taiwan Strait’s delicate balance of power.

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