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South Korea News & Discussions

Discussion in 'Military Forum' started by Mig-29, Jul 24, 2009.

  1. Mig-29

    Mig-29 FULL MEMBER

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    Korea National Police Agency Order An AW119Ke


    AgustaWestland and UI International (UII) are pleased to announce they have been awarded a contract by the Korean Public Procurement Services to supply the Korea National Police Agency (KNPA) with one AW119Ke law enforcement helicopter as part of an on-going programme to modernise the Police helicopter fleet. This is the first AW119Ke to be purchased by the Korean Government and the third law enforcement helicopter sold into the Korean market. It will join two KNPA AW109 helicopters that have been in service for a number of years. The AW119 Koala enhanced is a spacious 8 seat single engine helicopter developed to enhance safety and provide high productivity and performance at a competitive price. The large unobstructed cabin permits rapid re-configuration for a variety of missions such as utility, passenger transport, emergency medical services and the very popular law enforcement role. The high power margins deliver outstanding performance that makes the AW119Ke the most cost effective helicopter in its class.



    AgustaWestland and United Industries International believe that this latest addition to the KNPA fleet of law enforcement helicopters will represent a step up in capability for the Korean Law Enforcement service in the country. To support the role the helicopter will be equipped with a powerful search light and cargo hook for utility operations. UI Helicopter (UIH), a subsidiary of the UI Group has established a fully approved AgustaWestland Customer Support Facility in Korea to provide local support to the KNPA.

    Earlier this year the first AW139 helicopter was delivered to the Gangwon Fire Fighting Department marking the first delivery into Korea of this popular new generation medium twin engine helicopter. Three more AW139 helicopters are scheduled to be delivered into Korea before the end of this year and AgustaWestland has high hopes that the Korean market will provide an excellent opportunity for the AW139 and other AgustaWestland products.

    ASIAN DEFENCE: September 2009
     
  2. Mig-29

    Mig-29 FULL MEMBER

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    South Korea To Develop Airburst Machine Gun


    By JUNG SUNG-KI
    South Korea plans to develop an indigenous machine gun system that can fire air-bursting munitions with laser-target acquisition and opto-electronic fire control, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) announced. The new machine gun will be able to penetrate light armored vehicles, it said in a news release. A total of 27.3 trillion won ($22 million) will be spent over the next few years for research and development of the 2,000-meter-range machine gun, to be initially deployed by 2015, it said.

    The agency has selected S&T Daewoo as the preferred bidder for systems integration and gun development, EO System for fire control development, and Hanwha Corp. for munitions, according to the release. Contracts will be made by September, it added. South Korea already has developed an airburst rifle. The DAPA announced in April that it would soon start producing the K11 rifle that can fire both standard 5.56mm NATO-compatible ammunition and a 20mm airburst round, selected by a single trigger.

    The multipurpose rifle, developed by the state-funded Agency for Defense Development (ADD), is modeled on the U.S. XM29 Objective Individual Combat Weapon, whose development was canceled in 2004. The weapon consists of a semi-automatic 20mm smart grenade launcher, an underslung assault carbine firing a standard 5.56mm NATO round, and a top-mounted computer-assisted sighting system with integrated laser rangefinder, and thermal infrared night vision capabilities, according to ADD officials. Under a self-detonation system, the 20mm round from the rifle can trace its target and explode three to four meters above it, and it is also capable of penetrating walls of buildings, they said.

    ASIAN DEFENCE: September 2009
     
  3. WillUSDemiseBePeaceful?

    WillUSDemiseBePeaceful? FULL MEMBER

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    May I know why is this topic a stickie?
     
  4. Tiger Awan

    Tiger Awan SENIOR MEMBER

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    South Korea has decided to delay its F-X fighter jet acquisition by a year due to budget constraints.

    The third-phase acquisition of 40 to 60 F-X advanced stealth aircraft was originally scheduled to start in 2011, with a final contract in 2012, according to the Korea Times.

    The first two stages obtained 60 F-15K aircraft, which were built by Boeing.

    The delay will lead to the signing of a contract in 2013 and delivery of aircraft will start after 2016.

