South Korea highlighted the interest of the army on unmanned systems in the latest defense spending plan.
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 National Defense’s (MND) latest ‘2021-25 mid-term defense plan.’
According to the sources, Republic of Korea Air Forces will receive the indigenously developed medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) class UAVs by 2025. It was stated that MALE UAV had a length of 13m, a wingspan of 25m and a height of 3m, and also it was equipped with a 1,200 HP turboprop engine that provides it to attain a maximum altitude of 45, 000ft (13, 716m) and an endurance of 24 hours.
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.
South Korea develops unmanned technologies for K1 Tank and K9 howitzer systems
According to an official at the Agency for Defense Development (ADD), South Korea will develop technologies that would enable the Republic of Korea Army(RoKA) to field unmanned versions of its K1 main battle tanks (MBTs) and K9 155mm tracked self-propelled howitzer (SPH).
The project that was managed by the Agency for Defense Development, is expected to be completed till November 2024 and to start in December 2020. The agency has allocated 6,19 million USD for this project. The project’s key lines include a common remote-control architecture and remote driving as well as autonomous navigation technology.