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South Korea Announces Stealth Drone Project

The South Korean government has selected Korean Air to develop a squadron of stealth unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) for the air force.

The government’s Agency for Defense Development (ADD) has completed the basic design for the project and plans to work with the company on a detailed design.

Korean Air will develop a “man-unmanned teaming system” involving three-four unmanned aircraft flying alongside a piloted plane, orchestrating “surveillance, electronic interference tactics, and precise shooting,” simultaneously.

“Korean Air plans to utilize its capabilities gained from over 20 years in UAV development to secure next-generation core technologies for stealth UAVs such as manned-unmanned teaming, cluster control, and autonomous mission execution,” the Korean flag carrier stated.

Manned-Unmanned Operations

Citing military aviation expert Robin Polderman, Japan Times wrote that the stealthy drones could be used as “decoys” in contested airspace to force enemy air defenses to reveal their positions, tricking them into firing at the unmanned platforms rather than piloted ones.

The drones could also be used to designate targets for surveillance and stand-off strikes, the outlet added.

“A drone equipped with a data link system could transfer target information and images to a variety of receivers both in the air as well as on the ground in near real-time, providing battlefield commanders with up-to-date situational awareness,” Polderman told the outlet, adding that acquisition of the system could reduce the need for a more expensive fifth-generation manned aircraft. 

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