South Korea aims to develop an unmanned reconnaissance aircraft deployable from warships by 2028, the state arms procurement agency said Monday, amid efforts to boost surveillance against North Korean threats.
Last month, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration signed a contract worth 143.3 billion won ($107.1 million) with defense company Hanwha Systems to develop the rotary-wing aircraft by December 2028.
DAPA said the aircraft is designed to be deployed from warships, as well as Marine Corps units on northwestern islands near the border with North Korea, to carry out surveillance and reconnaissance missions.
The unmanned rotorcraft will be the first of its kind in South Korea and will be equipped with electro-optical and infrared sensors and radar systems, according to DAPA.
The agency said it expects the aircraft to expand border area reconnaissance and identify signs of provocations by the enemy and neighboring countries in advance.
Earlier this month, the North fired hundreds of artillery shells near the Northern Limit Line, the de facto maritime border, for three days, according to the South Korean military. (Yonhap)