South Korea's locally manufactured KUS-FS MALE UAS

South Korean MND eyes KUS-FS UAV for RoKA Ground Operations Command – link

Source: Jane’s

Article Headlines

  • The South Korean Ministry of National Defense (MND) is planning to procure a new UAV for the Republic of Korea Army (RoKA) Ground Operations Command (GOC)
  • According to the MND, between two and three complete systems comprising a total of about 10 MALE UAVs and associated ground support equipment will be introduced to boost the RoKA’s long-range airborne surveillance capabilities
  • The UAV is based on the Korean Air Aerospace Division (KAL-ASD)’s KUS-FS MALE UAV design and is being developed for the RoK Air Force (RoKAF) at a cost of KRW488.4 billion (USD402.7 million) under the supervision of the MND’s Agency for Defense Development (ADD)
  • According to official specifications released by KAL-ASD, the baseline KUS-FS design has a length of 13 m and a wingspan of 25 m
  • The company declined to provide details of its performance but the air vehicle is understood to be powered by a 1,200hp turboprop engine that enables it to reach a service ceiling of 13,000 m (42,650 ft) and stay aloft for periods in excess of 24 hours
  • KAL-ASD is responsible for the UAV program’s platform development and production, while Hanwha Corporation is developing its electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) system. LIG Nex1 is developing a new synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and is also partnering with KAL-ASD on the air vehicle’s avionics systems

Overview & Comments

  • In December 2019 South Korea received its first of four RQ-4 initially ordered in 2014. The remaining UAVs are expected to arrive this year
  • The country also operates IAI’s Heron 1
  • In the tactical category Schiebel’s S-100 is deployed in maritime patrol in the northern border

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