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Navy to demonstrate amphibious landing operation with unmanned systems

June 8, 2023 - 11:23 By Yonhap
An unmanned surface vehicle for reconnaissance operations is on display at Hanwha Systems' booth at the International Maritime Defense Industry Exhibition 2023 in Busan on June 7. (Yonhap)

The Navy will demonstrate an amphibious landing operation utilizing advanced unmanned systems at a naval base in Busan on Thursday, officials said, in a display of the armed service's preparations for future warfare.

The demonstration will take place at Busan Naval Base in the port city, 320 kilometers southeast of Seoul, on the sidelines of the three-day International Maritime Defense Industry Exhibition 2023 that kicked off Wednesday, according to the Navy.

The operation will mobilize six warships, three aircraft, three assault amphibious vehicles, and around 30 unmanned surface vehicles and unmanned aerial vehicles developed by local companies to demonstrate how unmanned systems can be utilized in combat, it said.

It will begin with UAVs scouting the landing area and USVs carrying out mine-hunting operations to eliminate possible underwater threats.

An unmanned aircraft flown from a warship will then conduct strikes on a simulated enemy missile base and transporter erector launchers, while a squadron of suicide drones will attack coastal artillery.

USVs and a drone squadron will be mobilized for the first and second waves of the amphibious landing before troops enter the target area with helicopters, assault amphibious vehicles and landing craft, the Navy said.

The demonstration comes as the Navy seeks to utilize unmanned assets amid concerns over potential troop shortages caused by the country's low birthrate. It plans to develop an autonomous underwater vehicle by the end of this year and start the development of reconnaissance unmanned surface and aerial vehicles in the mid-2020s.

The armed service plans to stage the demonstration for foreign officials on Friday and for the public on Saturday.

The Navy also separately held the biennial International Seapower Symposium on Thursday in Busan, bringing together security experts and military officials from around the world for discussions on changes to the maritime security environment

"It is impossible for individual countries to respond to the comprehensive security threat in the Indo-Pacific region today," Adm. Lee Jong-ho, Chief of Naval Operations, was quoted as saying.

"In order to increase security cooperation, the Navy is expanding multilateral combined exercises and making efforts to strengthen maritime security cooperation with a wide range of countries," he added. (Yonhap)