    The move has disappointed the air force since it had previously planned to replace its 250 McDonnell Douglas F-4Es and Northrop F-5 E/F with the new F-X fighter jet.

    The country had planned to indigenously develop 200 KF-X fighters, similar to the US F-16, in cooperation with foreign partners.

    South Korea to Delay Fighter Jet Acquisition - Air Force Technology
     
  5. DV RULES

    DV RULES SENIOR MEMBER

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    Same question from my side, may be somebody will explain.
     
  6. SpArK

    SpArK PDF THINK TANK: ANALYST

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    S Korea's spy plane crashes; pilots killed



    Posted On: Nov 13, 2010
    [​IMG]
    An unrelated poto of a RF-4C reconnaissance aircraft





    SEOUL (AP): A spy plane crashed Friday during routine training and its two pilots were killed in the second military accident to strike South Korea while it hosted the summit of the Group of 20 major economies, an air force official said.

    South Korea was on heightened alert for possible provocations by communist neighbour North Korea during the two-day G-20 summit, but there was no indication of the North's involvement in either the plane accident or the sinking Thursday of a 150-ton naval vessel.

    The RF-4C reconnaissance aircraft hit a mountain in Imsil, 300 kilometers south of Seoul, about 40 minutes after taking off from a base in Suwon, just south of Seoul, the official said. He spoke on condition of anonymity, citing internal policy.

    The pilots' bodies were found at the mountain, said the official, adding no civilians were hurt on the ground.

    The air force temporarily grounded all aircraft except planes needed for essential patrol missions and was investigating the cause of the crash, the official said.

    South Korea operates about 20 second hand RF-4C spy planes purchased from the US, according to South Korea's air force. The crash came a day after a South Korean navy ship sank after colliding with a larger fishing boat in waters northwest of the southern resort island of Jeju.

    The G-20 summit, which wrapped up Friday in Seoul, placed a spotlight on security because North Korea has a history of acting provocatively when world attention is focused on South Korea.


    S Korea's spy plane crashes; pilots killed :: Brahmand.com
     
  7. sathya

    sathya SENIOR MEMBER

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    ship was torpedoed back then
    today north korea shelled south korea
    war may be breaking out soon
    north korea is pushing for war
     
  8. sathya

    sathya SENIOR MEMBER

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    S. Korea, U.S. start naval drills near N. Korean border
    Topic: North Korea attacks South Korean island

    "Participating units will conduct live-fire shooting and bombing drills"
    04:13 28/11/2010© REUTERS/ Jo Yong-HakRelated News
    Russian, Chinese foreign ministers discuss Korean conflict
    Presidential aide named South Korea's new defense minister
    South Korean defense minister resigns over North's artillery attack
    Admiral Mike Mullen links N. Korea's attack to leadership succession
    China urges both Koreas to talk
    Another two victims of N. Korea attack found dead on S. Korean island
    Multimedia
    South Korean island and its residents a day after artillery attack
    South Korea’s military arsenal
    North Korea launches attack on South Korean island

    South Korea and the United States began on Sunday large-scale joint naval exercises in the Yellow Sea just days after North Korea's artillery attack on a South Korean island that killed four people, the Yonhap news agency said.

    A U.S. naval task force led by nuclear-powered aircraft carrier the USS George Washington has joined several South Korean destroyers, frigates, support ships and anti-submarine aircraft for four days of military drills in waters about 125 km (77 miles) south of the border between the two Koreas.

    "Participating units will conduct live-fire shooting and bombing drills," Yonhap quoted a South Korean military official as saying.

    Washington and Seoul claim these are defensive drills aimed at deterring North Korea from launching further attacks across its disputed maritime border with South Korea, while Pyongyang has condemned the exercises as a provocation and threatened they could lead to a war.

    North Korea opened artillery fire on the South's Yeonpyeong Island in the Yellow Sea Tuesday, killing two South Korean marines and two civilians. Sixteen others were injured, along with three civilians. The South retaliated and warned of further strikes. The North later accused South Korea of attacking first.

    Western powers condemned the attack and warned against a further escalation. Russia called on both Koreas to refrain from the use of force.

