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South Korea Unveils Hydrogen-Powered Cargo Drone

South Korean aerospace firm LIG Nex1 introduced its new heavy-lift drone concept during the Seoul International Aerospace & Defense Exhibition (ADEX) 2021.

The proposed aircraft will be powered by hydrogen fuel-cell technology and boast a payload capacity of 200 kilograms (440 pounds).

Although the company has already developed hydrogen fuel cell-powered drones, this is reportedly the first time that LIG Nex1 will apply such propulsion technology on a KCD-200 model.

The firm will collaborate with Gwangju city and other organizations to develop the new cargo drone, which is expected to be finished by 2025. Once development is complete, the aerial vehicle could serve as a logistics unmanned aerial vehicle for the army, air force, navy, and marine corps.

Other Cutting-Edge Technologies

During the biennial defense exhibit in Seoul, LIG Nex1 also unveiled the Korean Positioning System (KPS), a local version of the Global Positioning System (GPS) used by the military to determine precise locations of enemies.

With a budget of 3.72 trillion won ($3.15 billion), the KPS will consist of eight satellites and a synthetic aperture radar. The company is also looking to integrate key components for the KPS, including electronic optical devices and infrared sensors.

Meanwhile, the South Korean firm has embarked on a project to develop a multirotor drone capable of lifting up to 40 kilograms (88 pounds). It will feature a hybrid energy propulsion system that can support more than 60 minutes of operation.

Additional projects by LIG Nex1 include long-range air-to-ground guided weapons and an electronic warfare suite for KF-21 fighters.

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