SEOUL, (BM) – South Korea has embarked on an ambitious UAV development program capable of performing a wide variety of tasks. Some of them can be equipped with small arms, learned BulgarianMilitary.com citing Naked Science.
The plans of the Republic of Korea to develop unmanned aerial vehicles with reference to the Defense Procurement Agency (DAPA) were reported to TASS. Over the next ten years, the country will invest $ 2.3 billion in the creation of various military UAVs. “It is planned to create several types of drones to perform various tasks – from reconnaissance to combat,” said in a statement.
Some of the combat drones can be armed with assault rifles, machine guns and grenade launchers, which in theory will partially replace real soldiers on the battlefield.
Technologies that will make it possible to implement the above plans may appear by 2022: in the coming years, they intend to work within the framework of the direct creation of a weapon platform.
South Korea has actively developed this area before. Last year, the Night Intruder 600 VT unmanned helicopter, based on a two-seater rotorcraft, made its first flight. As part of tests, the prototype showed that it is capable of hovering in the air and performing horizontal flight.
In the future, the Ministry of Defense of South Korea wants to use the Night Intruder 600 VT in its own interests: for this, it is possible to install various payloads, in particular, an electro-optical complex and a laser rangefinder.
De facto, drones have already partially replaced humans on the battlefield: at least when it comes to pilots. Back in 2014, the US Armed Forces used about ten thousand small UAVs, as well as about a thousand medium and heavy drones. Among them, in particular, were MQ-9 Reaper vehicles, capable of carrying up to four AGM-114 Hellfire missiles on external holders, as well as various bombs.
Despite the extensive capabilities of the Reaper, the United States is already thinking about replacing it. Northrop Grumman Corporation recently unveiled the SG-2 attack unmanned aerial vehicle concept, which is being considered a successor to the MQ-9. A promising UAV will use technical solutions previously tested on the X-47B. The United States had previously curtailed the latter’s program. One of the reasons is that the price is too high.
As for Russia, it has yet to reach the technological level of the West. One of the country’s main hopes is associated with the promising S-70 Okhotnik UAV, which made its maiden flight in August 2019.
Seoul decided to develop its own air defense system similar to the Iron Dome
An ambitious plan to develop its own air defense system has been launched in South Korea and is expected to be implemented within the next five years, as we reported on August 10.
The Minister of Defense Jeong Kyeong-doo announced today that his country aims to create a complex that will have two main goals – protection of the territorial integrity and infrastructure of the country and independence in the field of air defense.
A report by BulgarianMilitary.com shows that Seoul currently has the American M270 missile system with multiple launches, the Korean K239 Chunmoo and also the Korean but obsolete K136 Kooryong.
In the field of more serious air defense, Seoul uses Cheongung or M-SAM. It is also its own medium-range missile system and developed on the basis of the Russian S-350 and S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems.
According to the Minister of Defense, Seoul wants the future missile system to be similar to the Israeli Iron Dome. We remind you that the Israeli Iron Dome is one of the best in the world, and only a few days ago, the United States and Israel agreed to jointly develop a more optimal and efficient Israeli system.
According to Jeong Kyeong-doo, his country will invest approximately $ 253 billion in various areas of defense over the next five years, including the development of a new air defense system.
We remind you that South Korea is currently developing its version of a fifth-generation fighter, and work on this aircraft has advanced. Just a few days ago, Seoul unveiled a version of the future radar that will be used by KF-X – the name of the fighter, and the program for its implementation is worth $ 8.8 billion.
“When we talk about South Korea’s missile defense system, it usually refers to one targeting North Korea’s Scud-type or stronger missiles, whereas this new interceptor system will focus on protecting the capital area against the North’s long-range artillery such as its 240- mm or 300-mm multiple rocket launchers,” a ministry official said.
According to a number of military experts, as well as sources from the South Korean Ministry of Defense, the new air defense systems are likely to be put into service at the end of this decade, or early next.
Jeong Kyeong-doo also said that South Korea will not limit itself to the production of its own air defense system, but will continue in this direction and funds will be invested in the development of various types of missiles – air-to-ground and air-to-ship.
“The ministry will continue to cooperate with the monetary authorities to successfully push for the 2021-2025 defense plan,” it said in a release.
Read more: Top 5 best combat drones [UAVs] in the world
Currently, there is only one THAAD air defense system located in South Korea, which was deployed in May 2017. The presence of THAAD on the territory of South Korea was at the root of the conflict with China, which sharply expressed their disagreement, fearing that in the event of military action, this system could affect Chinese territories.
However, the two sides managed to normalize relations at the end of the same year.
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