    North and South Korea remain technically at war, since no peace treaty was signed following the Korean War in 1953. The Demilitarized Zone between the countries is the most heavily armed border in the world.



    MOSCOW, November 28 (RIA Novosti)
     
  9. sathya

    sathya SENIOR MEMBER

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    U.S., South Korea Exercises Start; China Proposes Talks
    By KIM JAE-HWAN, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
    Published: 28 Nov 2010 09:06 YEONPYEONG ISLAND, South Korea - The United States and South Korean navies staged a potent show of force against North Korea on Nov. 28, as China called for emergency talks about the crisis on the divided peninsula.



    China, the isolated North's sole major ally, proposed "emergency consultations" in Beijing early next month among chief envoys to the stalled six-nation talks on the North's nuclear disarmament.

    Its top envoy on North Korea, Wu Dawei, speaking in Beijing, stressed the proposal did not constitute a formal resumption of the negotiations. But he said he hoped they would lead to such a resumption soon.

    South Korea, which is pressing Beijing to be more even-handed in the standoff, reacted cautiously as did Japan. The United States and Russia are the other members of the talks along with the North itself.

    Any such meeting "should be considered very carefully" given the North's disclosure of a uranium enrichment program and nuclear reactor construction, and its attack on the island, a Seoul foreign ministry statement said.

    The ministry said the North must show seriousness about denuclearization through "tangible actions."

    Japan said it would deal with China's proposal cautiously while cooperating with South Korea and the United States.

    China has not joined other world powers in criticizing the North's attack, and many South Korean newspapers have angrily urged it to get off the fence.

    President Lee Myung-Bak, in a meeting with visiting Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo, urged China to take "a fairer and more responsible stance in its relations with the two Koreas," the presidential office said.

    Lee added that the South "has tolerated the North's constant provocations since the Korean War but would respond strongly if the North makes a additional provocation."

    His ruling party said now was not the time to consider six-party talks.

    The defense ministry urged hundreds of journalists to leave Yeonpyeong island, saying the North may use the war games being held far to the south as the pretext for a new attack on it.

    The drill, spearheaded by the massive U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carrier George Washington, aims to send a message of deterrence to the North. But the presence of a U.S. carrier in what China sees as its backyard has sparked criticism from Beijing.

    The exercise, involving at least 11 ships, is one of a series announced in May, after a Seoul-led multinational investigation found overwhelming evidence that a North Korean torpedo had sunk a South Korean warship in March.

    That sinking cost 46 lives. But North Korea's bombardment of a non-military area, which killed two civilians and two South Korean Marines and injured 18 people, was the first shelling of a civilian area in the South since the war.

    Pyongyang said it was retaliating for a South Korean firing drill in what it regards as its own waters around the contested border. It has expressed regret at the civilian deaths but said the South used them as human shields.

    The North "will deal a merciless military counter-attack at any provocative act of intruding into its territorial waters in the future, too," ruling party newspaper Rodong Sinmun said Sunday.

    "A club is the best thing for a mad dog," Pyongyang's official news agency said of the U.S.-South Korean naval drill, echoing the Korean proverb employed by a South Korean newspaper about the North's regime.

    "Aggressors will feel the taste of it. ... We are ready to respond even to something stronger than anti-submarine ships."

    Yonhap news agency, quoting a government source, said the North had deployed surface-to-air missiles near the border. The defense ministry declined to comment.

    Lee, who will make a televised speech on the crisis at 10:00 a.m. local time Nov. 29 (0100 GMT), has come under pressure to take a tougher line after his military's counter-fire last week was seen as feeble.

    The defense minister quit Nov. 25 to take responsibility.

    The United States insists that the drill is defensive in nature and was planned long before the attack, but says it is intended to send a message of deterrence to the North.

    It is led by George Washington, which can carry about 75 aircraft on its 4.5 acre (1.8 hectare) flight deck and has a crew of 5,500.

    The drill will also involve a high-flying US joint surveillance and target attack system (JSTARS) surveillance aircraft to monitor the North's military moves, Yonhap reported.
     
  10. Mig-29

    Mig-29 FULL MEMBER

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    Because I posted so many topics related to south Korean defense it was made a stikie.
     
