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South Korea to buy 1,000 more UAVs by 2027

South Korea's Ministry of National Defence (MND) plans to procure 1,000 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) by 2027 for use by the Republic of Korea Armed Forces.

Announced on 29 September during the ‘Defence AI and Unmanned Systems Development Council', the initiative is intended to foster and expand the local UAV defence industry, leveraging progress in the commercial UAV market.

Specifically, Yonhap News Agency reported that the MND intends to spend KRW34.2 billion (USD29 million) in 2022 to procure 600 locally developed UAVs and to bring the number to 1,000 by 2027.

On the same day, the ministry announced that it had secured KRW179.1 billion from the 2022 defence budget to invest in artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled technologies and initiatives to promote projects across defence sectors.

The MND noted that AI will be a key enabler in the future combat environment and that part of the upcoming research activities will focus on the AI-based ultra-small surveillance and reconnaissance UAVs.

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