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ADEX 2021: Korean Air signs MOU with Insitu to develop VTOL UAV

A computer-generated image of the KUS-VS ‘lift & cruise' VTOL UAV that Korean Air is currently developing for tactical operations. At ADEX 2021 the company signed an MOU with Insitu to develop a new lightweight, modular VTOL UAV. (Korean Air)

Korean Air and Boeing subsidiary Insitu have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to develop a new lightweight, modular, vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).

Signed on 22 October during the 19-23 October Seoul International Aerospace & Defense Exhibition 2021 (ADEX 2021), the MOU is expected to create new synergies by combining “Korean Air's expertise in UAV development and production with Insitu's state-of-the-art UAV technologies, including high-performance mission equipment, system optimisation, and manned-unmanned teaming (MUM-T) operations”, according to a joint statement.

Korean Air is known to be developing the Korean Unmanned System (KUS)-VS VTOL UAV, a model of which was on display at ADEX 2021. The tactical UAV will employ “lift & cruise” technology that combines a take-off rotor and a flight rotor to enable vertical take-off and landing and high cruise speed flight, noted the company.

According to information provided at the exhibition, the company plans to offer the KUS-VS as a next-generation, division-level UAV for tactical surveillance, reconnaissance, target acquisition, and firepower guidance to meet future requirements of the Republic of Korea Army and Marine Corps.

Janes believes the recently signed MOU is also meant to support the development of the KUS-VS.

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