  11. neverbee

    neverbee FULL MEMBER

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  12. SpArK

    SpArK PDF THINK TANK: ANALYST

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  13. bigest

    bigest FULL MEMBER

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    It is universally acknowledged that South korea has no decision-making power.US controls the south korea's military.
     
  14. Zabaniyah

    Zabaniyah ELITE MEMBER

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    They use many Russian-made equipment.
     
  15. monitor

    monitor SENIOR MEMBER

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    AIMING FOR THE STARS - SOUTH KOREA’S AEROSPACE INDUSTRY
    Gordon Arthur / Hong Kong


    With its T-50 Golden Eagle, South Korea joined a select club of nations to have successfully developed a supersonic aircraft. Quite apart from breaking the sound barrier, South Korea is hoping to also break into new export markets with its advanced jet trainer. This article looks at the growing maturity of the Republic of Korea’s (ROK) aerospace industry, with a particular emphasis on specific platforms it is pinning its domestic and international hopes on. The remarkable growth of South Korea’s aerospace industry can be observed in the statistic that the 7,800 workers employed in this field in 2007 had burgeoned to 10,000+ just three years later.

    Currently standing at number 16 in international aerospace production rankings, South Korea has set lofty goals for itself. Being ranked globally at number seven by 2020 is its chief ambition! This would involve multiplying aerospace production from the US$2 billion it achieved in 2009 to US$20 billion by 2020. Fully half this value is expected to stem from exports. Four task forces comprising civilian, government and military experts have been created to action these targets. The four groupings are a regional aircraft team; helicopter team; next-generation fighter team; and a maintenance, repair and operating (MRO) team. The MRO side will build upon existing service bases at Incheon and Cheongju International Airports.

    Integral to this strategic 2020 plan are four major and far-reaching programmes: (1) utility military helicopter; (2) light/mid-weight attack helicopter; (3) cutting-edge next-generation fighter; and (4) regional 90-seat commercial jet. Midterm and long-term goals are elaborated in the Aerospace Industry Primary Plan (2010-2019) released in January 2010. Efforts are being made to create aerospace industry clusters in the specialist areas of aircraft production, research and development (R&D) and MRO. Aircraft production will focus on the southern Jinju/Sacheon area.

    The Defence Acquisition Programme Administration (DAPA), an independent body established in 2006, oversees military procurement and sales at home and abroad. ROK defence exports surpassed the USD$1 billion mark for the first time in 2008, and rose to US$1.19 billion last year. The government hopes to break into the ranks of the top ten defence exporting countries, and to achieve annual sales of US$4 billion by the end of this decade. Aircraft obviously represent a significant percentage of these goals, and other aspirant nations could learn much from the deliberate yet progressive path that Seoul has charted.

    Most prominent by far in these goals is Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) Limited, an enterprise formed at the behest of the ROK government on 1 October 1999. It emerged from a joint aerospace venture of Samsung, Daewoo and Hyundai that ran into difficulties after the 1997 financial crisis. KAI is South Korea’s major player in terms of aeronautic design and production, although Korean Air and other companies make valuable contributions in specialised areas. By 2006, KAI had paid off most of its outstanding debts, and in 2010 it held assets worth USD$1.32 billion and employed 2,950 workers. Approximately 40% of its income is derived from exports, while 63% of production is for the military. In 2009 the government signalled its intention to promote privatisation of KAI by selling its 30.5% stake in the company. KAI eventually floated on the stock exchange on 30 June 2011, offering foreign entities the opportunity to establish a strategic foothold on the Korean peninsular .

    KAI produced the main wings and forward fuselages for Singapore’s F-15 fighters, as well as manufacturing AH-64D Apache composite fuselages for Boeing since 2004. Indeed Boeing awarded KAI the title of “Supplier of the Year” in 2010. KAI opened its Daejeon R&D Centre last year with the aim of strengthening competencies for future projects.
    Barrier-breaking aircraft


    KAI commenced development of the indigenous KT-1 Woongbi basic trainer in 1988, and 85 were delivered to the ROK Air Force (ROKAF) from 2000-02. South Korea’s initial aerospace success in the export market occurred when Indonesia signed up for seven KT-1B aircraft in 2003. The Indonesian Air Force subsequently ordered five more in December 2008, these featuring customised avionics and a hybrid cockpit arrangement. Further success was scored in August 2007 when Turkey purchased 40 KT-1T trainers to replace its T-37C aircraft. A KT-1T rollout ceremony took place on 30 October 2009, and the first five deliveries were completed by December last year. These export aircraft have a pressurised glass cockpit, modified navigation system, and hands on throttle-and-stick (HOTAS).

