SEOUL ($1=1,316.32 South Korean Wons) — South Korea is not behind in the development of modern military technology. Whether it is aircraft or land vehicles. In this regard, Seoul has already started presentations of some new unmanned ground vehicles developed by the local industry.
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The US military at Camp Humphreys in Pyeongtaek was the first to see the Arion-SMET in action. The base is located 65 kilometers from Seoul. The demonstration was held on November 29. Arion-SMET is a multi-purpose unmanned companion vehicle.
The demonstration included unmanned movement through a normal and off-road road, the inclusion of an autonomous driving mode, as well as an autonomous return after a mission back to the starting position, transporting casualties, avoiding obstacles, reconnaissance, by detecting shots, and more.
The Arion-SMET is a compact unmanned transporter, only nearly three meters long. It is a meter and a half wide and appears to perform several basic functions characteristic of unmanned vehicles of this type in recent years. An interesting fact is that Arion-SMET is a product of a program in South Korea since 2019 in which the military and civilian industries worked together to develop new technologies. Such programs are not alien to developed countries, providing a financial hub for starting a new program.
The introduction of Arion-SMET to the US military is also not accidental. Such a marketing move could allow manufacturer Hanwha Aerospace to establish a foothold in the US market.
The main characteristics of the Korean transporter are as follows: travel distance of at least 100 km, and the manufacturer says that depending on side factors, it can travel even more. However, it is not clear how much more. The maximum speed is in the range of 34 km/h – 43 km/h depending on the road on which it moves [off-road or road].
Hanwha Aerospace’s idea is for Arion-SMET to transport wounded and military supplies, such as ammunition, medicine, spare parts, consumables, etc. Engineers envisioned functions such as reconnaissance and surveillance operations, as well as remote search. Human presence should be reduced in the operational area of the vehicle, the company says.
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