South Korea highlights unmanned systems interest in latest defence spending plan

by Dae Young Kim

The Republic of Korea (RoK) armed forces is set to receive a range of unmanned capabilities across its land, air, and naval services under the Ministry of National Defense’s (MND’s) latest ‘2021–25 mid-term defence plan’.

For example, the RoK Air Force (RoKAF) will receive the indigenously developed Mid-Altitude Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (MUAVs) by 2025. The MUAV is a medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE)-class UAV with a length of 13 m, a wingspan of 25 m, and a height of 3 m. The type is equipped with a 1,200 hp turboprop engine that enables it to attain a maximum altitude of 45,000 ft (13,716 m) and an endurance of 24 hours.

KAL’s KUS-FS design has been selected to be the future mid-altitude UAV for the South Korean air force and army. (Dae Young Kim)

KAL’s KUS-FS design has been selected to be the future mid-altitude UAV for the South Korean air force and army. (Dae Young Kim)

The RoKAF plans to establish the 39th Reconnaissance Squadron by the end of 2020 in anticipation of the first serial-production reconnaissance MUAVs within the first half of 2021. The unit will operate MUAVs in reconnaissance and strike configurations, as well as the US-made Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk high-altitude long-endurance (HALE) platform.

The defence blueprint also calls for the development of the Stealth UAV within the 2021–25 timeframe. The MND’s Agency for Defense Development (ADD) released on 5 August what could be an early design of the Stealth UAV.

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/south-korea-highlights-unmanned-systems-interest-in-latest-defence-spending-plan

The Republic of Korea (RoK) armed forces is set to receive a range of unmanned capabilities across i...

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