    However, KAI had its sights set much higher when it began designing the supersonic T-50 Golden Eagle. This advanced trainer was jointly developed with American aerospace giant Lockheed Martin. An initial ROKAF production order was placed in December 2003 and a follow-on contract was signed in October 2006. After entering service in 2007, the T-50 had reached full operational capability by May last year. With the induction of 50 aircraft and associated Ground-Based Training Facility (GBTF), the ROKAF now possesses a complete high-level training capability. The ROKAF claims the T-50 has reduced training time and costs by 25% and 30% respectively, as well as improving pilot skills by 40%.

    The T-50 is just the first step in KAI’s supersonic aircraft programme, with the ongoing phase focusing on the twin-seat TA-50 lead-in flight trainer (LIFT). The armed TA-50 has dual use as a trainer or light-attack aircraft capable of carrying AIM-9 Sidewinder and AGM-65 Maverick missiles in addition to its integral General Dynamics 20mm A-50 cannon. The TA-50 rolled out at a ceremony on 24 January 2011, and the first squadron is now believed to be operational.

    Development has not ended there either, since the ultimate variant is the dedicated attack version known as the FA-50. Intended to replace the ROKAF’s elderly inventory of F-4 and F-5 aircraft, this single-seat design will carry an Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) EL/M-2032 active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar system. One of the greatest difficulties with the FA-50 was accommodating the Elta radar, requiring KAI to reengineer the aircraft to provide more space, as well as Elta to scale down the radar unit’s size. The FA-50 will carry weapons such as the AIM-120 missile and JDAM, plus electronic countermeasure and targeting pods. It will have larger fuel tanks, upgraded avionics, a tactical data-link and GPS/inertial navigation system (INS) to give day/night interoperability with the KF-16. A maiden one-hour flight occurred on 4 May this year, and the ROKAF has a requirement for 60 FA-50s by 2013. This programme could eventually stretch to 150 fighters in the future.

    The Golden Eagle’s manufacturer has been targeting significant export sales right from the outset. It was a strong contender in United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Singapore competitions, but on both occasions it lost out to the Aermacchi M-346 Master . However, the T-50 tasted its first success on 25 May 2011 when the Indonesian Air Force ordered 16 T-50I aircraft in a US$400 million deal to replace its BAE Hawk 53 aircraft. This sale meant South Korea is just the sixth nation in the world to export a supersonic jet. All 16 T-50I aircraft are to be delivered by the end of 2013. The order has buoyed the T-50 family’s chances for competitions in countries such as Israel, the Philippines, Poland, Taiwan and the USA. There were rumours South Korea was also going to exchange T-50 aircraft in return for Iraqi oil. The US Air Force (USAF) is looking for a large number of aircraft for its T-X Advanced Trainer Replacement programme. There is even speculation that South Korea will attempt to trade T-50s for F-35s from the USA.

    KAI will play a pivotal role in the advanced KF-X fighter programme, with the ultimate aim of incorporating such advanced technologies as stealth, thrust vectoring, AESA radar and long-range missiles. Because the KF-X has already been covered in the previous article, details are not repeated here. KAI is attempting to diversify its product line so that it does not rely solely on the military sector too. It already manufactures components for Boeing and Airbus commercial jets, plus it has developed the KC-100 piston-engine aircraft for the leisure market. This four-passenger design is undergoing certification by the Korean Civil Aviation Safety Authority. Nicknamed Naraon, production of the 1,859km-range aircraft could commence in 2014.

