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Taiwan boosts maritime UAV fleet with Jump 20 transfer from the US

Taiwan boosts maritime UAV fleet with Jump 20 transfer from the US



 Jump 20 UAV | The Jump 20 UAV is believed to already be in service with Taiwan’s coast guard (AeroVironment)

Taiwanese media have reported that the country's Coast Guard Administration (CGA) is receiving an undisclosed quantity of AeroVironment Jump 20 UAVs under a transfer from US military stocks at no cost to Taipei.

A deal was reportedly struck in late 2022 for acquiring the systems and a full training package. Reports suggest that the aircraft have been delivered and some operators have already been trained.

The CGA will use the UAS to monitor and counter illegal ship-to-ship oil transfers, weapons smuggling, unauthorised fishing and other cross-border criminal activity.

The Jump 20 is a VTOL-capable variant of the T-20 manufactured by Arcturus UAV, a subsidiary of AeroVironment. The platform's open architecture allows for quick integration of payloads and communications equipment and easier maintenance.
This interoperability enables the UAS to keep pace with technological changes since it can adapt to future subsystems. Unlike the T-20, the Jump 20 has rotors, two on either side of the aircraft, giving it a VTOL capability useful for maritime operations.

The Jump 20 is powered by a 190cc four-stroke engine that uses MOGAS fuel. The VTOL capability means it is runway-independent and can be deployed rapidly.
The UAV features a common autopilot and GCS architecture with the T-20 platform.

With a multi-mission bay, the Jump 20 can carry a variety of payloads. These include, but are not limited to, CloudCap Technologies 200 and 400 series gyro-stabilised EO/IR gimbals, 3D mapping software, synthetic aperture radar, LiDAR, a communications relay, and COMINT and SIGINT systems.
No details have been released regarding the equipment fit of the CGA's fleet.

Taiwan has also signed a procurement contract for four General Atomics (GA-ASI) MQ-9B SeaGuardian UAVs, which took effect on 24 August 2022. These will be operated by the Republic of China Air Force.

At the time, Shephard reported that the quartet of MQ-9Bs, plus GCS and support equipment, cost $563.8 million. The first aircraft was planned to be delivered in 2025, with the contract lasting until 2029.

On 1 May this year, the US DoD announced that GA-ASI had been awarded a not-to-exceed $217.62 million contract action for Taiwan's SkyGuardian procurement.
The announcement clarified that four vehicles were being acquired, along with GCS, spares and support equipment.
Interestingly, the notice stated that work was 'expected to be completed 5 May 2025', an acceleration of just the first aircraft being delivered by that date as was announced in August 2022.

By: Shephard News Team / London
Article | Shephard Media