(From Korea JoonAng Daily)
Korean Air signed a deal late last month with the state-run munitions procurement organization to mass produce a new unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), or drone, for military reconnaissance missions, the top air carrier said on Sunday.
The budget for the deal with the Defense Acquisition Program Administration, which will conclude in 2020, totals 400 billion won ($334 million), and Korean Air will receive 230 billion won through 2018 in its initial phase.
According to the deal, each division within Korea’s military will be supplied with one drone, but Korean Air has not disclosed the price per unit.
The private airliner developed the drone for military purposes between 2010 and November 2014, and launched pilot operations over the following year.
“Having foreseen the potential of the UAV market from the late 1990s, we have concentrated our research capabilities [in the sector],” a Korean Air spokesman said. “We have solidified our position as the No. 1 developer of UAVs after building machines like medium-altitude aircraft and unmanned tilt-rotor aircraft, and are currently developing drones with low probabilities of interception, which will be necessary for the combat environments of the future.” Read more