    As well as KAI, other manufacturers are heavily involved in supplying aircraft components. Samsung Techwin license-produces F404-102 turbofan engines for the T-50, as well as engines, electronic jammers and radar warning receivers (RWR) for the F-15K. Hanwha Corporation produces aircraft flight control systems and actuators for the KT-1, T-50, KUH and F-15K. Boeing outsources various components to local companies as part of its offset obligations for the F-15K . For example, LIG Nex1 produces the head-up display (HUD), airborne communication system and radar assemblies. It also provides UHF/VHF radios for the KT-1, and radar/radios for the T-50
    Utilising helicopter technology


    A second area of expertise for KAI lies in helicopters, as demonstrated by the wide-ranging Korean Helicopter Programme (KHP). The first stage is the 8-tonne Korean Utility Helicopter (KUH), christened Surion by its maker, which has been in development since June 2006 as a replacement for South Korea’s venerable UH-1H and 500MD fleets. This resulted from a USD1.15 billion Ministry of National Defence (MND) R&D contract. The KUH is designed for utility transport, airborne assault, search and rescue, medevac and command-and-control missions. Designed from the outset to fulfil local requirements, the KUH enjoyed close technical assistance from Eurocopter, which holds 30% and 20% stakes in the development and production phases respectively. As prime subcontractor, the European company will provide the transmission, gearboxes, rotor mast and automatic flight control system.

    The KUH’s 30-minute maiden flight occurred on 10 March 2010 at Sacheon, home of KAI’s headquarters in southern Gyeongsang Province. It operates with two pilots in the digital glass cockpit, plus it carries up to two door-gunners and nine passengers in the cabin. The Surion’s development phase should conclude in June 2012, with first deliveries to the ROK Armed Forces commencing in September. A KRW650 billion production contract was awarded on 31 December 2010, and 245 KUHs are to be delivered over a ten-year period at an average rate of two units per month.

    The Surion’s two license-built 1,600shp T700-GE-701K turboshaft engines propel it to a maximum speed of 144 knots. Approximately 60% of KUH components are being made domestically, examples being the composite rotor blades, and prognostic health and usage monitoring systems (HUMS). It is reported Elbit Systems will supply ANVIS/HUD-24 helmet-mounted displays.

    The tie-up between KAI and Eurocopter is particularly important since it represents South Korea’s largest defence contract with a country other than the USA. The two companies are seeking healthy export sales of both civilian- and military-configured Surions too. The partners created a 50/50 joint venture on 18 October 2007 to internationally market the KUH, and the target is 300 export sales within a 25-year period. In a further development between the European and South Korean aerospace heavyweights, the KAI-EC joint stock company to promote export of the Surion was formed on 3 May 2011.

    Phase 2 of the KHP will see an armed/combat helicopter and civilian helicopter developed by 2015. More details on the Korean Attack Helicopter (KAH) project have already been mentioned in the preceding article. This KAH programme will lead to Phase 3 from 2016 onwards for a next-generation mid-size/large utility helicopter. The company even harbours dreams of creating a tilt-rotor design similar to the V-22 Osprey further down the track.
    Unmanned aerial vehicles set to proliferate


    The government announced in 2005 it would nurture the sphere of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) as an economic growth engine. Indeed, the 2009 edition of the Seoul International Aerospace & Defence Exhibition unveiled some interesting UAV designs. The ROK military acknowledges the need to upgrade its intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities, and UAVs are one effective way of doing that, especially considering the rugged, mountainous topography of the Korean peninsular.

    It may come as a surprise that the flag carrier airline, Korean Air, is heavily involved in UAV development. However, it should be remembered that the Aerospace Division of Korean Air (KAL-ASD) has performed maintenance and/or system upgrades for KF-16, C-130, F-4 and P-3C aircraft, and CH-47 and Lynx helicopters. In addition, it has license-built UH-60 and 500MD helicopters for the ROK military. KAL-ASD employs 1,900 workers, and it has produced KT-1 centre and rear fuselage sections, and wing and aft fuselage parts for the KF-16.

