skip to main content

South Korea to improve response to small-UAV incursions

Soldiers from South Korea's V Corps operate a Chun Ma surface-to-air missile during training to counter and destroy enemy small UAVs. (Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Republic of Korea)

South Korea has conducted a drill with manned and unmanned aircraft to improve its response to incursions by small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) announced on 29 December that the training was “to respond to and destroy enemy small drones”. During the exercise, about “20 manned and unmanned assets [including KAI KA-1 Woong-Bae aircraft, Boeing AH-64E Apache, and Bell AH-1 Cobra attack helicopters] were put into operation”, the JCS added.

The drills occurred three days after an incursion by at least five North Korean UAVs into South Korean airspace on 26 December.

South Korean military officials said during a press conference that one of the UAVs had flown as far south as the northern Seoul metropolitan area. According to South Korean media, the JCS sent a message to local reporters on 26 December stating that the first UAV was detected at “[1025 h] around Gimpo city in Gyeonggi-do” province. Officials added that the four other UAVs had evaded radar cover and were missing.

In a statement on 27 December 2022, the JCS said that the UAVs had presented a problem as South Korea's air defences are equipped to detect and intercept larger UAVs. A day later, on 28 December, Minister of National Defense Lee Jong-sup told a parliamentary committee on national defence that South Korea cannot tackle UAVs measuring smaller than six metres.

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...