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ADEX 2023: KAL-ASD unveils new loitering munition

Korean Air Aerospace Division's new KUS-SX attack and reconnaissance UAV is developed to destroy isolated and difficult-to-target surface-to-air missile units. (Janes)

Korean Air Aerospace Division (KAL-ASD) has unveiled its new KUS-SX unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), which the company said has been designed to destroy adversarial missile sites.

According to a KAL-ASD official, the new aircraft is classified as a reconnaissance and attack UAV.

Development of the KUS-SX began in early 2023, the KAL-ASD official said. “The development of the unmanned aerial vehicle was completed in just a few months as we have the core UAV technologies,” the KAL-ASD official told Janes on 18 October, at the Seoul International Aerospace & Defense Exhibition (ADEX) 2023.

The UAV was first revealed during South Korea's 75th Armed Forces Day parade on 26 September. During the parade, the loitering munition was placed atop Kia Light Tactical Vehicles (KLTVs).

According to specifications revealed by KAL-ASD during ADEX 2023, the UAV has a length of 2.5 m and a wingspan of 3 m.

The UAV, which is powered by a pusher engine, has a multirole nose, which can accommodate a bomb or a sensor to support surveillance or reconnaissance operations, according to KAL-ASD. The company official said that the engine was procured from an international vendor and added that additional details about the engine are classified.

The company stated that the KUS-SX will have dual-homing capabilities for anti-radiation and electro-optical sensors. “The KUS-SX was developed to destroy targets not easily targeted by air-launched weaponry from manned combat aircraft,” the KAL-ASD official said.

A video of the operational concept created by KAL-ASD showed the KUS-SX attacking S-125 Neva/Pechora (SA-3 ‘Goa') mobile surface-to-air missile (SAM) units.

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