    With the recent winning of several important contracts, KAL-ASD is even drawing away business from KAI. Korean Air’s first UAV design was the short-range Korean Unmanned System 7 (KUS-7), which was fully developed by 2007 using mainly local components. The company began working on the second-generation KUS-9 in 2006 after a government contract was awarded. The blended wing body (BWB) KUS-9 weighs 150kg and it can operate in all weather conditions day or night. The craft is powered by a 38hp engine from UAV Engines Limited that gives an eight-hour endurance. The 3.4m-long craft carries an IAI POP300 surveillance payload. Test flights commenced in mid-2009. DAPA issued a USD30 million contract on 7 September 2010 to develop a divisional-level craft (D-UAV) for the ROK Army (ROKA). Based on the KUS-9, the D-UAV could be in service by 2014.

    In late 2008 Korean Air was selected as developer of a medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) design capable of 24-hour endurance. Development of the so-called MUAV started in mid-2009, and it is slated to be operational by 2016. The MUAV will integrate foreign technology, and its specifications will be somewhat similar to the MQ-1 Predator. US$375 million was awarded under the R&D contract. KAL-ASD was also commissioned in mid-2010 to produce a scaled-down, stealthy unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV). Testing of two airframes should be completed by 2014.

    We return again to KAI, as any discussion of South Korean aerospace inevitably does. The country’s first operational military UAV was the Night Intruder 300 (RQ-101), developed jointly with the Agency for Defence Development (ADD) from 1991-2000. Approximately 30 RQ-101 craft have been in ROKA service at the corps level for day/night battlefield reconnaissance tasks since 2005. Tipping the scales at 300kg and able to carry a 45kg payload, this craft has a 120km range and can cruise at 185km/h. With a 6.4m wingspan, it is bigger than the KUS-9. Government funding has permitted development of an improved ground control station (GCS), enhanced payload capacity and upgrades to the avionics and image detection system. These improvements were to be implemented in 2011.

    KAI has not rested on its laurels, for it has also been working on a next-generation corps-level UAV to supersede the RQ-101. The Night Intruder 100N (NI-100N) is one-third the weight and 65% the size of the RQ-101, while its 21hp engine permits a 60km range and six-hour endurance. One research engineer told Defence Review Asia that this tactical UAV project kicked off in 2008. However, KAI will be facing competition from Korean Air, because the latter will be bidding with its own corps-level design too.

    KAI looks into the future with its stealthy K-UCAV. Still at the conceptual stage, its creators imagine it will employ a fan engine and carry internal air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons. With a 9.1m wingspan, the futuristic-looking K-UCAV can achieve speeds of Mach 0.86 and range of 280km. KAI expects the ROKAF to be a user, but it is developing the fly-by-wire design privately at present. A demonstrator could be flying by 2015/16.

    South Korea’s carefully planned policy of research and gaining technical knowhow seems destined to bear fruit in coming years. Exports of military and civilian UAVs have always been a major goal. Worthy of mention is the Smart UAV Development Programme launched by the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) in 2002. The aim of the government-funded US$91.7 million programme is to develop and integrate advanced core technologies as part of South Korea’s plans to become a world UAV leader. One design KARI has been working on is a tilt-rotor UAV capable of high-speed flight. The third phase of Smart UAV, expected to end in March 2012, will focus on technologies such as data-links, collision avoidance and self-diagnostic systems. Samsung Thales is prominent in providing UAV electro-optical tracking systems (EOTS), while DAPA selected Ucon Systems to develop miniature UAVs.
    Aiming for the stars


    Although it is beyond the remit of this article, brief mention should be made of South Korean space aspirations too. KARI established the Naro Space Centre on Oenaro Island, and the country is vigorously pursuing its National Space Programme. It is doing so with Russian technical help and despite US resistance. The programme includes its own network of multipurpose satellites and Korea Space Launch Vehicles (KSLV) that will one day offer launch service to other nations. Korean Air is the prime contractor for the KSLV-I (later renamed Naro-1), although the first two launches in 2009 and 2010 failed. The country’s first Cheollian communication/ocean and meteorological satellite was put into orbit by an Ariane 5 rocket in mid-2010.

    Turkey and Indonesia have already opted for South Korean aerospace technology, one of its competitive advantages being cheaper pricing compared to equivalent US or European equipment. South Korea also offers an alternative source to countries leery of relying too heavily on US equipment and its proscriptive political/technical policies.