Korean Air selected as preferred bidder for development of low-observable UAV squadron

By Lim Chang-won Posted : August 16, 2022, 13:46 Updated : August 16, 2022, 13:46

[Courtesy of Korean Air]

SEOUL -- Korean Air has been selected by South Korea's defense technology development agency as the preferred bidder for the development of a low-observable unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) squadron. It is part of a military project to develop multipurpose stealth drones.

The Agency for Defense Development (ADD) has completed the basic design of a UAV squadron. Korean Air aims to develop a stealth UAV squadron and a teaming system in which one manned aircraft and three to four stealth UAVs can carry out missions simultaneously. The UAV squadron will support and escort a manned aircraft while carrying out independent missions such as surveillance, electronic interference tactics, and precise shooting.

Korean Air will actively participate in ADD’s multipurpose stealth UAV development project as well as a feasibility review of AI-based stealth UAV squadron operations.

South Korea has tried to develop Kaori-X, a fighter-sized low-observable tailless drone that can be deployed independently or as a robot wingman to assist fighter planes. Unlike ordinary military UAVs in the shapes of miniaturized airplanes, tailless drones do not have tail wings -- a vertical stabilizer (fin) and horizontal stabilizers -- to minimize radar cross-section (RCS), the area exposed to radar waves, and give the airplane stealth abilities.

Korean Air and the Korea Research Institute for Defense Technology Planning and Advancement (KRIT), a state defense technology institute, have joined hands to develop the hull structure of low-observable UAVs. They were also involved in the development of UAV surface materials designed to absorb radio waves and control surface current.
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